Design and technology
Designing Graphics Electronics Materials Manufacturing Tools Software

Packaging symbols

Revise your knowledge of packaging symbols.

Revise packaging symbols >>

Which magazine

Expert product advice from an independent source.

View the Which magazine website >>

Trading standards

View the Trading Standards website - a one stop shop for consumer protection information in the UK.

View the trading standards site >>

Consumer Protection Association

The Consumer Protection Association is an independent body offering a range of services designed to offer the purchaser of home improvements valuable protection.

View the cpa site >>


When you are designing in industry you need to think about various regulations and legislation.

There are numerous organisations which take care of the public and the consumers interests. Most of these are set up by manufacturing bodies to make sure that all their members follow their voluntary code of practice. These groups give valuable direction to designers and manufacturers. The government also provides regulations by acts of parliament. One example is for Designers who need to protect their new design ideas from being copied. Copyright, patents and registered design ideas are some examples of how the designer can be protected.

Legislation - You are not normally required to remember all the details of all legislations but the following are worth bearing in mind when designing.

The Consumer Protection Act - Tries to prevent the sale of harmful or defective products.

The Consumer Safety Act - This allows the government to ban the sale of dangerous products.

The Trade Description Act - This makes it illegal to make false claims about a product.

The Weights and Measures Act
- This makes it illegal to sell products which are underweight or short measures.

The Sale of Goods Act
- This states that products must be fit for purpose.

Food Safety Regulations and The Food Safety Act - Provide guidance on food hygiene management.

The Food Labelling Regulations - This requires specific information on what goes onto food labels.

British Standards Institute
Within Britain products and components are checked using tests worked out by the British Standards Institute (BSI). These tests form sets which all add up to make a standard. BSI standards are very accurate specifications and manufacturers who meet these specifications are given a kite mark to display on their products. The kite mark informs consumers that the product they are purchasing has been tested against nationally accepted standards. These same standards are run in Europe by another body called the European Standards.

Consumer association
Consumer associations test products against other similar products and grade them against criteria as ‘value for money’ One of the most famous of these organisations is the ‘Which?’ magazine. You can use the same criteria as which to conduct your own product evaluations.

View the Which magazine website >>

Mr DT says 'Read the text above and then answer these questions below'. Write your answers on a sheet of paper, dont forget to write your name on the sheet!:-

1). Give an example of a regulation that is designed to protect a designers idea?
2.) What is the Trade Description Act?
3.) What is the Consumer Protection Act?
4.) What is the Sale of Goods Act?
5.) What is the British Standards Institute for?
6.) What does the BSI kitemark inform consumers?
7.) What does a consumer association do?
8.) Draw the BSI and the CE logos from above.

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