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Industry needs “training qualification for staff” says expert

June 22, 2020

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Vape retailers should have access to an industry-accredited qualification to help staff improve their category knowledge, an expert on the UK nicotine market has said.

Martin Cullip, chair of the New Nicotine Alliance told Vape Business: “An industry standard training qualification would be useful and the UK has two competent vape industry associations who retailers could approach for guidance. The vape industry must ensure that it is responsible and sensitive to the very diverse needs of their customers.”

Cullip said that the standard of vape retailing in the UK was generally good but added: “sometimes people are sold something which really doesn’t suit them.”

John Dunne, director of the UK Vaping Industry Association welcomed the idea: “It doesn’t have to be complicated but could help staff understand the legislation and to realise what they say and do has implications for their business and the whole industry.”

“You could slot it very nicely into the work that we’re doing on youth access prevention and added it into our membership package,” he said.

Dunne added that the use of technology would allow the UKVIA to offer training in “various parts of the country”.

Though maintaining a high standard of customer service is the most obvious benefit of such an initiative, Cullip said that any industry-backed accreditation would help further professionalise the sector.

He said: “The vape industry must ensure that it is responsible and sensitive to the very diverse needs of their customers. It is a respected industry with UK public health professionals at the moment and should prize that respect and protect it. Maximising profit relies just as much on safeguarding goodwill with public and regulators as it does on selling kit. It’s worth investing in.”

Ahead of a review into the legislation next year, insiders agree it is vital to keep bodies such as Public Health England and Cancer Research UK sympathetic to an industry that provides an effective route out of tobacco smoking.