C3.4.4 How are Standards created?


Most Standardisation work takes place through groups of experts (known as technical committees). At national, European or international level, committees are made up of representatives from businesses, trade associations, government, academia, consumer and other groups.

BSI does not write the Standards but is responsible for drafting them and ensures that all organisations represented are involved in discussions until a consensus is reached and that all stages of development of a Standard are followed.

Reliable and well-defined procedures are essential to ensure agreement is reached on Standards, such as fairness, openness, transparency, and methods to ensure consideration of the views for all interested parties.

Before final publication, formal Standards are made publicly available for review.


How do we know products and services conform to Standards?

Standards are vital tools of industry and trade because they promote understanding between buyers and sellers.

Information on whether a product, service or system meets a particular Standard can tell a buyer about the product’s safety and suitability.

Standards are voluntary and not legal documents although they may be called up in legal cases. They are often linked to UK legislation or EC directives (for example, relating to Health and Safety)


How do companies ensure that the product or service they provide meets the requirements of the agreed Standard? This is known as conformity assessment.

Conformity assessment activities typically include:

  • inspection
  • testing
  • laboratory accreditation
  • management system assessment/registration and accreditation (such as to ISO 14001)