Imagine a world in which consumers cannot tell how reliable a product or service is and have no knowledge about the suitability of things they buy and use. It would be dangerous and chaotic. The creation of standards with which products and services comply helps eliminate such chaos and enhances consumer welfare, satisfaction and safety.
In the UK, the creation of standards is the responsibility of the British Standards Institution (BSI), the UK's National Standards Body. BSI Group has a £232 million turnover and employs over 5,500 staff in more than 100 countries. The BSI Group:
- facilitates the creation of standards and promotes their use
- tests and certifies products
- assesses management systems
- inspects commodities.
The British Standards division, based in London, has established over 20,000 standards and is actively involved in developing European and International standards that meet global needs and those of businesses in the UK, many of whom operate worldwide.
BSI was the world's first National Standards Body and is exceptionally well qualified to play a global role. Its most widely recognised mark is the Kitemark:
Research shows that 80 per cent of British adults recognise the Kitemark and 60 per cent are prepared to pay a higher price for products that carry it, for the reassurance it gives. Products that carry the Kitemark have been tested against British Standards and organizations are only able to obtain and display the Kitemark after thorough and regular independent product testing and quality management systems assessment.
BSI facilitates the creation of standards with stakeholders.