Trading Standards Institute
|Predecessor||Institute of Trading Standards Administration (founded 1956)|
|Purpose||Trading standards in the UK|
|Location||1 Sylvan Court, Sylvan Way, Southfields Business Park, Laindon, Basildon, Essex SS15 6TH|
|Membership||British trading standards officers|
|Incorporated Society of Inspectors of Weights and Measures (founded 1881)|
The Trading Standards Institute (TSI) is a professional association which represents trading standards professionals working in local authorities, business and consumer sectors and in central government in the UK and overseas.
The TSI was formed from the Institute of Trading Standards Administration, created in 1956, and the Incorporated Society of Inspectors of Weights and Measures, established in 1881. It is currently petitioning the Privy Council of the United Kingdom for a Royal Charter.
The Hampton Report, commissioned in 2004 and published in 2005, led to the creation of the Local Better Regulation Office (LBRO). Previously the Consumer and Trading Standards Agency (CTSA), and then the Better Regulation Delivery Office (BRDO), it set standards on how trading standards and other business regulators carry out their work to minimise the impact on legitimate business. The Hampton Report also gave an enhanced role for the Office of Fair Trading (OFT). The OFT set national priorities and coordinated performance management of local authority trading standards services.
TSI engages with, and making representations to, government, UK and EU Parliamentary institutions, and key stakeholders in the local government, community, business and consumer sectors, and other regulatory agencies. It aims to sustain and improve consumer protection, health and wellbeing, together with the reinforcement of fair markets, facilitating business competitiveness and success.
The Institute also hosts the UK European Consumer Centre (UK ECC), which provides consumer advice with regards to cross-border disputes within the EU, and the UK European Consumer Centre for Services (UK ECCS), which provides general information on consumer laws and rights when buying a service in another EU member state, as well as contact details for organisations that could provide practical assistance in the case of a dispute.
TSI aims to bolster consumer protection and improve customer service standards by:
- the approval and promotion of codes of practice
- setting out the principles of effective customer service
- recognising trusted traders - via the TSI approved code logo
In April 2012, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) invited the TSI to establish a successor to the Office of Fair Trading on a self-funding basis from April 2013. The management of the Consumer Codes Approval Scheme (CCAS) has now transferred to the Consumer Codes Approval Board (CCAB) operated by TSI.
The TSI has five broad corporate aims:
- To support TSI members and TS services so the trading standards profession can innovate, sustain outcomes and develop new practitioners.
- To champion the trading standards profession at local, central and European governments.
- To be a key deliverer of information and guidance to businesses on trading standards law.
- To empower consumers and promote honest enterprise through approval and growth of industry codes of practice
- To grow our business so that our ambitions for the profession can be realised.
Since 1988, the TSI has held an annual National Consumer Week. Its 2013 week aimed to help consumers make correct decisions when buying used cars.
In June/July it holds an annual Consumer Affairs and Trading Standards conference and exhibition, helping professionals and organisations discuss issues that impact on consumers and businesses in the UK.
TSI members typically work in one of approximately 200 UK local authority trading standards offices, except in Northern Ireland where trading standards is provided by central government. Trading standards professionals work with consumers and businesses to maintain fair trading and safety of consumer goods. The TSI also has members working in the private sector (they have their own section within the TSI: the Business Members Group).
The TSI chairman is John Peerless, elected in September 2013, who took over the role from Christine Heemskerk. On 1 April 2013, Leon Livermore took over the role of chief executive from Ron Gainsford.
Branches of the Institute
- East Midlands
- Greater London
- Northern Ireland
- North West
- South Eastern
- South Eastern Midlands
- South West
- Yorkshire and the Humber
Citizens Advice Consumerline (previously Consumer Direct)
Trading Standards services work in partnership with the Citizens Advice Bureau consumer service to provide free, confidential and impartial advice on consumer issues. If consumers have concerns they are advised to report their concerns to the Citizens Advice consumer service (see external links) so that crucial intelligence can reach trading standards.
The Trading Standards Institute is a private company which supplies membership services and training for trading standards professionals; it does not handle consumer complaints.
- "TSI appoints new chief executive". Trading Standards Institute. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- "Hampton Review of regulatory inspection and enforcement". National Archives snapshot. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- "Time called on inspectors". The Guardian. 17 March 2005. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- Sections 4.14, 4.15, p.41, Implementing Hampton: From enforcement to Compliance (November 2006) PDF on National Archives website, Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- "UK European Consumer Centre". UKECC. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- "The European Consumer Centre for Services". Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- "Finding a trader - Trading Standards Institute Consumer Codes Approval Scheme". Advice Guide. Citizens Advice. Retrieved 22 June 2014.
- Smithers, Rebecca (18 June 2013). "Consumer codes scheme aims to improve customer confidence". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 June 2014.
- TSI corporate aims
- National e-Consumer Week, Trading Standards Institute. Retrieved 22 June 2014
- TSI Conference, Trading Standards Institute. Retrieved 22 June 2014
- "Reporting a problem to Trading Standards". Advice Guide. Citizens Advice. Retrieved 22 June 2014.
- Help and advice Trading Standards Institute. Retrieved 22 June 2014.