Ten pillars

CPLPortfolio Guidebook

In this feature l support l rights l accountability Standards set in stone Why TSIs Ten Pillars are even more important in todays world of cuts and ever-decreasing resources. Phil Owen runs through the benefits T SI is a firm believer in the rights of local authorities to make informed, transparent and accountable decisions, and supporting them is one of our key values. When we published the Ten Pillars in 2012, it was against a backdrop of reducingresources and alternative methods of delivery including outsourcing and more sharing of services. There was a void in government guidance, and TSI felt it was important to put down a marker, outlining what we considered to be a good service, regardless of who was providing it. We launched the Ten Pillars as a self-reflection tool, to support managers, elected members, and those considering tendering to provide services through new delivery models. Since 2012, the Pillars have become even more relevant: there is less money available; fewer staff to deliver the services; increased expectations from businesses and consumers; and an emergence of new delivery models, with private firms now running services. Others have recognised the challenges that trading standards, at a local level, is facing including the Local Government Association (LGA), through its Open for Business initiative, and the government, through the launch of the Since 2012, the Pillars Regulators Code in April 2014. have become even Over the past few months working with more relevant: there is the LGA and the Better Regulation Delivery less money available; less staff to Office (BRDO) we have been mapping deliver the service; increased resources against each Pillar, and developing a expectations; and an emergence set of self-reflection questions to help leaders to assess their service. The Pillars then offer of new delivery models best-practice tools and guidance. Here are a few examples: The first Pillar sets the broad context for the outcomes that a modern trading standards service contributes to the ideaof protecting consumers and compliant businesses, and recognising that the service has an important role to play in enabling businesses to flourish andgrow. It points to resources that will assist in measuring outcomes and understanding risk-based approaches toservice delivery. The third Pillar reflects on how the service satisfies its statutory obligations, set by central agencies, government departments and the EU. It then lists areas for consideration, such as: the schedule of duties imposed on a localauthority trading standards department; the priority regulatory outcomes for England; the Regulators Code; and the framework agreements from national regulators. The fourth Pillar reflects on stakeholder engagement: does the service understand the needs of its communities and businesses, and is it held accountable? The Pillar then asks the user to consider the LGAs publications on citizen and business engagement. This content highlights the dialogue and engagement that is needed with citizens, businesses and staff in designing the service. The ninth Pillar stresses the importance of a having a qualified and competent workforce. Trading standards is a people-based service, where individuals have responsibility for exercising high levels of professional discretion. They need to have access to high-quality professional and personal development that is relevant to the role they are undertaking. This needs to involve technical knowledge and professional skills. TSIs Trading Standards Qualification Framework and the Common Approach to Competency for Regulators are the starting point for these. This self-reflection should serve as a mapping exercise for what the service is delivering, and what it should look like. The Ten Pillars are a priority for TSI, and work continues with the LGA and BRDO to produce a suite of products to support service leaders in meeting their obligations, and in developing their services for the future. View the Ten Pillars in full here. Credits Published To share this page, Phil Owen is TSIs services director 28 October, 2014 click on (professionalstandards). Images: arosoft / Shutterstock TS TODAY in the toolbar