About Trading Standards | Oxfordshire County Council

About Trading Standards

Information about Oxfordshire Trading Standards.

Whether you run a business, are an employee or a member of the public, we are committed to providing you with an efficient, courteous and helpful service.

What does our Trading Standards Service do?

We deliver services in a number of areas:

  • weights and measures
  • product safety
  • food safety
  • trade representations and trade marks
  • unfair contract terms and unfair trading practices
  • consumer advice and assistance (in partnership with the National Consumer Service)
  • animal health and welfare
  • price marking and price comparisons
  • supply of age restricted products
  • licensing and inspection of explosives and petroleum storage facilities
  • safety certification of sports grounds.

In meeting these statutory responsibilities, the Service provides important support to individuals, communities and businesses in Oxfordshire both by providing protection so that people can buy goods and services with confidence and security and by providing help to people who need it to resolve problems. The service also fulfils an important role in relation to public safety and health, for examples through work to monitor livestock disease control measures, through ensuring safe storage of dangerous items and providing safety certification for sports grounds.

Trading Standards provides behind-the-scenes protection for each and every one of Oxfordshire’s 640,000 residents, for its visitors and tourists. The Service provides direct consumer advice and assistance to around 2,000 members of the public each year and has contact with and advises over 2,000 businesses. We investigate between 2000 and 3000 consumer complaints about unfair or illegal business practices each year.

Our purpose

“Keeping individuals, communities, businesses and livestock safe from harm; protecting individuals and businesses from financial loss and preventing unfair practices”.

Vision

“To be flexible and intelligence-led, effectively and visibly tackling the areas of greatest potential risk to consumers, communities, businesses and livestock in Oxfordshire”.

To safeguard vulnerable people in Oxfordshire.

The Service’s Strategic Priorities are:

  1. Supporting business growth in Oxfordshire with strong and well publicised business support services.
  2. Ensuring a capable, efficient and customer focussed response.
  3. Influencing and supporting the national and regional consumer protection infrastructure and capitalising on opportunities for Oxfordshire.
  4. Raising our profile with stakeholders and enhancing the use of intelligence to ensure that we receive the information that we need in order to fully understand and respond to the needs of consumers, businesses and communities in Oxfordshire.
  5. Developing stronger ties with partners, such as Citizens Advice locally, and partnerships, such as the Health Improvement Board, to ensure a seamless customer response to consumer problems in Oxfordshire and provide support for wider priorities in Oxfordshire.
  6. Supporting and strengthening safeguarding mechanisms for vulnerable people and in the new personalised care and support market.
  7. Developing our petroleum licensing and enforcement service and legal metrology services further to extend the ‘Centre of Excellence’ model.
  8. Delivering an accountable, transparent service through the development and publication of an annual business plan which provides information on our objectives and performance and which facilities clear performance monitoring.

 

Annually the Service reviews whether to continue to provide these services, how they are provided and how they are prioritised. This is part of the service’s and Council’s annual service planning process. This review process includes consideration of any of new duties or responsibilities, customer feedback, societal changes, county priorities, etc.

Consultation and engagement

The Service continually seeks information from communities, consumers and business on the issues that matter most to them within the scope of the Service. We need this information so that we can plan our work to address the issues that will make the biggest difference to people in Oxfordshire. Whilst information from complaints and other intelligence can provide a good starting point for identifying the local priorities we also seek more specific information from people in Oxfordshire wherever possible.

Customer satisfaction surveys

The Service carries out regular customer satisfaction surveys of both our consumer and business customers in order to assess our customers’ experiences of our service. These surveys include questions on our accessibility, the professionalism of our officers and whether we met the needs of our customers. Suggestions on how to improve our service are also requested along with questions to help us understand the main consumer and business priorities in their locality and trade sector.

The results of these surveys are considered by the Leadership Team in order to address identified problems, recognise good performance and monitor the impact of any changes that we make.

We also use data and other information available to us and our partners to ensure our resources are targeted appropriately, in the light of these local needs and of national priorities.

Details of our current work programme and performance

We are committed to being transparent in our activities and we will publish our performance data annually.

Last reviewed
01 November 2017
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