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Primary Authority

Important information for enforcement officers







In 2013 the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 came into force, allowing for the extension of Primary Authority partnerships to include trade associations.


The Nationwide Caterers Association (NCASS) was one of the first six trade associations in the UK to become part of the Primary Authority scheme, making a tangible difference to mobile caterering members across the UK.


The Primary Authority partnership scheme was designed to help businesses, regulators and enforcement by ‘addressing consistency issues’ across local authority borders and delivering assured advice and guidance with statutory backing.

We formed our original partnership for food safety with Cherwell District Council due to their extensive knowledge, understanding and experience regarding food safety at outdoor events.

Since then, we've formed further partnerships with West Yorkshire Fire Department for fire safety and with Milton Keynes Council for trading standards and health and safety. We have also now partnered up with Milton Keynes Council for food safety due to their knowledge and experience of the street food sector.



Assured advice and guidance

As part of the partnership, Milton Keynes Council's Environmental Health Department has audited the following documents and as such they all have statutory backing and are considered Government "assured advice and guidance":



  • NCASS Code of Practice

  • NCASS Due Diligence System


  • NCASS Risk Assessment System

  • NCASS Online Training



NCASS Inspection Plan: consistency between councils

Through the Primary Authority scheme, NCASS developed an inspection plan that environmental health officers are obliged to inspect all NCASS members to, no matter which local authority borders they are trading within.

The aim of the plan is to reduce inconsistencies between inspections within different council borders, to reduce the number of inspections that caterers undergo and to increase consistency of food hygiene rating scores across the country.

You can access the NCASS Inspection Plan here and use it to better plan your own enforcement here.


For your convenience, EHOs can now access all of the 'Assured Advice and Guidance' provided through the Primary Authority scheme within the EHO log in area.




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