The Trading Standards Qualification Framework

There are five qualifications available within the framework that is assessed by both examinations and portfolio of skills competence. These are:

certificate of competence

To attain this qualification you must successfully complete

  • the legal systems paper from the foundation certificate
  • all elements of the DCATS service delivery module specialism for which candidates are gaining their certificate

foundation certificate in consumer affairs and trading standards (FCATS)

To attain this qualification you must successfully complete:

  • Legal Systems examination
  • Consumer Protection Environment examination
  • Law of Contract and Tort (delict) examination
  • foundation portfolio of evidence.

module certificate in consumer affairs and trading standards

To attain a module certificate you will need to have passed the FCATS and completed all elements that comprise a service delivery module. Module Certificates form the DCATS award.

diploma in consumer affairs and trading standards (DCATS)

To attain the DCATS qualification, you will need to have passed the FCATS and gain a minimum of 40 points from the following service delivery modules. Examinations and a portfolio of evidence will have to be completed for each module.

Fair Trading (Criminal)10 Points Intellectual Property 10 Points
Food Standards10 PointsMoney Advice10 Points
Animal Health10 PointsAgricultural Standards10 Points
Fair Trading (Civil)10 PointsAdvice, Resolution and Redress10 Points
Consumer Credit10 PointsProduct Safety10 Points
Legal Metrology20 Points  

There will be an oral examination for both the food and the agriculture modules and a practical and oral examination for the legal metrology module.

higher diploma in consumer affairs and trading standards (HDCATS)

To achieve HDCATS, you will have already attained the FCATS and a minimum of 40 points from the (DCATS). You will then have to pass:

  • examinations in management of regulatory services and quality assurance
  • higher skills portfolio of evidence
  • a 4000-word real life project.

Stand alone award:

higher certificate in consumer affairs and trading standards (HCCATS)

HCCATS requires you to successfully complete the higher examinations, the portfolio of evidence and undertake a 4000-word real life project.

Everyone is eligible to complete HCCATS, however, you need to be aware that this is not a practitioners qualification as you will not have gained the required field competencies. The higher element of the framework is strategically focused.

Operational officers are encouraged to attain the DCATS and then the HDCATS.