Principal Trading Standards Officer
North East Lincolnshire County Council
00:00:03 My name’s Jane T and I’m a Principal Trading Standards Officer. I have a team of Trading Standards Officers and Enforcement Officers working for me. My team deals with the food standards and nutrition composition, product safety, petroleum licensing, poisons licensing, animal health. We also look at suitable advice so if you’ve got something that’s faulty and you want to know what your statutory rights are, we deal with that as well.
00:00:27 No two days are the same. Last week, I was out testing petrol measures making sure that when you pay for a litre of petrol, you get a litre of petrol. This morning, I was sampling bird feed. Literally sampling it, shovelling it, putting it in a cone. It’s very boring. It’s a hard life. It keeps you fit.
00:00:45 I started my Trading Standards degree when I was 19 and I qualified from the degree in 1998. I then went to do a training position from 1998 and qualified in 2000 and it’s now 2008 so that means I have been doing this for nearly ten years.
00:01:06 When I was six, I wanted to go out and play because that’s what you should at six and I didn’t want to make any career decisions whatsoever ’til I had to which is why when I was 16, I went and did A levels – because careers are what old people do, not what young people do.
00:01:20 I was [possibly] a mischievous student. I got told by my A level geography teacher Jane, you’ll be lucky to pass. You sit at the back of the class, you disturb the class, you do no background reading, you do no homework and you’ll be lucky to get an E. I got a B.
00:01:39 My mum was working for admin for Environment Health. A lady from admin from Trading Standards said does your eldest know what she wants to do? No. Has she looked at this? It was a degree at Manchester Metropolitan University in trading standards or consumer protection law. It wasn’t sat in an office full of women which I didn’t want all the… It was out and about as well, it was law which I wanted to do but I knew I didn’t have the concentration span to sit down and become a barrister and it was helping people and making a difference. So I thought I could do that and so I did.
00:02:13 I enjoyed my degree, of course, I enjoyed being in Manchester, it’s a fantastic city especially for a student. I can remember some days more than others. Because it was a specialist degree, it was designed to put you into a specialist trainee position and when I studied, I did my professional diploma. I then moved on here to Grimsby, Northeast Lincolnshire ‘cos I was offered better working conditions.
00:02:37 My high point have been very silly things. When I first qualified and there used to be Safeways which I think have all gone now, they used to have a little label that said like three for two types thing but they never wrote on it that it didn’t apply to reduced items and that was the first thing I actually got written on as a qualified officer and every time I used to see that, I used to think I did that.
00:03:02 If I could do anything in the world, I would move to Hawaii because Hawaii is beautiful, I went there on my honeymoon and it’s just a little bit laid back and relaxed and ‘manyana’ and that’s quite nice.
00:03:14 If I could do any job in the world, I would probably still do trading standards. I have thought about doing other things. There was a time not so many years ago when things weren’t fantastic at the Council. It looked like redundancies may have to be made and that makes you think about other jobs that are out there and what you could do and I couldn’t think of anything else I would rather do. So yeah, I would still be doing this somewhere in the world. Possibly one day on Waikiki Beach but you never know.
00:03:43 My dad did say to me when I was very young, he came from quite a rough council estate, if you like, and he now lives in quite a nice area of town in a big four bedroom detached house and he just said to me, Jane, I come from that to this, you’ve got to do better and that’s what I’ve always tried to do, is just do better.
Jane T is Principal Trading Standards Officer for North East Lincolnshire County Council. She had no idea what to do when she left school. A friend of her mum’s suggested doing a degree specifically to train in trading standards or consumer protection law. She realised it was a field which combined law, which was what she was interested in, with getting out and about. She took up the suggestion and qualified as a trading standards officer eight years ago. “No two days are the same. Last week, I was out testing petrol measures making sure that when you pay for a litre of petrol, you get a litre of petrol. This morning, I was sampling bird feed. Literally sampling it, shovelling it, putting it in a cone… It keeps you fit.”
More information about Officers of non-governmental organisations
The UK average salary is £28,758
There are 37.5 hours in the average working week
The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male
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- Assists with fund raising activities within a specified geographical area;
- Prepares and provides measures of organisational activity for senior officials.
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