Last month’s CTSI Symposium provided trading standards professionals from up and down the country with an opportunity to come together for the first time since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and share stories, ideas and expertise across three days of plenaries, seminars and networking.
In addition to the practical elements – with attendees focusing on consumer vulnerability, post-COVID economic resilience and diversity within the profession – Symposium celebrated the achievements of some of trading standards’ best and brightest, with the Awards ceremony recognising the hard work that has gone into keeping the public safe over the past year.
The mood in Birmingham’s Eastside Rooms, where the event was held, was overwhelmingly positive, with attendees, exhibitors – and even Billy the tobacco detection dog from sponsor Wagtail – relishing the opportunity to get out and connect with trading standards friends old and new.
Click here for photos of just some of Symposium 2021’s highlights.
Videos of the Plenary sessions are available here.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the upheaval caused by COVID-19 dominated many of the sessions. To open the event, delegates were welcomed by a video message from CTSI President Lord Jamie Lindsay, who praised the work of trading standards professionals during the pandemic and looked ahead at the emerging challenges caused by accelerated shifts in consumer behaviour.
The audience, which consisted of attendees in the room as well as viewers watching remotely online, also heard from Will Cresswell, Deputy Director of the Office of Product Safety (OPSS) and Standards, who announced the opening of the OPSS’s Templeton Lab in Teddington, named after the late David Templeton. David served as a CTSI Lead Officer for Legal Metrology and was widely respected within the trading standards community and beyond. The announcement was met with a round of applause.
Throughout Symposium, delegates enjoyed a series of seminars and presentations on a broad range of topics, including animal health and welfare, doorstep crime and modern slavery, metrology, and property and lettings.
CTSI Chief Executive, John Herriman, said: “It was wonderful to hold an in-person event since our last Symposium had to be hosted virtually due to the pandemic lockdown.
“It is a crucial time for our country and the trading standards profession. There are so many challenges and opportunities in play at present – EU Exit, the long-tail effects of the pandemic, and ongoing concerns surrounding the funding of consumer protection and regulatory services.”