NAJ News

NAJ Launch Primary Authority Scheme

02 Oct 2018

 

The NAJ is delighted to offer a new member benefit for member businesses selling to consumers: our Primary Authority Scheme. The NAJ’s partnership with Buckingham and Surrey Trading Standards (BSTS) will make it easier for opted-in member businesses nationwide to comply with the law and have access to reliable, tailored regulatory advice drawn up by our Trading Standards partner. But advice is not the only benefit. Your business will be recognised by consumers as having robust compliance arrangements in place. The costs of the partnership will be absorbed by the Association as we believe it reinforces our commitment to support NAJ members in doing business better. All members whose subscriptions are up to date will be eligible to join.

As a co-ordinator we can help BSTS understand the regulatory needs and working practices of our members, helping to create Primary Authority Assured Advice that’s right for our members. Primary Authority Advice is assured which means that provided our members follow it, they should be protected against the risk of enforcement action from authorities that have different views on what they should be doing to achieve compliance. If you are concerned about a particular Trading Standards issue that will be relevant to your fellow members, we can commission Assured Advice from our partner.

Signing up to our Primary Authority Scheme will allow members to feel confident that they are informed and updated with consistent Trading Standards regulatory advice and guidance. The partnership will provide assurance to members who opt-in to the scheme that the policies and procedures in place in their premises cannot be challenged and changed from one local authority to the next. Members signing up to the scheme will be required to agree to their business details being added to the NAJ Primary Authority Scheme Register that will be made available to local regulators when requested. 

The Office for Product Safety and Standards (Safety & Standards) exercises the statutory responsibility for the operation of Primary Authority on behalf of the Secretary of State, nominating partnerships, issuing guidance and resolving determinations. It also manages the Primary Authority Register. For further information or to sign up for the scheme, please email compliance@naj.co.uk 

See below for Frequently Asked Questions

Primary Authority FAQs

  1. Why is the NAJ partnering with Buckinghamshire & Surrey Trading Standards specifically? 

    A
     BSTS have extensive experience in offering both direct and coordinated Primary Authority partnerships to other trade associations like the Association of Convenience Stores (which has 33,500 members) The National Caravan Council (NCC) and the National Pawnbrokers Association (NPA). The Assured Advice they provide applies to a member in any geographical location - you do not have to be in the Bucks or Surrey areas to benefit.
     
  2. Q What is Assured Advice?

    Assured Advice offers a high level of protection, giving you confidence that you are doing the right thing across areas regulated by Trading Standards. As an NAJ member who has opted into Primary Authority Partnership and followed the Assured Advice provided, if your processes are subsequently challenged by your local enforcement officers, they must have regard to any relevant Assured Advice issued. They can’t ask you to do something different as long as you are following that advice.
     
  3. Q When I opt into the scheme who will advise me of Assured Advice that is available?

    The NAJ will obtain Assured Advice from BSTS and make it available to all opted-in NAJ members. 
     
  4. As a business with multiple outlets trading in different local authority areas, how will this impact on my relationship with Trading Standards? 

    It will help both you and Trading Standards. It means that you only have to worry about adhering to one set of advice and guidance. Trading Standards officers will be able to see your name on their Register, which tells them that through your membership of NAJ you are in a partnership with BSTS, which will ensure that before any advice is provided they should check with BSTS first. Therefore, you should get treated the same across all of your sites, and wherever you operate (even via the internet!)
     
  5.  Q What will it cost my Business to opt in?

    A
     The significant cost of the Primary Authority Partnership is being absorbed by the NAJ. We believe this is a great opportunity to support our members and increase consumer confidence when purchasing jewellery from NAJ members.
     
  6. Q I operate right across the UK – is my business covered?

    Yes, the scheme works throughout each of the four home countries.  If the Assured Advice has any specific geographical restriction the advice will say so. 
     
  7. Q What business details are shared with BSTS?

    Members signing up to the scheme will be required to agree to their business details being added to the NAJ Primary Authority list that will be made available to local regulators when requested.
     
  8. How do I express to my customers what this means? Do I receive a logo or something?

    A You will be able to say that you are in a Primary Authority partnership with BSTS, plus there’s a logo you can use too.
     
  9. Q Is Primary Authority just for businesses who sell to consumers? i.e. retailers, even if they are a web-based company or a designer with a workshop?

    Primary Authority is for all those members who sell to consumers and whose practices are regulated by Trading Standards
     
  10. What categories of advice will be available as part of the partnership? 

    * Description of goods and services 
    * Fair trading: Terms and conditions/hallmarking/pricing/restrictive statements – refunds
    * Weights & Measures
    * Consumer contracts
     
  11. Can I ask for specific advice from the partnership?

    A If you have a particular issue that you want clarifying, please let us know about it. If it is an issue that will benefit the whole membership we can commission Assured Advice on this subject and you (and the rest of the membership) will be able to take advantage of the clarification and subsequent protection it brings. 

Email compliance@naj.co.uk to find out more or to suggest advice topics