How we do it

We strive to be customer-focused, fair and consistent. Our approach to compliance is risk and evidence-based, and we prefer to educate first wherever possible.

Our core principles

We're customer-centric

We work with interested parties and our regulatory colleagues to identify issues and improve our services. Our responses are targeted and timely. We help people to find the right pathway within the regulatory landscape.

We work closely with others nationally and internationally to administer our regulatory regimes, locate gaps in coverage, develop our expertise, and provide a response to issues.

Our approach is targeted

We use our regulatory tools in a proportionate way to promote compliance. Based on what's required, we use a mix of proactive and reactive strategies.

Our actions are tailored to the severity of risk or harm, and take into account the characteristics of the regulated party. We recognise that most people wish to comply, but we acknowledge that we also have a responsibility to use enforcement when necessary.

We're fair and consistent

We treat people fairly and respectfully by maintaining high service standards, recognising cultural differences, and responding consistently where circumstances are similar.

We're professional when interacting with the public and our stakeholders. We always act in accordance with our powers, and ensure the taxpayer is receiving value for money.

We contribute to excellence

We stay up to date and contribute to national and international standards development, working groups and fora. We lead and promote best practice in our work areas. We focus on continuous improvement of our service delivery through use of Quality Systems and ISO Accreditation.

We act transparently

We work to promote an understanding of our functions and enforcement activities. We communicate in plain language over the most effective channels.

We're evidence-led

We continuously develop our expertise and ensure we're up to date on emerging issues. We collect evidence and use it to target interventions for our compliance activity. We actively monitor, investigate and develop risk-based responses to emerging national and international compliance issues.

How we deal with compliance

Our preferred approach is to educate in the first instance. We strive for consistency in approach so that businesses can have confidence in their interactions with us.

Our responses take into consideration business behaviour and attitude — significant, deliberate non-compliance is a serious matter and will be treated accordingly.

Our approach to compliance is risk and evidence-based, made up of the following components:

  • Set — We work with stakeholders to establish fair and risk-based regulatory settings.
  • Detect — We process complaints, proactively detect non-compliance and assess related risks.
  • Respond — We identify a response based on the level of harm, or potential harm, and the characteristics of the parties involved. We respond, tailoring our interventions and service standards to the situation.
  • Learn — We review outcomes and incorporate learnings to continually enhance the regulatory setting.

See more information about how we deal with compliance:

Trading Standards Compliance Strategy [PDF, 977 KB]