The CTSI is working with the office for Product Safety & Standards to deliver a suite of learning and development courses on product safety and legal metrology. The courses will initially run from late November until March 2019, and are targeted at local trading standards officer.
Following an introductory seminar attended by 130 people in mid-November, the first of these, ‘Understanding Conformity Assessment and Technical Files’, will run in seven sessions across the country between November 26th-December 7th. With a limit of two representatives per local authority, places for the 40-person capacity events have been snapped up quickly.
Phil Owen, Service Director (Professional Consultancy) at the CTSI, has overseen the development of the courses. This course, he explains, will give local authorities hands-on training with the technical documentation manufacturers need to supply to show their goods are compliant with product safety standards. With this understanding, officers can help manufacturers deliver said documentation.
The next training will look at consumer-product safety recalls and other corrective action – an update on nationwide PAS 7100-related training delivered in late-2017 and early 2018. Two sessions will be delivered in January, in London and Manchester on January 15th and 17th respectively.
“The goal, again, is to encourage local authorities to approach businesses and work with them on this,” says Owen. Accordingly, the course will be supplemented by comments and presentations from businesses.
The run comes to an end in March, with ‘Risk Assessment in Practice’. This will be offered at key locations around the country, guiding officers through how to deliver and help businesses with risk assessments.
The ultimate goal of the training programme as a whole, says Owen, is to give local trading standards officers the self-assurance to carry out their product safety responsibilities to the best of their abilities.
“It is a very technical area. When we’ve delivered training in the past, officers have told us that it would be good to have a little more confidence in approaching businesses. There’ll be those out there who won’t need any help, but it’s just giving those who do the advice and the tools to be able deliver enforcement efficiently and consistently.”
While budgetary constraints limit the number of courses on offer at present, Owen hopes to able to offer this training to a wider range of candidates in the future. Future courses may also be designed to take a deeper dive into some of the issues raised in these initial general sessions. “We’ll evaluate and ask attendees if they feel the courses are at the right level, and what else will be needed in the future.”
As well as the aforementioned, the training on offer includes legal metrology courses, which are offered to local authorities on an ad-hoc, by-request basis. Topics offered include packaged goods, software used in weighing, and bulk fuel. Courses are tailored to local authority needs and levels of expertise.
Here the CTSI picks up the work previously done by the National Measurements Office. “We’ve reviewed it and looked at how we can do it better for local authorities, to be more specific and more targeted according to their needs,” says Owen. Local authorities should contact the CTSI, who will arrange the requisite training for them.