Delegates at the CTSI Scottish Branch’s ‘Best Practice in Trading Standards 2018’ Professional Development Event discussed and debated the key issues in Trading Standards and the Consumer Landscape in Scotland, including the latest plans to strengthen the national capacity for product safety and the risks and opportunities brought about by the UK’s exit from the EU.
A plethora of innovation and best practice was showcased in the areas of partnership working on doorstep crime, tackling investment fraud, deterring counterfeiting, preventing nuisance calls and vulnerable people being defrauded, as well as market wide consumer protection interventions.
Jamie Hepburn MSP, Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills delivered a keynote address on the Scottish Government’s plans to establish a consumer body for Scotland. Hepburn recognised the vital role that Trading Standards played in the wider Consumer Protection system and committed to a genuine dialogue on the future of Trading Standards.
Dave Thompson, retired SNP MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch, Fellow and Vice President of CTSI, said: “It was great to be among delegates, friends and colleagues at the CTSI Scottish Branch Professional Development Event.
“As a former director of trading standards in the Highlands, Fellow and Vice President of CTSI, I have watched in dismay as one of the main pillars of Consumer Protection, which is Trading Standards enforcement, has been weakened to the point of collapse over the past 20 years.
“I am therefore pleased that this Consultation on Consumer Scotland is under way and I believe one of its first tasks should be to take a serious look at the current state of Trading Standards in Scotland.
Sandra Harkness, Chair of SCOTSS, said: “This is an important time for Trading Standards professionals to collaborate and share knowledge and best practice.
“The opportunities ahead with the new consumer body and the challenges of Brexit will demand the highest level of professional abilities ever.
“CTSI has a crucial role in this and the Scottish Branch Professional Development event was fantastic for building on all of the training and support they provide throughout the year”
Adam Gaunt, Chair of the CTSI Scottish Branch said: “CTSI Scottish Branch supports the Scottish Government’s proposals to establish a consumer body for Scotland and in particular the proposal to explore the effectiveness of the wider consumer protection system in Scotland.
We very much welcome the commitment from the Minister to engage with the Trading Standards profession in Scotland and we look forward to discussing these matters in more detail. Now, more than ever before, there is an urgent need for action to ensure the sustainability of local trading standards services in Scotland.”
Gaunt continued: “The CTSI Scottish Branch Professional Development Event inspires excellence and supports trading standards professionals develop and retain their skills during what continues to be an uncertain and challenging time for our profession.
“The work showcased during the event clearly demonstrates the true value of trading standards and the contribution it makes to local and national outcomes.”