Trading standards teams

January 2013

What do trading standards teams do?

Product safety legislation and regulation are among the most important safeguards for homes, children and families. Local authority trading standards teams in UK are responsible for ensuring that businesses and consumers are able to trade in a fair and safe way. This includes education, training and advice for consumers and businesses as well as enforcement if businesses fail to comply with the rules.

Trading standards teams are primarily guided by the General Product Safety Regulations. However, alongside these there are also more specific regulations that give more detailed guidance on things such as domestic items and appliances.

What is their role in child accident prevention?

Local trading standards teams monitor specific safety concerns, many of which involve potential hazards to children and young people. They also work with partners to run local campaigns to address priority issues. These can include:

  • Raising awareness of seasonal product dangers, e.g. firework safety campaigns
  • Advising parents on product safety, e.g. giving advice on buying children’s toys from charity shops
  • Disseminating information to other partners, for instance alerting children’s centres to a particularly dangerous product or to a product safety recall.

More about trading standards teams

To find out more about your local trading standards team, visit the local authority website or go to the postcode search on the website of the Trading Standards Institute (TSI).

The TSI also maintains a list of current product recalls.

To support consumer education and awareness within schools Ask Cedric is an online teaching resource developed by trading standards officers with guidance from PSHE/citizenship coordinators and teachers. This provides teaching plans covering a range of consumer education issues including keeping safe and healthy.

Consumer advice, including safety issues, is also available to members of the public through the Citizens Advice Bureau .

Updated June 2013