What is the Institute of Consumer Affairs?
The Institute of Consumer Affairs (ICA) is a self-supporting network of individual professionals involved in consumer protection. It began in 1974 as the professional body for consumer advisers working in local authorities, Trading Standards, Consumer Advice Centres, Citizens Advice and other independent advice agencies.
Our aim is to promote and protect the interests of consumers by supporting the development of consumer advice services and sharing our front-line experience with regulators, government and consumer representative bodies.
ICA is a professional body for people working in consumer protection and does not provide advice to the public.
If you have a consumer problem, you can contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline. The helpline will give you advice on how to resolve your complaint and pass information about complaints to Trading Standards.
Citizens Advice consumer helpline: 0808 223 1133
Textphone: 18001 0808 223 1133
Calls from mobiles and landlines are free. Lines are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, except bank holidays.
Or visit Citizens Advice
To find a trusted trader or more information on where to get help, visit our links page.
Who are our Members?
Front-line advice and enforcement staff
We work with other organisations to promote proper resourcing of consumer protection services and to ensure and protect the professional status of our members.
We promote good practice and appropriate levels of advice, representation, education and enforcement for all consumers. And we support our members in delivering quality services by providing training, advice and information.
Statutory and non-statutory sectors
Regulatory and self-regulatory bodies
Individuals in business
How is ICA managed?
Officers are elected each year at the Annual General Meeting. The ICA Executive comprises: Chair and Vice Chair, Secretary, Finance Officer, Training Officer, Membership Officer and Officers without Portfolio, who have special expertise.
All the Executive officers are currently working in, or have a background in consumer affairs. So, they run the ICA on a part-time, voluntary basis.
We receive no external funding. Our only income is from membership subscriptions and, as the officers are unpaid, we are able to ensure that all of our income is used entirely for the benefit of our members. For more information, visit our Membership page
We keep our costs at a minimum by making best use of available technology for meetings, training and communication.