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Frequently Asked Questions

Can CTSI help me with a problem I have, such as a faulty item, or poor service provided?

We are afraid not, CTSI is the professional body for trading standards officers, even if it is a serious complaint, rather than a question about your rights, the Citizens Advice consumer service will offer you front line advice or handle the case by passing it on with all your details to the relevant trading standards office in a local authority. 

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute is private company who supply Membership & Training for Trading Standards professionals, we do not employ Trading Standards officers, and as such we are unable to provide you with the information you require. Unfortunately nor are we able to forward on any correspondence which you may have posted to us, this correspondence will be returned to the sender.

Citizens Advice consumer service provides free, confidential and impartial advice on consumer issues. Visit www.adviceguide.org.uk or call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 223 133. Calls to the helpline are free.

Please note if you reside in Scotland please contact Advice Scotland 0808 164 6090 or visit https://www.advice.scot/ 

If you are in Northern Ireland please call 0300 1236262. or https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/information-and-services/government-citizens-and-rights/consumer-advice

If I hold the DCA, DTS or DCATS qualification, can I be a Student member?

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute membership categories are based on Trading Standards qualifications. The Board of Trade certificate, DPCP full DCA, DTS, DCATS and CPCF Stage 2 qualifications and their antecedents are still recognised Trading Standards qualifications, and entitle the holder to Full membership. The DCA part one is the equivalent of the FCATS, CSCATS and CPCF Stage 1 qualification, and these qualifications entitle the holder to Associate membership.

CTSI has introduced Trading Standards Advanced Practitioner (Degree Level). Does this mean I am no longer considered a Chartered Trading Standards Practitioner (CTSP)?

No, the Trading Standards Advanced Practitioner (Degree Level) is a qualification. It is a route to individual Chartered Status. The Degree provides the candidate with the required Level 6 qualification (which forms part of the CTSP requirements). A candidate cannot achieve CTSP status by obtaining this qualification alone.

Any existing Chartered Trading Standards Practitioners will only lose their status if they do not continue to meet the existing criteria. No existing CTSP needs to obtain this qualification, as they will have already demonstrated they meet the existing criteria with their initial submission. However if an existing CTSP is interested in obtaining Trading Standards Advanced Practitioner (Degree Level), they may look to do so.

Should I send payment with my application form?

No, membership fees for the first year are calculated on a pro rata basis. Branch fees are not charged in the first year of membership. If your authority is paying for your membership, please ensure that a purchase order is attached (if required) and the invoice authority form (PDF 48KB) is completed.

Is VAT applied to membership fees?

No, membership fees are exempt from VAT. As is the Chartered Trading Standards Practitioner registration fee. Reflective statements for CTSP status do however attract VAT.

When are Branch fees charged?

Not all Branches charge a fee, however for the first year of membership Branch fees are not applied. If the member pays by direct debit the Branch fee is taken in the first instalment.

How long does the application process take?

Approximately one month. Once your application form is received Member Services will contact you with a timetable outlining the dates and processes involved.

What are the differences between a paying and non-paying Student?

Employment status is the main factor. If the applicant is studying for 40 or more weeks of the year, they are entitled to free Student membership, for a maximum of four years or until qualifications are gained. Part time students working within a local authority are expected to make a contribution to their membership. Fees are calculated at one third of a Full membership.

Should I send in my membership application form before my framework entry forms?

We prefer to receive the membership form before the framework entry forms. However they can be sent at the same time. If we receive entry forms before your application form, there is a possibility that you may be charged framework entry fees at a non-member rate.

Can I make use of the CTSI logo on my letterheads etc?

No; individual members of the Institute may not use the CTSI logo for any reason.

Companies who take out Corporate Affiliate membership have their own specific logo to use, which also denotes their Corporate Affiliate status.

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