The Office for Product Safety and Standards was created in January 2018 by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, to enhance protections for consumers and the environment and drive increased productivity, growth and business confidence.
The Office takes forward the work of the previous Regulatory Delivery directorate, including Primary Authority and the Regulators’ Code.
We are responsible for building national capacity for product safety and for the development of products that support small business growth and implement the Industrial Strategy vision of simplifying regulation.
We work at the front line with businesses, local and national regulators and consumers to improve regulatory protections and support compliant businesses.
Kelly Tolhurst, The MINISTER FOR SMALL BUSINESS, CONSUMERS AND CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY says in her opening comments to the Product safety Strategy:
I am pleased to present the first strategy from the Office for Product Safety and Standards. This is an important milestone in our work to enhance and strengthen protections from unsafe goods and the harm they can inflict.
The safety of individuals, families and communities is a top priority for Government. As the new Minister with responsibility for product safety, I am looking forward to working with all of our partners to ensure that everyone can continue to buy and use goods with confidence, today and tomorrow. I want to see an approach to product safety regulation that equips the UK for the future, that embraces all the opportunity that innovation and technology brings us. We need to be thinking not only about the challenges of now but where our economy and our society will be in ten or twenty years, as part of delivering the critical ambitions of the Industrial Strategy.
We already have good protections in place and a healthy business environment that supports enterprise. But we must not be complacent – we must ensure that our approach to regulation responds to changing needs whilst delivering the safety outcomes that every citizen expects. This can only be achieved through determined action and a shared commitment to doing the things that matter, that drive change, and that improve outcomes. This includes firm action to tackle those who endanger the public, using the full suite of tools and powers available.
We have already seen the impact of committed partnership through the Working Group on Product Recalls and Safety – whose powerful recommendations laid the foundation for the Office – and I would like to thank the group for their contribution. I fully believe that collaboration and partnership will be key to delivering the aims set out in these pages.
The potential of increased national capacity for product safety is already being unlocked through the early actions of the Office and its partners – including the publication of the first Code of Practice for recalls and corrective action with the British Standards Institution and dedicated training for hundreds of front line officers, working with the Chartered Trading Standards Institute. Strengthening national capacity for product safety: Strategy 2018-2020 Page 3 of 31
Alongside this strategy, I am publishing a number of related documents. These include the first Delivery Plan for the Office, setting out its priority actions, an Incident Management Plan and a Strategic Research Programme. These build on early progress to provide the firm foundations needed to prepare us for the future. They show our commitment to delivering a trusted product safety system with protection, fairness and competition at its heart.