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Apprenticeships in Trading Standards

A Career in Trading Standards?

A Career in Trading Standards?

If you've been thinking about a career in Trading Standards, our Apprenticeship Training provides another route into this exciting sector.

Our Training Providers

Our Training Providers

Two well-regarded training companies - CSA Training and Babington - deliver our Apprenticeship Training in England. Click here for more.

National Apprenticeship Week 2024

National Apprenticeship Week 2024

CTSI was again very proud to support National Apprenticeship Week - and our very own cohort of Trading Standards Apprentices.

At CTSI, we have always understood the importance of helping as many people as possible - from the broadest range of backgrounds and circumstances - to develop the skills and knowledge needed to forge a rich and rewarding career. That's why we have supported the development of our Apprenticeship programmes, as an alternative - yet equally rigorous! - route into the Trading Standards profession.

Indeed, the unique balance of work vs. study has proven to be the ideal mix for the many hundreds of people who have already seized the opportunities Apprenticeships offer - laying down rock-solid foundations, based on practical experience and a deep knowledge of the various subject areas. And that's something we're very proud of. So, if you think that apprenticeships might be the perfect approach for you too, then please read on.

Availability of TS Apprenticeships Across the UK :

Currently, Apprenticeships in Trading Standards are available in England - and now Scotland (see below). However, CTSI's Qualifications and Training team are already working closely with the relevant authorities in each of the devolved nations to develop something similar. Of course, we'll update this page when we have more news (including launch dates etc).


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NEW : Scottish TS Apprenticeships

[ UPDATE 15th March 2024 ] : We are pleased to announce that the SVQ Regulatory Services at SCQF level 7 is now available across Scotland. And is aimed at those working in the regulatory services sector - including Trading Standards.

The SVQ covers areas such as contributing to the effectiveness of investigation teams, providing enforcement information and advice, ensuring that health and safety requirements have been met, liaising with other services along with more specialist options appropriate to the specific regulatory service.

This qualification has been designed in partnership with the Skills for Justice sector skills council to ensure relevance to the sector. And is available through employers and training providers. You'll find more information - including a full FAQ - on the Scottish Qualifications Authority website: 

SQA - SVQ Regulatory Services SCQF Level 7

National Apprenticeship Week 2024 (5th - 11th February)

[ UPDATE 5th February 2024 ] : Please see CTSI's latest media release, outlining our support for NAW2024 - CTSI and Partners Celebrate National Apprenticeship Week 2024

2024 sees the 17th annual National Apprenticeship Week, which runs from the 5th to the 11th of February.

National Apprenticeship Week brings together businesses and apprentices across the country to shine a light on the positive impact that apprenticeships make to individuals, businesses and the wider economy. This year, the theme is Skills for Life - reflecting on how apprenticeships can help individuals to develop the skills and knowledge required for a rewarding career, while helping businesses develop a talented workforce equipped with skills for the future.

For more about National Apprenticeship Week, please visit the NAW website - National Apprenticeship Week - or head over to the Government's own UK-wide Apprenticeship website - apprenticeships.gov.uk. Alternatively, check out: #NAW2024.

Considering a Career in Trading Standards?

As you're reading this on the CTSI website, you must already be considering a career in Trading Standards. Good choice! But what is Trading Standards in the 21st century all about? And what kind of a career does it offer?

It's likely that many Career Advisers don't know enough about the work of Trading Standards, or how rewarding a career in the sector can be. However, in common with everyone else in the UK who buys goods or services, they will all have been affected - directly or indirectly - by the work of Trading Standards (and the wider Consumer Protection industry), almost every single day of their lives.

Read more

We hope this provides a little food for thought, and you'll continue browsing through the rest of our Apprenticeship Section. Of course, if you do decide to join us - wherever you are in the country and whatever your background or circumstances - we look forward to welcoming you into our family.


What TS Apprenticeships are available?

Currently, there are two Trading Standards Apprenticeships available (currently, in England only): the Level 4 Regulatory Compliance Officer, launched in 2018, and the Level 6 Trading Standards Professional, which was introduced in 2023. The Level 4 RCO is the equivalent of a Higher National Certificate (HNC). While the Level 6 TSP is equivalent to a bachelor's degree (i.e. a university first degree). Read on for more.

LEVEL 4: Regulatory Compliance Officer (RCO)

  • Duration: 16-18 months (incl. End Point Assessment).
  • Equivalent Educational Level: Higher National Certificate (HNC).
  • Approved Training Providers: Babington and CSA.
  • Resources: Click here for more on the RCO Apprenticeship.

A Regulatory Compliance Officer (RCO) apprenticeship is for anyone looking to pursue a career within the Trading Standards profession and other regulatory areas such as Environmental Health. The RCO apprenticeship offers a clear route to this desirable career. The RCO is an approved standard under the apprenticeship framework allowing England-based employers to draw in the apprenticeship levy to fund training and endpoint assessment.

CTSI's involvement in the development of the L4 RCO Apprenticeship, ensured that it is aligned with Stage 1 of CTSI’s Qualifications Framework (QF) - which means that local authorities, businesses and national regulators can access the Apprenticeship Levy to pay for the RCO Apprenticeship Training, while apprentices can also apply for a part exemption against Stage 1 of the QF.

For more on the Level 4 RCO - including course contents, requirements and many other details - please take a look at the dedicated RCO pages on each training provider's website: Babington or CSA Learning (or check the education.gov.uk page for a list of all providers, or check the Training Providers list below).

LEVEL 6: Trading Standards Professional (L6 TSP)

  • Duration: 36 months (+ 5 months for End Point Assessment).
  • Equivalent Educational Level: Bachelor's degree (i.e. BA, BSc).
  • Approved Training Provider: CSA Learning.

Delivered exclusively by CSA Learning, this course is aimed at people who want a career in Trading Standards and can be accessed by learners who have already completed the Level 4 Regulatory Compliance Officer apprenticeship standard, CTSI (Chartered Trading Standards Institute) Stage 1 qualification or have similar prior knowledge. A Level 6 Apprenticeship is the equivalent educational level of a bachelor's degree.

CTSI has recently announced that elements of the Level 6 Trading Standards Practitioner (L6 TSP) apprenticeship will, henceforth, align with all of Stage 1, plus Units 5 and 6 of Stage 2 of CTSI’s Qualifications Framework (QF). Successful completion of the Level 6 Trading Standards Practitioner also allows CTSI members attain Chartered Trading Standards Practitioner (CTSP) status. Please see our Qualifications Framework Update.

For more on the Level 6 TSP Course, please click here: CSA Learning

How are Apprenticeships funded?

As with anything worthwhile, apprenticeships certainly aren't the cheapest option. However, the great news is that, if you meet the criteria, it won't cost you a penny!

Read more


CTSI Membership - Connect with your fellow Apprentices and Trading Standards professionals

All Trading Standards Apprentices are eligible to join CTSI as Student Members. Member benefits include free entry to CTSI's flagship Annual Conference - with access to breaking industry trends, while earning CPD alongside 100’s of your colleagues. You also 

get the chance to join your local Branch - which provides many opportunities to network, grow and learn - as part of a lively professional community. CTSI Membership also gives you access to CTSI's Lead Officer network and free entry to the Members Only areas of this website - packed with educational resources to support you, as you progress in your career.

If you want to know more about CTSI Student Membership, please email our Membership Team: [email protected].


What do our Apprentices have to say?

We know there's nothing like hearing from real people about their own lived experiences. And, over the last couple of years, we've spoken to many Trading Standards Apprentices - people from all around the UK undertaking one of the TS Apprenticeship training schemes.

Check out our brand new CTSI Apprentices film - or read more of their stories below.


Our Training Providers + Booking

CTSI has partnered with two well-respected training companies, who are responsible for delivering our Apprenticeship Training. Click on the links below to find out what each company provides for the particular courses they deliver - including the course structure, availability, delivery methods, course costs and any other details, as well as Booking information.

CSA Learning delivers both the L4 RCO and the L6 TSP Apprentice Training programmes:

Level 4 Regulatory Compliance Officer (click for details)

Level 6 Trading Standards Practitioner (click for details).

Babington has offered TS Apprenticeships for five years now, with c. 150 new starters joining in the last year alone. They deliver the L4 RCO programme, using blended learning methods:

Level 4 - Regulatory Compliance Officer (click for details)




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