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CTSI’s Manifesto for the Next UK Government

With a General Election in the Westminster Parliament fast-approaching, the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) has developed a manifesto that sets out what the Trading Standards profession wants the next Government to focus on - to build back Trading Standards Services, to better protect consumers, and to ensure that we have the right levels of regulation in the UK to support business innovation and growth.


CTSI's Manifesto 2024 (download)

Fersiwn Cymraeg (lawrlwytho)


Helping Local Communities and Businesses to Prosper

Our Trading Standards professionals are part of the fabric of everyday life in the UK. Each and every day, we:

    • Prevent rogue traders perpetrating crimes against consumers, preying on the public (including older people or the most vulnerable) with false claims and scams.
    • Stop the sale of counterfeit goods and dangerous toys and products.
    • Ensure that the food you eat contains what it says on the label.
    • Prevents outbreaks of animal diseases.
    • Stop young children buying cigarettes, alcohol and vapes.
    • Ensures property agents act fairly with consumers who are buying or renting their home.
    • Ensures that you get what you pay for, both online and in shops, and so much more.


Why is Our Manifesto Needed?

This is a challenging time for UK consumers and our economy. Price hikes in retail, energy, rent, insurance and food sectors have hot the poorest in society the hardest. The growth in global trade has seen an exponential rise in imported and counterfeit and unsafe products. It is estimated that the sale of counterfeit goods costs the UK exchequer £1.3 billion. Trading Standards teams have found that as many as half of imports that were checked contained unsafe products and were refused entry, including toys and e-scooters.

The drive towards ‘net zero opens up new and complex markets, but the high costs of green home improvement products have left consumers susceptible to rogue traders and scams. 

Citizens Advice estimated that more than 19 million adults across the UK could have been targeted by a green scam in the past year, with an estimated 5.2 million victims impacted by them.

At a time when the levels of detriment facing consumers is increasing – at the last count it was £54 BILLION, there is a desperate need for greater action to protect consumers and law abiding businesses.

If we don’t invest in the Trading Standards system more consumers will be put at risk from fraud, scams and criminals.


What Does Our Manifesto Say?

Our manifesto has been developed with the support of CTSI’s members, and those working in regulation, consumer protection and business. 

1)  Build Back Trading Standards Services

To help build back Trading Standards Services we are calling on the next Government to:

    • Make a phased additional investment in Trading Standards Services, rising to £100 Million after 4 years.
    • Review the current funding model for Trading Standards - to put it on a more sustainable footing.
    • Provide stronger protection at ports and borders - to tackle illegal and unsafe goods entering the UK.
    • Create a dedicated Apprenticeship Fund - to support 300 trading standards apprenticeship places across the UK.

2)  Enhance Consumer Protection

To create more confident consumers we are calling for greater levels of protection, including:

    • The introduction of school lessons to help young people better understand their consumer rights and money matters.
    • The appointment of a Consumer Champion across Government to help provide a clear direction on consumer protection issues.
    • Better data and intelligence sharing between organisations, to help Trading Standards target its resources as effectively as possible.

3)  Help Businesses Innovate and Prosper

To develop regulation that supports business innovation and growth we are calling for:

    • A clear economic strategy for green products that puts consumers at its heart.
    • The introduction of a licensing scheme for the home improvement, motor vehicle and green energy sector.
    • Clear legal duties on online marketplaces.



What People are Saying . . . 

A number of organisations have already expressed their strong support for the recommendations included in CTSI's Manifesto 2024. If you'd like to add your voice, email our Policy & Communications team, [email protected]

Home Insulation & Energy Systems Contractors Scheme (HIES) : 

Consumer protection is important in the renewable sector and we support the work that Chartered Trading Standards Institute are undertaking.

Faisal Hussain - Chief Executive, HIES.

Regulatory Horizons Council, Housing and Property Redress Group and the International Network for Delivery of Regulation : 

Maintaining consumer protection faces serious threats of various kinds, particularly from diminished resources and from online and AI technologies. It is important to refresh local and coordinated arrangements across the nation now, adopting new approaches to regulation through providing information, generating collaborative support for local businesses, and delivering targeted enforcement.

Christopher Hodges OBE - Emeritus Professor of Justice Systems, University of Oxford.

Chair, Regulatory Horizons Council; Chair, Housing and Property Redress Group; Co Founder, International Network for Delivery of Regulation.

Advertising Standards Authority : 

The CTSI Manifesto makes a punchy and compelling case for the invaluable role Trading Standards plays in the consumer protection landscape and for businesses. We know this first hand. As our legal backstop power, it is an effective deterrent to misleading advertising and a powerful enforcement partner in the rare instances where advertisers are unwilling to play fairly. With a range of old and new issues exposing consumers to potential harms, not least in the form of the green economy and the rapid immergence of AI, it is more important than ever that Trading Standards is equipped and resourced to continue protecting people and maintaining a fair environment for business.

Guy Parker - Chief Executive, ASA.

Electrical Safety First : 

We strongly back the calls in CTSI’s manifesto for proper resourcing of the UK’s trading standards infrastructure at ports, borders and across the country. Without this critical line of defence, consumers are at risk of dangerous products, which often should never have been available for purchase in the first place.

Lesley Rudd - Chief Executive, Electrical Safety First.

National Trading Standards : 

Trading standards plays a vital part in protecting consumers at risk as well as law abiding businesses. Any new Government that cares about the most vulnerable in our communities must surely make trading standards a priority.

Lord Bichard - Chair, National Trading Standards.

British Toy and Hobby Association : 

The UK’s Trading Standards service is something we should all treasure and is a vital part of the very fabric of a fair and decent society, across the whole of the UK for everyone. Its officers play a critical role every day of the year in supporting a fair and safe society for consumers and reputable businesses alike.  Trading Standards cannot perform this role and meet the challenges that it must without funding support – we support its call to build back trading standards. Without it, everyone loses except those who have no interest in the principles of fairness and good practice. It is a national treasure that urgently requires the support its role and range of activities deserve and require.

Roland Earl - Director General, British Toy and Hobby Association.

Child Accident Prevention Trust :

We fully support CTSI’s manifesto for change. Too often, we see the devastating consequences of unsafe products for children and their families. One mother described it as a grenade thrown into her home.  Families need better protection through investment in trading standards and regulation of online marketplaces. And reputable businesses need protection too. Investing in consumer protection will reduce NHS costs and support the economic growth we all want to see.

Katrina Phillips OBE - Chief Executive, Child Accident Prevention Trust.

British Retail Consortium : 

The BRC supports a professional, well-resourced Trading Standards service as a vital part in protecting the interests of compliant businesses and consumers and ensuring a level playing field. In particular, it has important work to do in supporting the Primary Authority system. Going forward, as the Government gives TS ever more responsibilities, we think the Government needs to consider whether the grants from central government for trading standards need to be ring fenced and should look again at the future of TS including areas of overlap with other regulators to ensure the responsibilities are allocated efficiently between regulators including OPSS and CMA.

Helen Dickinson - Chief Executive, British Retail Consortium.



Download Your Copy

Please click the following link to download our Manifesto 2024 (as a pdf), or if you'd like to find out more about our policy positions, please email [email protected]


Click here for CTSI's Manifesto 2024 (pdf)

Click here for CTSI's Welsh Translated Manifesto (pdf)




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