29 Aug Meeting between FCOGP working group and NCC – TSO
NCC – TSO is Nottinghamshire County Council – Trading Standards Office.
NCC-TSO are members of the TSO committee that liaises with OPSS (see later) on establishing the new Consumer safety regime in the UK. They have offered to work with FRETWORK and FCOGP to establish a Co-ordinated Group Assurance Scheme:
This is a note of the meeting on 23rd August meeting between the FRETWORK FCOGP group and Nottinghamshire County Council Trading Standards (NCCTSO) to discuss setting up a Coordinated Group Assurance Scheme. This is intended ONLY for FRETWORK subscribers and those active in the Working Groups.
Please keep it that way.
Some financial implications became apparent. This will determine (based on the general feeling within the meeting) how we approach setting up the scheme. It will have implications for the subscription as well as subscribers to FRETWORK and that is an important reason for setting this out now.
Nick Kingett was a newcomer to the NCC-TSO side and his position was never fully explained but he seemed well informed about The Office of Product Safety and Standards (OPSS). They are the Government department behind all of this and who now “own” the Regulations.
Andy Penn is our main contact at NCC-TSO.
NCC-TSO cannot believe that FIRA have not demanded we join as part of their scheme but they are happy to set up the scheme for us.
There are various costs involved. They will look like this:
Subscribers to FRETWORK can and will remain exactly as they are at present.
Anyone wishing to join in the FCOGP must be a subscriber – that will not change.
Some will want to join the NCC-TSO part of the scheme.
Work to draft scheme documentation: 3 became 4 so I said £5000. This is a one-off but anyone joining or associated with the scheme will have to pay.
It is my intention that latecomers will have to pay a sum to join and this can be used to determine other ongoing costs to the benefit of early joiners.
For simple cost assessment I am working on about 10 companies involved so that gives the startup fee at £500 each.
More joiners or supporters equals lower costs for all.
There will be annual costs for “advice”. This was put at £2 – 3000 pa. – again, divide by 10 to get a rough estimate but be aware of creeping estimates.
Audits will be necessary for some and we are said to be in the same area as FIRA at ca. £1000 max. Audit every 2 years was OK.
This will be a cost only to those joining that part of the scheme.
Membership of this scheme and its relationship with the TSO steering committee will give direct liaison with OPSS and include the UK FFR. This is most important and could make companies other than those audited want to be part of the scheme. The relationship between the TSO committee and OPSS will be at the heart of Consumer safety in the UK. It COULD be that direct access to influence the future of the UK FFR will not be so simple as with BEIS – this is definitely not clear but the link between the TSOs and OPSS is a fact.
I would also make the point that this project is not seen as a challenge to the FIRA scheme but it may be adapted to extend the influence of the FCOGP – Who knows?
Those who NCC-TSO audit will get a logo – definite. Others SCHEME supporters is not clear at this time.
Any issues raised such as goods found to be faulty will be dealt with nationally by NCC-TSO.
The principles of the FCOGP will be the control used to ensure compliance.
NCC-TSO will audit and FRETWORK will own the FCOGP which dictates the content of the scheme.
We discussed problems with the UK FFR that are recognised and we will have a direct route through NCC-TSO to OPSS.
It is normal to expect membership of the scheme to be noted in other audits i.e. downstream users should favour scheme members.
The FORMULATORS will be offered a chance to join this scheme as this will effectively bring chemical issues into this scheme. The NCC will audit them and they will have access to the logo.