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CTSI Workforce Survey Report raises concerns over the future of Trading Standards

Posted 18/02/20

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) today released its CTSI Workforce Survey Report 2018-19, which was supported by the Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The report lists several ongoing concerns, in particular, the impact on services from budget cuts. 

The survey finds that almost 100 qualified trading standards posts were lost over the past year across the 78 services that responded to the 2017 and 2018 surveys. These cuts are in addition to the 50 job losses recorded in the 2017-18 report.

Trading standards officers enforce over 250 pieces of legislation and as such, skills shortages are also of concern with 44% of heads of service responding that they feel their team has insufficient skills to cover the full range of trading standards responsibilities. Staffing levels also raise alarm bells with many departments reporting that they have only one fully qualified trading standards officer among their staff. Many heads of service were fearful of the future and their ability to deliver the full range of trading standards responsibilities.

The report gathered for the first time demographic data that highlights issues of sustainability of future professional capacity to the workforce. With over a third of trading standards officers having more than 20 years post-qualification experience and only 12% of the workforce with less than five years experience, the report confirms that an ageing trading standards workforce is a threat to future professional capacity. This is a concern expressed by many of the heads of service interviewed for the survey.

CTSI CEO, Leon Livermore, said: "This year's survey highlights the concerns of the UK's trading standards workforce. Unsurprisingly, ongoing cuts to trading standards continue to impact services negatively. The cuts mean fewer trading standards officers to perform investigations and enforce the law.

"Despite this, trading standards officers will continue to shoulder the cuts and do their best to protect the UK's consumers. We are, however, deeply concerned about the future of trading standards and ask that the government put trading standards on a sustainable footing."

CTSI Head of Policy, Sarah Caughey, added: "In this latest Workforce Survey Report, CTSI continues to build on our year-on-year data analysis. It goes behind the statistics on issues impacting the trading standards profession with direct interviews with heads of services providing further texture and context to the findings.

"The report adds weight to the importance of securing proper resources for the profession. The challenges for budgets, training, networks and staffing capacity all continue to persist, and action is required to secure the future sustainability of trading standards services, for the benefit of consumers, businesses and the UK economy as a whole."

The latest report may be found at www.tradingstandards.uk/workforcesurvey


Notes for Editors:
CTSI Press Office: pressoffice@tsi.org.uk, 01268 582240.

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