Training courses ready for business

TSI and Virtual College are creating a series of online learning courses to help educate businesses about their responsibilities. The practical training solutions specifically target the retail sector. A free taster course, A practical guide to trading, is already available. It is intended to help businesses identify gaps in their trading knowledge and some of the main rules when selling to customers. This has been followed by underage sales training resources, which are now available as an online course. The next courses will be on Consumer Contracts, which were due to be launched in March, and Consumer Rights, which will be coming out later in the year. Consumer Contracts helps those retailers involved in distance sales primarily web sales to understand their new obligations under recent legislation. This module focuses on the practical applications and implications via a question and answer session with a group of fictitious retailers. Online assessments are used to challenge the learners knowledge and understanding. The online Consumer Rights course will be of interest to all retailers. It will provide essential training on the important changes to legislation, as a result of the Consumer Rights Act, that will affect every business that deals with consumers. Replacing 12 other laws such as the Sale of Goods Act 1979 and the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 the Consumer Rights Act will clarify and modernise existing law on the supply of goods, services and digital content, and will apply to all contracts that are entered into after 1 October 2015. We encourage trading standards officers to direct businesses to thesemodules. Virtual College can be contacted for a free demonstration of the resources already available and updates on new course developments.


TSI would like to thank everyone who participated in the survey it sent out earlier this year, asking for opinions on proposed topics for National Consumer Week (NCW) 2015. Although a variety of suggestions were put forward, the clear winner is the Consumer Rights Bill, which will become the Consumer Rights Act. TSI is now working with the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS), Citizens Advice and other partners to determine how to best communicate this complicated legislation. TSI will give updates to members when they are available from BIS. For now, NCW is planned for the week beginning 2 November, with additional events to continue throughout the month. If you have any questions, please refer to the events section of the TSIs webpage, or contact

TSI academy success

Training programme tsi academy achieved some impressive results in 2014, with the popularity of the course extending beyond the trading standards profession. Last year, there was an 80 per cent success rate for candidates studying via tsi academy for Core Skills in Consumer Affairs and Trading Standards (CSCATS) and its Diploma in Consumer Affairs and Trading Standards (DCATS). Although designed as qualifications for the trading standards profession, a number of candidates from retail organisations are now participating in the courses. This is because many of them are also suitable for those working in legal compliance within the private sector, in areas such as food, product safety, contract law and intellectual property. Leon Livermore, chief executive at TSI, said: This is testament to how tsi academy continues to be a highly effective learning solution within the trading standards qualification framework. It combines a tutor-led online learning programme with live events, such as telephone tutorials and face-to-face training days. The blended learning solution offers a comprehensive programme that enables students to study with confidence and reassurance, knowing they are fully supported throughout their learning. Flexible and easy access allows students to plan their study time to fit around work and personal commitments, at a time that suits them. Training courses for 2015 start on 1 April. To find out more, visit the tsi academy page, where a demo can be viewed and further information found on the CSCATS and DCATS courses available.

APPG celebrates fifth anniversary

Suzanne Kuyser reports on the last session of the All Party Parliamentary Group Consumer Affairs and Trading Standards before the general election The last meeting of this parliament of the All Party Parliamentary Group Consumer Affairs and Trading Standards (APPG) took place on 3 March in Portcullis House, chaired by Stephen Lloyd MP and Austin Mitchell MP. The meeting was a celebration of the past five years of the APPG, and TSI chief executive Leon Livermore took the opportunity to thank members for their support and commitment to the group during this time. To mark the occasion, engraved tankards were presented to Lloyd and Mitchell as a token of TSIs appreciation. Looking back over the past five years, Lloyd spoke of the collaborative events held with theFinance and Leasing Association, Citizens Advice and the Consumer Federation. The group was joined by Lou Baxter, of the National Trading Standards Scams Team, who gave apresentation on the ongoing work of raising awareness of the scale of scams in the UK. Lawyer Peter Tyldesley also spoke about the importance of the support given by TSI and the APPG in driving significant changes to Consumer Insurance Law in 2012. Lloyd a member of the Liberal Democrats, who was first elected to parliament in 2010 will be standing for election again in May. However, Mitchell is standing down after a long political career in the Labour Party, representing his Grimsby constituency since 1977. Government goes into purdah on the same day as parliament is dissolved 30 March 2015. Duringthis time, no political activity can take place between parliament, civil servants and TSI. Normal business will resume after the election on 7 May and the swearing-in of the new government.