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TPS and CTPS Guide for Telemarketers

Sep 03, 2018 Red Flag Alert Updated On: August 14, 2023
TPS and CTPS Guide for Telemarketers

TPS and CTPS: A Guide for Telemarketers 

The Telephone Preference Service (TPS) and Corporate Telephone Preference Service (CTPS) are opt-out registers that cover consumers and businesses. Anyone who doesn’t want to be targeted over the phone can leave their details on these registers to avoid receiving cold calls. 

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has the power to dish out fines to businesses that breach these regulations – with thousands of numbers being added to the TPS and CTPS databases every day you need to ensure you comply.  

This guide will cover: 

1.      Definitions of TPS and CTPS

2.      Regulations governing these registers

3.      The regulations in brief

4.      Implications of a breach

5.      How you can protect your business

6.      How Red Flag Alert can help

TPS and CTPS Definitions

Telephone Preference Service

“The Telephone Preference Service (TPS) is a central opt-out register whereby individuals can register their wish not to receive unsolicited sales and marketing telephone calls. It is a legal requirement that companies do not make such calls to numbers registered on the TPS.”

-        Definition courtesy of

Corporate Telephone Preference Service

“The Corporate Telephone Preference Service (CTPS) is the central opt-out register whereby corporate subscribers can register their wish not to receive unsolicited sales and marketing telephone calls to either all their organisation’s telephone numbers, or to certain numbers. It is a legal requirement that companies do not make such calls to numbers registered on the CTPS.”

-     Definition courtesy of

Regulations governing these registers

The regulations governing the prohibition of calls to numbers on these registers is the Privacy and Electronic (EC Directive) Regulations 2004 (amended). The body responsible for enforcement is the ICO.

The regulations in brief

-    You must not make calls to anyone who has told you they don’t want them and any number registered with TPS or CTPS.

-     You must tell the recipient who is calling, display your number and provide a number and address if requested.

-     You must check your data against the TPS and CTPS registers every 28 days.

-     You may only make automated calls with explicit consent.

Implication of a breach

The ICO has the power to fine businesses that breach TPS and CTPS guidelines. Between January and April 2018 the ICO handed out £1.7m in fines. One company was the Bradford-based Energy Savings Centre which the ICO issued with a £250,000 fine. Andy Curry, ICO Enforcement Group Manager, reiterated the ICO’s commitment to stamping out unwarranted calls, stating: “We are committed to taking strong action against firms calling people registered with the TPS.”

Arguably more damaging than a fine is the reputational risk of being outed as a business that breaches these regulations, like MyIML were. Cold calling has a bad reputation, so this kind of press can be really damaging.

What you need to do

The ICO will continue to clamp down on TPS and CTPS breaches, so now is the perfect time to get your house in order. Here are some key steps you need to take.

-     Check your data against the TPS and CTPS registers every 28 days.

-     Ensure you carefully note anyone who has explicitly requested not to be contacted.

-   Build out your sales toolkit. If a customer doesn’t want to receive a call they may be open to a different approach, such as email or even direct mail.

-    Instead of a spray-and-pray approach, target people and businesses that are a             great fit for your product service; if you’re offering a valuable service this will minimise complaints.

-     Ensure you have a clear and robust data management plan so that you know the numbers you hold and can check them easily.

-     Even if your sales operation is B2B, you need to check companies and smaller businesses so you must screen against TPS and CTPS.

Red Flag Alert makes TPS and CTPS checking simple

-       Red Flag Alert has the UK’s largest database of business telephone numbers –               over 2.6 million.

-       These numbers are updated every day using 10 market-leading data owners.

-        We screen telephone numbers against TPS and CTPS every week.

-    Using our API you can integrate our data with your CRM, meaning your telephone lists will update automatically in real-time.

Red Flag Alert drives your B2B sales operation

Red Flag Alert’s business data is the most comprehensive and up-to-date in the UK. With 6.5 million businesses, 100,000 changes every day and 20 million key decision-makers we’re the data partner that will get your B2B sales operation fuelled.

Great B2B sales is about targeting the right businesses and using a B2B data provider such as Red Flag Alert will allow you to segment data in thousands of different ways to build highly relevant outbound marketing lists. To find out how we can keep your CTPS and TPS compliant and more importantly grow your business, get in touch for a free demo. 

Published by Red Flag Alert September 3, 2018

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