Reference Number: ST0334

Details of standard

Trade Suppliers play a vital role in ensuring an efficient flow of goods and services between manufacturers and their skilled trade customer base. They operate in a variety of sectors including electrical, plumbing, joinery and general building supplies. Typically, a Trade Supplier will operate a small warehouse and trade counter, which is visited regularly by professional trade customers who have technical knowledge about what they are buying. Trade Suppliers can specialise in roles in a trade business environment, which may include sales, purchasing, account management, logistics and administration.

Trade Suppliers will be dealing with customer sales at the trade counter and over the telephone, and will understand incoming deliveries, stock control and despatch. They will be familiar with processing customer orders and taking delivery of goods and the basic administration related to these functions. A key element of their role will be to have technical knowledge of the products and services offered together with the bespoke systems and equipment used in their trade business. They will communicate with a wide variety of internal and external customers to build relationships and provide a high quality service that encourages repeat business.

Knowledge & Skills

Knowledge and understanding of the organisation’s;

  • structure, mission, objectives and culture and how the role contributes to its success.
  • position in the flow of goods and services, between the manufacturer and the customer,
  • position in the external market and the wider sector within which the business operates, including the roles available in relation to their own career aspirations.
  • internal policies and procedures, how these relate to the role and interact with legislative obligations.
  • vulnerability to situations that pose risk to the brand and/or business reputation


    • communicating confidently to internal and external customers about the company and how it operates
  • identifying and communicating with the relevant person if a threat or risk to the business is identified

Knowledge and understanding of the specialist trade customer profile of the business;

  • identify specialist customer needs
  • recognise how to be an effective listener.
  • recognise the difference between internal and external customers and the relationship between customer satisfaction and organisational performance.


  • using appropriate techniques and forms of communication to put customers at ease and gain their trust.
  • delivering customer service that exceeds customer expectations
  • identifying customer requirements and referring them onwards in an appropriate manner

Knowledge and understanding of trade counter and telesales services and how to;

  • recognise the products, services and language used by trade customers and the technical application of those product and services


  • assisting customers in exploring product ranges and alternative and complementary products and services, based on the fundamental underpinning product knowledge
  • identifying the customers’ requirements, matching them to the trade supplier’s products and services
  • delivering accurate product information, to enable the customer to make a decision on products and services and know how to access the detailed technical specification of a product when required.
  • securing a trade sale using appropriate selling techniques, both face to face and on the telephone, and methods to complete the transaction.
  • applying basic merchandising techniques used within the business.
  • applying the key principles of selling in a trade supplier environment, using a variety of methods, which may include unique selling points, upselling, and link selling to secure and complete sales transactions.
  • communicating with customers using various methods and systems appropriate to the situation
  • applying the key principles of administration and working practices to accurately prepare, store, communicate and process businesses documentation.
  • processing information, to the key standards of data protection, security and intellectual property rights.

Knowledge and understanding of the key principles of warehousing and stock control;

  • the safe movement, storage and stock control of products within the trade supplier environment


  • processing and recording the receipt, storage, assembly and despatch of goods.
  • receiving stock, despatching customer orders and processing returns in line with company processes.
  • loading /unloading of supplier and contractor vehicles

Knowledge and understanding of the technologies that are appropriate to the role;

  • benefits and potential limitations of technology in the workplace
  • different technologies and how they support the operation of the business.


  • using technology appropriately and efficiently in line with business policy, e.g. PoS (point of sale) machines, PCs
  • demonstrating the use of various technologies, e.g. bespoke/in house or off the shelf software packages to others.

Knowledge and understanding of legislative responsibilities relating to the business, products and/or services being sold;

  • importance of health, safety and security in a trade supplies environment, and the consequences of not following legal guidelines.


  • complying with legal requirements to minimise risk and build customer confidence.
  • minimising disruption to the business and maintaining the safety and security of people at all time
  • taking appropriate action if a breach of H&S regulations is identified.

Knowledge and understanding of how personal responsibilities and performance contribute to the success of the team and the business;

  • understand the impact of personal behaviour and actions on the team.
  • recognise and comply with organisational standards of presentation and behaviour.


  • building two-way trust and contribute to working within a team
  • collaborating with colleagues to resolve problems.
  • managing personal performance by completing tasks to agreed standards and timescales and by taking action to resolve problems and communicating issues beyond own level of competence.
  • demonstrating effective time management through planning and prioritising own workload.
  • identifying own strengths, weaknesses and development needs.


  • adopts an approachable and friendly manner, interacting with customers in the style of the business
  • takes an active interest in the range of products and services offered by the
  • works with integrity in an honest and trustworthy manor
  • demonstrates adaptability and flexibility in own performance
  • shows an organised and committed approach, with a positive attitude.
  • takes ownership and responsibility for own performance, is diligent and accurate
  • supports equality and diversity in the workplace
  • uses appropriate Personal Protective Equipment and operates machinery safely and effectively
  • consistently takes into account company environmental and sustainability policies and procedures.

Entry Requirements

Individual employers will determine any relevant entry requirements in terms of previous qualifications, tests or other criteria. Apprentices without Level 1 English and Maths must achieve this Level and take the test for Level 2 before taking the end-point


The minimum duration is one year before taking the end-point assessment.


On completion and achievement of the Standard, progression routes will be provided and discussed with the individual to enable them to make informed choices about continuous professional development. This Standard provides an ideal route into specialised, supervisory and management roles and qualifications within a trade business.

Level & Review

This is a Level 2 Standard. it will be reviewed in 3 years or when significant change is required.

Crown copyright © 2017. You may re-use this information (not including logos) free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence. Visit

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

Educating yourself in Prison: an inside job

Educating yourself in Prison: an inside job

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel had a status update on Twitter 2 days ago

RT @NCFE: ‘For as long as humans have worked, and whatever industry they may have worked in, success has always been predicated on having t…
View Original Tweet

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page