Page 1: Introduction
Successful businesses meet customer requirements. Customers expect products and services to meet certain standards and a Standard is a document that gives guidance on achieving this. It acts as a set of rules or guidelines for everyone involved in producing goods, managing a process or delivering a service.
BSI was the pioneer in creating quality and safety standards. It is the UK's National Standards Body and was the world's first. BSI also plays a prominent role in the development of global standards. It:
- leads in the creation of standards
- tests and certifies products and services
- is one of the organisations that assesses Quality Management Systems (QMS).
Businesses gain an advantage over rivals by producing high quality goods and services that clearly meet standards. The standards are based on agreed best practice, for example, in handling environmental waste or meeting safety standards.
Businesses across the globe seek to meet international standards. For example, an engineering company in the Far East might use international standards for its components and finished items. These show the world that its products meet this international standard and that it is willing to take part in global manufacture and trade.
There are thousands of standards available for businesses to choose to use, depending on the type of sector the business is operating in. There are standards for education, transport, health, retailing and many more sectors.
Standards help organisations to achieve safe and quality products, and services to meet their needs and those of their customers. For example, in a nursery school, parents would want to know that equipment such as climbing frames and bouncy castles meet the required safety standards. Therefore, manufacturers of these products would want to follow the appropriate standards.