Tobacco Test Purchasing

  • VO30841


Trading Standards advise retailers how to avoid selling tobacco and NVP (nicotine vaping products) to under-18s through the use of proof age schemes. We put shops to the test on this with the help of young volunteers. Volunteers should be non-smokers, between 16-16 1/2 and have written parental/guardian consent.
Volunteers are trained in what to do and say while test purchasing, and are accompanied by a Trading Standards staff-member throughout. They are trained never to lie to shopkeepers but to avoid giving information that may identify them. Volunteers are not asked to test-purchase near to school or home and are free to pull out at any point.
All transport, meals and refreshments are provided. We also give volunteers certificates confirming their volunteered hours (including travel and training), and references for college and/or jobs. If they wish, two or more volunteers can travel and train together. Previous volunteers have found the experience enjoyable and worthwhile.

Organisation aims and objectives

The Trading Standards Service is committed to maintaining and developing a fair, safe and equitable trading environment. -To educate, inform and advise businesses and consumers in Shetland on matters relating to trading standards and consumer protection. - To carry out regular visits to trade premises, and to monitor trading practices for compliance with trading standards and consumer protection legislation. - To investigate complaints concerning trading standards and consumer protection which are within our remit. - To carry out the statutory duties assigned to the service. - To achieve consistent, balanced and fair enforcement of these statutory duties, and to cooperate as far as possible in helping businesses to comply with the law. - To use plain lanuage, and to be as open about our work as legislation allows. - To ensure any action we require a business to take is reasonable, proprtionate to the risk(s) involved, and consistent with good practice. -To ensure that we comply with legislation and Council policies governing human rights, equalities, data protection and the regulation of inverstigatory powers.


This opportunity is for 16 year olds but there are similar volunteering opportunities for 18 year olds.
Experience required: Need to be a non-smoker. Should look their actual age. Need to be responsible and polite. This activity requires written consent from a parent or guardian. Only a few hours required.
Travel details: Depending on the volunteer's preference, training can take place at the Trading Standards offices in Lerwick, the volunteers home or after hours at their local school. We recruit volunteers from all areas of Shetland.When training and test purchasing, volunteers are transported to + from their home by a member of the Trading Standards Team, and are sent written confirmation of pick up/drop off times in advance. All Trading Standards Officers involved in test purchasing have Enhanced Disclosures.
Minimum age: 16
Maximum age: 18


Expenses details: Free transport provided.
Training details: Induction - background information and role play Ongoing - more practice if required Support - accompanied throughout test purchasing by a buddy More information on registration sheet
Support: Named Contact For Volunteer

Last updated 4 months ago