your letters No choice? UK consumer affairs minister or secret agent? Lets Google consumer affairs minister always a ve members of One Direction, but ask them whos good start to a thoroughly researched column. Jo protecting the way we transact with each other zip. Swinson MP, current minister for Employment Relations, Its not their fault. Ministers rarely hide their Postal and Consumer Affairs. Wow! She has to do all achievements, but maybe we just dont place enough that legislate for everything from multi-billion-pound importance on the consumer world. If these transactions industries to one-man-band roofers who may, or may not, Viewpoint Words. Ma Allwright // Illustrations. Paddy Mills and Will McPhail go wrong, they can have a hugely detrimental effect be rogue traders? Working with the BBC means I cant talk politics. It also means I cant on our lives; losing your money to a con can undermine your faith in the world. So its essential that we have a working comment on the radical overhaul legal structure so that we can buy of consumer rights that Swinson with condence and know what is supposed to happen when claims to be undertaking with things go wrong. The chain her team. Heres a simple truth I can state though: even of responsibility goes before I Googled her, I knew through trading standards to ministerial level and its Jo Swinsons name. That makes her a bit of a rarity for strange that we rarely know me, because whole ministers with whom the buck stops. Talking of bucks, on have come and gone without holiday in the States this year, me knowing. we were crossing the border I know what to Google next. from Canada and saw pictures of My favourite piece of legislation the 2008 Consumer Protection Against Unfair Trading Regulations! Whoever dreamed up that one-stop-shop legal kit must be the Secretary of Homeland Security and his deputies. Its the sort of patriotic guff we would run a mile from here, but those well known. Oh no. They were just an implementation pictures told me two things: theres a system in place; of European law; the UK consumer minster had and these guys are prepared to put their faces, and no choice in the matter. They were unavoidable reputations, on the line for it. I now know who those short of leaving Europe. POLITICAL MINEFIELD guys are if only this was always the case with my own APPROACHING! STOP WRITING! consumer minister! My point is this: it seems strange that, so often, the minister who has so much responsibility for our daily lives is such a stranger. My family can name all February 2015 Ma Allwright is a television presenter and journalist. He presents programmes including,Watchdogs Rogue Traders, Housing Enforcers, and Saints and Scroungers on BBC1. TSR feb15 pp16-17 Allwright.indd 17 17 15/01/2015 12:46 I have been meaning to write to you following Matt Allwrights article in the February issue of TS Review. The arrival of the May edition has reminded me to do it! In the February issue, Matt repeats the so-often-heard assumption that regulations are somehow forced upon the UK by the EU in this case the (shorthand) Consumer Protection Regulation. What so many people seem to fail to appreciate is that the UK plays a very important role in the origination and drafting of EU laws. As one of the three major nations in the EU, it is up to us to make sure that our inuence is brought to bear on such laws so they do not adversely impact our way of life indeed, they should always improve the way we live. I like to think I played a not insignicant part in the creation of the CPRs along with a number of my business colleagues having spent many days in Brussels and elsewhere during the drafting and approval process, attempting to inuence government and commission ofcials, as well as MEPs. The principle of the proposed regulation was undoubtedly a very good one and, to a large extent, born of admiration for the UKs Trade Descriptions Act. In supporting it, our job was to ensure the nal article was comprehensive, comprehensible and enforceable. The UKs experience of this type of legislation signicantly helped to shape the nal draft. If the UK consumer minister had no choice in the matter, he/she was not doing a proper job: the legislation was not unavoidable short of leaving Europe. At least Matt had the sense to admit he was entering a political mineeld by saying what he did. Id like to see a lot more positive stuff written about the EU in this country, because so much EU legislation has actually been good for the UK because we made sure it would be. Although there doesnt appear to be a letters column in the Review, Id be grateful if there was some way for members to voice an opinion. The move to online publishing seems to me to put some distance between CTSI and its members. TS Review is a ne and professional publication, but it still needs a forum for debate. David Pearce Retired Business Group member From the editor The team at TS Today and TS Review thank David for taking the time to send us his contribution indeed, we agree wholeheartedly with him about featuring more debate within both publications. As this is the first letter a member has sent to TS Review, we have decided to publish it at the earliest GOT AN OPINION? We want to hear it. Email or visit TSIs forum page to add your voice to the opportunity, which means publishing it here, in TS Today, first but we will also be printing it in the next (August) issue of TS Review. Debate is the cornerstone of any publication digital or otherwise and we can only print letters if readers take the time to write them. So please, take heed of Davids request and tell us if youve read something in TS Review or TS Today that you like or that you dont. Tell us what you think about the trading standards profession today about the challenges youre facing in your job, the solutions as you see them and what you think CTSI could/should be doing to help you as an officer, as a local unit and as a profession. The need for healthy debate has never been greater, so yes, please send us your views, because we want to hear them! discussion. We reserve By email:; the right to edit letters. By post: TSI Publications, CPL, 275-277 Newmarket Road, Cambridge CB5 8JE Benefits of becoming CTSP NCW campaign makes award shortlist National Consumer Week (NCW), a campaign run once a year to raise awareness about particular consumer issues, has been shortlisted in the UK Public Sector Communications Awards 2015. In 2014, the campaign focused on doorstep crime and achieved some impressive results, with CTSIs NCW web page receiving almost 1.2 million impressions and 13 national news media picking up the story. NCW, which CTSI runs in partnership with Citizens Advice, is one of eight projects that have been shortlisted in the Partnership Engagement Initiative of the Year category. The results will be announced at an awards ceremony to be held at the Emirates Stadium, London, on 9 July. At the last Council meeting on 26 March 2015, members agreed to CTSI buying a window of accreditation* for Trading Standards Practitioner (TSP) reective statements**. The window of accreditation will be between 7 and 25 September 2015. TSP reective statements accredited during that time will have this element of the fee waived. This offer will be delivered on a rst come rst served basis. However, any statements not accredited during this window will be subject to a reduced fee. Candidates will be made aware of this before accreditation starts. If you require a reective statement to be accredited during this window, please complete it as soon as possible and send it to David Prin at CTSI (, clearly stating that it is to be accredited during the September window. TSP status is the rst step in the long-term plans by CTSI to ensure the continuation and development of trading standards, collectively and for the benet of individuals. Now that the institute has received its charter, ofcers who are TSPs and continue to meet its criteria will be awarded Chartered Trading Standards Practitioner (CTSP) status. The benets of becoming a CTSP include: G Third-party accreditation of continual professional and personal development (CPPD), evidencing that the ofcer is up to date and relevant G Support and guidance to enhance career progression G Gaining EU recognition for our professional status and qualications G Recognition by businesses that is, they have condence in the regulatory system to deliver an appropriate standard of advice G Being in line with other professional bodies * A window of accreditation is a period of time in which CTSI will pay for a members reective statement to be accredited. ** A reective statement is a statement that portrays thoughts on a specic past experience. They are used to understand past events and to learn lessons. This is just one of a number of criteria that a member has to meet to achieve CTSP status. History of hallmarking goes on sale Edward Is medieval red tape, Plum Pudding jewellery, the Tears of the Moon, the Sweat of the Sun and the Trial of the Pyx. Confused? All is explained in Robert Grices new book on the fascinating history of assaying, hallmarking and the weighing of precious metals. Named after the symbols of the four UK Assay Offices, The Leopard, the Lion, the Crown and the Rose explores the oldest form of consumer protection in the UK through the intriguing stories of kings, queens, citizens, skilful goldsmiths, duty dodgers, counterfeiters, forgers, a medical student, an Indian Maharaja and gold-rush prospectors. The book is being distributed by CTSI in return for donations. CTSIs College of Fellows suggests a minimum donation of 10 to receive the book; all proceeds will be used to create educational and research bursaries.