Frequently Asked Questions
Q: If I hold the DCA, DTS or DCATS qualification, can I be a Student member?
A: The Chartered Trading Standards Institute membership categories are based on Trading Standards qualifications. The DPCP full DCA, DTS, and DCATS qualifications and their antecedents are still recognised Trading Standards qualifications, and entitle the holder to Full membership. The DCA part one is the equivalent of the FCATS/CSCATS qualification, and both qualifications entitle the holder to Associate membership.
Q: Can CTSI help me with a problem I have, such as a faulty item, or poor service provided.
A: We are afraid not, CTSI is the professional body for trading standards officers, even if it is a serious complaint, rather than a question about your rights, the Citizens Advice consumer service will handle it by passing it on with all your details to the relevant trading standards office in a local authority.
The Chartered Trading Standards Institute is private company who supply Membership & Training for Trading Standards professionals, and as such we are unable to provide you with the information you require.
Citizens Advice consumer service provides free, confidential and impartial advice on consumer issues. Visit www.adviceguide.org.uk or call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06.
Q: Should I send payment with my application form?
A: No, membership fees for the first year are calculated on a pro rata basis. Branch fees are not charged in the first year of membership. If your authority is paying for your membership, please ensure that a purchase order is attached (if required) and the invoice authority form (PDF 48KB) is completed.
Q: Is VAT applied to membership fees?
A: No, membership fees are exempt from VAT. As is the Chartered Trading Standards Practitioner registration fee. Reflective statements for CTSP status do however attract VAT.
Q: When are Branch fees charged?
A: Not all Branches charge a fee, however for the first year of membership Branch fees are not applied.
Q: How long does the application process take?
A: Approximately one month. Once your application form is received Member Services will contact you with a timetable outlining the dates and processes involved.
Q: What are the differences between a paying and non-paying Student?
A: Employment status is the main factor. If the applicant is studying for 40 or more weeks of the year, they are entitled to free Student membership, for a maximum of four years or until qualifications are gained. Part time students working within a local authority are expected to make a contribution to their membership. Fees are calculated at one third of a Full membership.
Q: Should I send in my membership application form before my framework entry forms?
A: We prefer to receive the membership form before the framework entry forms. However they can be sent at the same time. If we receive entry forms before your application form, there is a possibility that you may be charged framework entry fees at a non-member rate.
Q: Can I make use of the CTSI logo on my letterheads etc?
A: No; individual members of the Institute may not use the CTSI logo for any reason.
Companies who take out Corporate Affiliate membership have their own specific logo to use, which also denotes their Corporate Affiliate status.
Q: What is the introduce a friend scheme?
A: A chance for existing members to benefit from introducing a new member. Categories eligible for the scheme are Full/Associate/and Affiliate. Introduce a new member for one of these categories and receive a £15.00 Love2Shop High Street voucher, which can be used at numerous outlets. Application forms and flyer must be sent at the same time. Not applicable to Student members.
Members can also introduce businesses to the Corporate Affiliate category. The same voucher is available, up to a maximum of £75.00 (Dependent on the size of the company). This can be claimed by the member or passed directly on to the member's Branch coffers.
Q: Can I pay by direct debit?
A: Yes. This is the most convenient method of paying your fees. We offer annual, quarterly, or monthly direct debit options, all at 0% APR Representative. Depending upon the timing of your application and the payment option you choose you may be required to pay a larger first instalment. Please note we can not accept faxed or electronic returned forms, postal returns only. We can also take payment over the phone via debit/credit card. CTSI is now also able to accept American Express. You can also pay by bank transfer, using the information on your invoice, or by contacting accounts on 01268 886 691 for further information. Please use your membership number to help us identify your payment if paying via electronic transfer.
Q: Do I receive any discounts?
A: Yes. Once you receive your renewal notification, if payment is received before 29 February 2016 or you agree to pay by annual direct debit by 29 February 2016 the discount shown on the renewal notice will be applied. Payments after these dates are not eligible for discount. New memberships are charged on a pro rata basis, and no discounts are applied to this fee.
Q: How do I apply for tax relief?
A: You can get tax relief for professional fees and subscriptions including Chartered Trading Standards Practitioner registration. For full definitions please follow the link: Tax relief definitions. Complete the form that is included with your membership renewal notice, or download from the website, and return this to your local tax office. For previous amounts paid, email or post your request to Member Services at CTSI, or firstname.lastname@example.org. CTSI will supply your payment records for up to a maximum of four years. If you have not been a member for this length of time CTSI will only supply you with the relevant amount of data we hold.
Use this information to complete the tax relief form and return it to your local tax office. Do not return the form to CTSI. Please note that we are unable to supply information about your tax office.
Q: What happens if I was previously a member and wish to rejoin?
A: We look to encourage members back to the Institute. The circumstances involved in your leaving will be considered, and you may be required to pay any previously outstanding membership fees, as laid out in the Institute Regulations.
Q: What happens if I retire and wish to retain my membership?
A: Retired membership is open to members who hold either Full or Associate membership. The member retains all the rights and privileges of their previous category at a reduced rate (currently £39.00 for 2016).
The definition for this category is: The Executive Board prescribe the condition for acceptance into Retired membership shall be retirement from all paid employment, unless undertaking 16 hours or less per week of paid employment, in a field unrelated to trading standards.