The British Standards Institution

Established in 1901, The BSI was the world's first national standards body. Many similar organizations worldwide now belong to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). BSI represents the views of British Industry on these bodies, working towards harmonizing world standards.

BSI has published approximately 20 000 standards; each year around 2000 new and revised standards are issued to encompass new materials, processes and technologies, and to keep the technical content of existing standards curent. BSI also provides services to its members and undertakes commercial activities, which help underwrite its core standards role.

The BSI Catalogue is published each year. BSI subscribing membership is designed to make keeping in touch with developments in world standardization easy and cost-effective. Membership benefits include:

• discounts on products and services;

• free standards catalogue, BSI magazines and use of the library;

• access to PLUS (see below) licensed electronic products;

• library loans, credit facilities, loans, Members Days and AGM voting rights

British Standards Society

The BSS brings together individuals who use standards in their day-to-day work. It offers a range of services and publications to help members get maximum benefit from standards, and provides opportunities for learning from the practical experience of others and feeding back user needs and issues to BSI. British Standards Society meetings and other events are certified for Continual Professional Development.

Technical information group

For over 30 years BSI has run a Technical Help to Exporters service and now covers more subjects and more countries than ever before. Technical barriers to trade (standards, regulations, certification and language) affect products in worldwide markets. BSI can support market research activities in a cost-effective and timely way. For more information log on to

Foreign standards and translations

BSI holds over 100000 international and foreign standards and regulations in their original form, as well as expert translations that are regularly reviewed to ensure they are current. New translations from and into most languages can be arranged on request.

PLUS - Private List Updating Service

PLUS monitors and automatically updates your standards collection. Exclusive to BSI subscribing members, PLUS not only saves time and effort, but can be an essential part of your quality control system.


Perinorm is the world's leading bibliographic database of standards. Available either on CD-ROM or online at, Perinorm contains approximately 520000 records, including technical regulations from France and Germany, together with American, Australian and Japanese standards (international version).


DISC - Delivering Information Solutions to Customers through international standardization - is the specialist IT arm of BSI. It enables UK businesses to exert influence when international standards are being formulated and responds directly by helping customers to use standards. It offers guidance, codes of practice, seminars and training workshops.

British Standards Online and CD-ROM

British Standards Publishing Ltd, supplies British standards worldwide in hard copy, on CD-ROM and the Internet via British Standards Online. The exclusive, authoritative and most current source of British standards delivers information on more than 38000 BSI publications to your desktop. For more information on delivery options for British standards contact:

UK customers: British Standards Publishing Sales Ltd; email: [email protected]

Customers outside the UK: Information Handling Services; email: [email protected]

BSI Quality Assurance is the largest independent certification body in the UK and provides a comprehensive service including certification, registration, assessment and inspection activities.

BSI Testing at Hemel Hempstead offer services which are completely confidential and cover test work in many areas including product safety, medical equipment, motor vehicle safety equipment and calibration work. Tests are undertaken to national or international standards.

Further information on BSI services can be obtained from:

BSI Enquiry Department, Linford Wood, Milton Keynes MK 14 6LE Tel: 0908 221166

Complete sets of British Standards are maintained for reference purposes at many Public, Borough and County Libraries in the UK. Copies are also available in University and College of Technology Libraries.

The Standards-making process

The BSI Standards function is to draw up voluntary standards in a balanced and transparent manner, to reach agreement among all the many interests concerned, and to promote their adoption. Technical committees whose members are nominated by manufacturers, trade and research associations, professional bodies, central and local government, academic bodies, user, and consumer groups draft standards.

BSI arranges the secretariats and takes care to ensure that its committees are representative of the interests involved. Members and Chairmen of committees are funded by their own organizations.

Proposals for new and revised standards come from many sources but the largest proportion is from industry. Each proposal is carefully examined against its contribution to national needs, existing work programmes, the availability of internal and external resources, the availability of an initial draft and the required timescale to publish the standard. If the work is accepted it is allocated to a relevant existing technical committee or a new committee is constituted.

Informed criticism and constructive comment during the committee stage are particularly important for maximum impact on the structure and content of the future standard.

The draft standards are made available for public comment and the committee considers any proposals made at this stage. The standard is adopted when the necessary consensus for its application has been reached.

Strategy, policy, work programmes and resource requirements are formulated and managed by Councils and Policy Committees covering all sectors of industry and commerce.

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