Service Plans, Policies & Standards
Devon & Somerset Trading Standards Joint Strategic Plan
This 3 Year Strategic Plan – 16/19 Update (pdf) details the governance and structure of Devon & Somerset Trading Standards Service and outlines the vision, aims, objectives and priorities that drive our work. The Service is commissioned jointly by Devon & Somerset County Councils and the Plan demonstrates clearly how the Service contributes to the corporate priorities of both. To read the corporate priorities in more detail click on name of the Council of interest above.
The Strategic Plan is reviewed and refreshed annually, but sets out our general objectives over the next three years. You can also read our Annual Operational Plan 16/17 (pdf) which provides further detail on how we will achieve those objectives and sets out clear operational targets. Our Feed Service Plan details our specific plan for 16/17 in relation to agricultural feed. To show how we performed against our earlier targets, we produce an Annual Performance Report (pdf). The current version details our performance over the financial year 2015-16.
In order to ensure we are dealing with the issues that cause the most concern and harm to consumers and businesses we follow the National Trading Standards Board Intelligence Operating Model, which helps us identify, prioritise and direct resources to those areas of greatest local importance.
After completing a strategic assessment, we produce a control strategy which details our priority areas and how we plan to tackle them. Our 16/17 Control Strategy can be viewed here.
This year, our 4 key priority areas are:
- Doorstep Crime and Scams
- Motor Trade
- Reducing the harm caused by Age Restricted Products
- Animal Health: Increasing Business Support and Links with the Farming Industry
To see the full range of legislation enforced by the Service, please check out the Legislation We Enforce (pdf).
Service Standards (Regulator’s Code 6.2)
How we Communicate
Our Approach to Providing Advice
Our approach to checks on compliance
What Powers do Officers Have?
Officers of the Devon & Somerset Trading Standards Service have the right to enter and inspect business premises at all reasonable hours. They do not have to make an appointment and they may come without advance notice. They visit only with good reason, which may be to carry out a risk based inspection and may also visit as a result of a complaint or project. When circumstances demand, officers may also carry out follow up visits. Officers can test equipment, take samples and photographs, inspect records and documents and take copies of them. It may be a criminal offence to obstruct a Trading Standards Officer. Under certain circumstances, for example where there is a serious safety risk or where items are required as evidence, they have the powers to issue written instructions or to seize goods and documents.
What are you entitled to expect from Officers?
- A courteous manner.
- To be shown identification.
- Positive feedback where it is due, and where applicable and possible, a change in risk rating.
- A clear distinction between what the officer is recommending you to do because it is good practice, and what you must do to comply with the law.
- Where there is an apparent breach of the law, a statement of what the law is.
- To be given reasons (in writing) for any action you are asked to take.
- Where we take formal action we will confirm our reasons for doing so in writing.
- A reasonable time to meet statutory requirements, except where immediate action is necessary.
- To be informed of procedures for appealing against action that has been taken or advice given.
- The form that you have received along with this notice should provide you with most of the feedback and information you require about an officer’s visit. Should you require further clarification then please contact the inspecting officer.
Our Enforcement Policy
Our Enforcement Policy (pdf) details our approach to law enforcement. This policy is designed to make sure that everyone knows the principles that Devon and Somerset Trading Standards Service applies when enforcing the law. It also provides a framework to ensure we behave in a fair, consistent and proportionate manner. We aim to improve regulatory outcomes without imposing unnecessary burdens. Our Enforcement Policy has been written using principles endorsed by the following national documents and relevant legislation, namely:-
- The Enforcement Concordat, March 1998, to which we are a signatory
- The Regulator’s Code
- The Food Standards Agency Framework Agreement
- The Code of Practice for Crown Prosecutors, Crown Prosecution Service
- The Human Rights Act 1998 and the European Convention on Human Rights
Our Fees and Charges
How to complain comment or appeal
Complaints & Appeals Procedure
If you think you have been unfairly treated, here are the steps you can take:
- Speak to the officer concerned. They will try to put the matter right. If you are not satisfied, you can ask to speak to or write to their manager. They will try to resolve the issue.
- If there is still a problem, you can refer the matter to the corporate Customer Relations Manager, who will oversee a thorough and impartial inquiry into the matter. It is probably better to send a letter or email giving all the details at this stage. Their email address is firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can write to them via our address as above.
- Finally, the Office of the Local Government Ombudsman is a completely independent organisation, which can impartially review the whole case, if the Council’s procedures have not proved sufficient. Full details of the complaints procedure are available on at http://www.devon.gov.uk/feedback