Trading standards and environmental health partner up to protect communities

30 November 2021, Heidi Douglas-Osborn

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) and CIEH are uniting again to deliver a clear message to the UK Government and other key stakeholders about the future of their role protecting communities at the Year Ahead Conference.

The conference, held virtually on December 1 and 2, brings together key voices from the trading standards and environmental health spheres to discuss future issues that could impact their respective professions. Both professions work together at the local authority level, and as such, CTSI and CIEH have recently sought to collaborate more closely.

In October, the professional associations penned a joint letter to Michael Gove, voicing their "considerable disappointment" at the announcement that the UK Government's spending review would not consider a proposed ring-fenced fund for regulatory compliance apprenticeships. 

The event, taking place over two days, sees CTSI Chief Executive John Herriman and CIEH Chief Executive Dr Phil James make keynote speeches about the opportunities and challenges for their professions over the coming years. They will cover issues such as investment in consumer protection, the ongoing effects of EU Exit, the long-tail impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the emerging frontier of net zero.

Other speaking at the event include Rob Whiteman, Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA); Emily Miles, Chief Executive of the Food Standards Agency (FSA); Graham Russell MBE, Chief Executive of the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS); Graham Farrar, Chief Executive of Bournemouth Christchurch, and Poole Council; Giles Speid, Team Manager at City of Westminster Council, and Yvonne Rees, Chief Executive of Oxfordshire County Council and Cherwell District Council, and many more.

CTSI Chief Executive, John Herriman, said:

"Both the trading standards and environmental health professions went above and beyond to serve the public during the COVID-19 pandemic, protecting communities at the height of vulnerability. The public's heightened vulnerability is ongoing, with the many impacts of the long-tail of COVID-19, the ongoing process of developing post-Brexit regulations, and supporting the economic recovery. The demands for trading standards and environmental health protections have never been greater.

Earlier this year, we were very disappointed by the UK Government's decision not to consider a ring-fenced fund for regulatory compliance apprenticeships. By working more closely with CIEH, and others, we aim to speak with a louder and more influential voice on behalf of both of our dedicated professions.

The Year Ahead Conference is an important event where regulatory services professionals involved in protecting the public and talk about their priorities and how they will support local government with the important agenda of protecting their communities. These are difficult times, but by working in partnership we can ensure we are all prepared for the challenges ahead."

CIEH Chief Executive, Dr Phil James, said:

“After two years of living with COVID-19, one thing is clear: environmental health and trading standards officers have played a key role in protecting people, supporting communities and advising businesses throughout this uncertain time. The role of regulatory services is inextricably linked to public protection, and these services have been a vital component of the COVID-19 national and local response.

However, our workforce survey published earlier this year, has shown just how stretched capacity is across local authorities. We need to work with urgency, in order to bring in new recruits into these important professions and put them on a solid footing. That is why we are so disappointed that Government has not prioritised the recommendations of its own review to create a fund for regulatory services apprentices in local authorities.

The Year Ahead Conference is an important opportunity to take stock and review the priorities for the coming year and consider what will emerge on the horizon in the coming year. Despite its serious challenges, these vital services will need to continue to protect and support communities across the country, as we enter yet another uncertain time this Winter.”

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