Our role

Consumer Scotland is the statutory, independent body for consumers in Scotland. We were established by the Scottish Parliament under the Consumer Scotland Act 2020 to advocate on behalf of consumers and represent consumer interests.

To achieve this, we will work collaboratively with a wide range of partners who have expertise in consumer issues across the public, private and third sectors.

This will build on the important work to date in Scotland, and support regulatory and enforcement bodies at a local and national level. 

The Act defines a consumer as an individual or small business which purchases, uses or receives goods or services in Scotland.

Our funding comes from two sources. Our core funding comes from the Scottish Government’s annual budget as approved by the Scottish Parliament. We also receive funding for specific advocacy activities in the electricity, gas, post and water sectors via existing levy arrangements.

Our Focus and Functions

The Act sets out our five key areas of focus:

  • Reducing harm to consumers
  • Increasing consumer confidence in dealing with businesses that supply goods and services
  • Increasing the extent to which consumer matters are taken into account by public authorities
  • Promoting the sustainable consumption of natural resources and other sustainable practices
  • Advancing inclusion, fairness, prosperity and other aspects of wellbeing in Scotland

The Act also includes six functions:

  • Advocacy and advice
  • Representation
  • Research and
  • Information
  • Recall of goods
  • The Consumer Duty

We are accountable to the Scottish Parliament on how we perform against our focus and functions.

Strategic Plan 2023-2027

Our first four year Strategic Plan sets out our strategy and areas of focus

Consumer Scotland Work Programme 2024-2025

Our Work Programme 2024-2025 sets out our priorities for the coming year.

Partnership approach

Under Consumer Scotland's partnership approach we collaborate with a range of other organisations with interests and expertise in consumer issues.

As part of this partnership work we convene the Consumer Network for Scotland and the Energy Consumers Network.

Consumer Network for Scotland

The Consumer Network for Scotland brings together key partners including regulators, advice agencies, enforcement bodies and advocacy groups, to identify and address issues facing consumers in Scotland.

The network meets quarterly, and activities touch upon a wide range of areas, including the cost of living, consumer detriment or vulnerabilities, and net zero. The network focuses on opportunities for sharing data, improving understanding across the sector and identifying opportunities for positive change.

Energy Consumers Network

Building on the success of predecessor groups the Energy Consumers Network brings together front-line energy advice agencies in Scotland to allow them collectively to share intelligence on emerging energy issues, collaborate to improve the consumer experience and provide advice and constructive challenge to companies and statutory bodies.