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Businesses are keen to get the edge with TSI's Fair Trading Award

The Trading Standards Institute’s initiative to help businesses stay on top of key consumer law has been applauded by The Office of Fair Trading.

The free modules of the Fair Trading Award (FTA) were launched during National Consumer Week following revelations from a TSI snapshot business survey which showed that one in four never update full-time staff on consumer rights in relation to their business

The scheme has been well received by the business community.

David Murphy, OFT’s head of marketing, said: ‘I have been very impressed by the response to the Fair Trading Award and would encourage more businesses to get involved.
'When shoppers understand their rights, and front line retail staff are well informed about their obligations, problems can be resolved reasonably and amicably, which is good for business and good for consumers.’

Mr Murphy attended one of the free training sessions on the Sale of Goods Act that were offered at Bluewater as part of the National Consumer Week launch events on 14 September.
These sessions were a real hit at the Kent retail and leisure destination – many retailers are already in talks with Trading Standards Institute about further in house training and some of the larger stores are looking to roll out the training to their branches nationwide.

Andrew Parkinson, Bluewater’s general manager, said: ‘We were keen to facilitate the free business training course at Bluewater and are thrilled that it has been such a success.  We are continually looking for new ways to evolve the Bluewater shopping experience and improve our customer service for guests.  The Fair Trading Award will benefit both our retailers and guests by promoting consumer rights.’

‘We are pleased that so many of the Bluewater retailers are taking the opportunity to join the free training session to complete the Fair Trading Award course, and we will continue to encourage them to get involved with this fantastic scheme.’

Phil Owen, TSI’s education and training manager, pointed out that particularly in the current economic climate the FTA  accolade would help give businesses a valuable extra edge.  He said: ‘Consumers who are confident that they are getting a fair deal and that they will be treated fairly, will be keener shoppers.
‘Consumers are now much savvier and are finding getting their money’s worth is more important than ever.
‘It is a win-win situation for both the business and their customers to have fair trading award certified staff, not least because impeccable customer service creates customer loyalty and will give the business the competitive edge.’

Editors’ notes:

Contact TSI press office on 08456089430 or

The Fair Trading Award consists of five modules and teaches staff all about consumer rights and customer service. Available online, each module can be completed in less than 45 minutes.

TSI is offering two free modules, 'The Sale of Goods Act' and 'The Supply of Goods and Services'. If a further three modules are completed at only £30 plus VAT each, participants will be awarded the FTA certificate - a nationally recognised award issued by TSI.

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Trading Standards Institute
Trading Standards Institute has represented the interests of Trading Standards professionals for 120 years. We have a long and proud history of ensuring that the views of our members are well represented at the highest level of government, both nationally and internationally.
Our aim is to promote excellence and enhance the professionalism of our members in support of empowering and informing consumers, encouraging and working with honest businesses, targeting rogue traders and rogue trading practices and contributing to the health, welfare and wellbeing of citizens and communities.
TSI members are engaged in delivering frontline trading standards services in local authorities in response to 2 million consumer and business complaints and enquiries each year. They also support the delivery of new initiatives such as Consumer Direct, providing first point of contact practical consumer advice.
They also work in the business, consumer and central government sectors in promoting and influencing the safety, prosperity and enhancement of individuals and markets with a dependency on effective and professional trading standards contributions and interventions.

Bluewater is Europe’s leading retail and leisure destination and is often regarded as the UK industry’s benchmark.

With 1.5 million sq ft of retail, Bluewater features 330 UK and International brands, 50 restaurants and bars, 13,000 free parking spaces, 50 acres of parkland, 7 lakes and attracts nearly 28 million visitors per year.

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