British Standards are the standards produced by BSI Group which is incorporated under a Royal Charter (and which is formally designated as the National Standards Body (NSB) for the UK). The BSI Group produces British Standards under the authority of the Charter, which lays down as one of the BSI's objectives to:
(2) Set up standards of quality for goods and services, and prepare and promote the general adoption of British Standards and schedules in connection therewith and from time to time to revise, alter and amend such standards and schedules as experience and circumstances require
—BSI Royal Charter, Faller and Graham
Formally, as per the 2002 Memorandum of Understanding between the BSI and the United Kingdom Government, British Standards are defined as:
"British Standards" means formal consensus standards as set out in BS 0-1 paragraph 3.2 and based upon the principles of standardisation recognised inter alia in European standardisation policy.
—MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN THE UNITED KINGDOM GOVERNMENT AND THE BRITISH STANDARDS INSTITUTION IN RESPECT OF ITS ACTIVITIES AS THE UNITED KINGDOM'S NATIONAL STANDARDS BODY, United Kingdom Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills
British Standards are one of the formal exceptions made to the Restrictive Trade Practices Act. §18(5) of the Act specifies that agreements to comply with British Standards should be disregarded when deciding whether an agreement is a restriction upon trade.
How British Standards are made 
The BSI Group as a whole does not produce British Standards, as standards work within the BSI is decentralized. The governing Board of BSI establishes a Standards Board. The Standards Board does little apart from setting up Sector Boards (a Sector in BSI parlance being a field of standardization such as ICT, Quality, Agriculture, Manufacturing, or Fire). Each Sector Board in turn constitutes several Technical Committees. It is the Technical Committees that, formally, approve a British Standard, which is then presented to the Secretary of the supervisory Sector Board for endorsement of the fact that the Technical Committee has indeed completed a task for which it was constituted.
The standards 
The standards produced are titled British Standard XXXX[-P]:YYYY where XXXX is the number of the standard, P is the number of the part of the standard (where the standard is split into multiple parts) and YYYY is the year in which the standard came into effect. BSI Group currently has over 27,000 active standards. Products are commonly specified as meeting a particular British Standard, and in general this can be done without any certification or independent testing. The standard simply provides a shorthand way of claiming that certain specifications are met, while encouraging manufacturers to adhere to a common method for such a specification.
The Kitemark can be used to indicate certification by BSI, but only where a Kitemark scheme has been set up around a particular standard. It is mainly applicable to safety and quality management standards. There is a common misunderstanding that Kitemarks are necessary to prove compliance with any BS standard, but in general it is neither desirable nor possible that every standard be 'policed' in this way.
Status of standards 
Standards are continuously reviewed and developed and are periodically allocated one or more of the following status keywords.
- Confirmed - the standard has been reviewed and confirmed as being current.
- Current - the document is the current, most recently published one available.
- Draft for public comment/DPC - a national stage in the development of a standard, where wider consultation is sought within the UK.
- Obsolescent - indicating by amendment that the standard is not recommended for use for new equipment, but needs to be retained to provide for the servicing of equipment that is expected to have a long working life, or due to legislative issues.
- Partially replaced - the standard has been partially replaced by one or more other standards.
- Proposed for confirmation - the standard is being reviewed and it has been proposed that it is confirmed as the current standard.
- Proposed for obsolescence - the standard is being reviewed and it has been proposed that it is made obsolescent.
- Proposed for withdrawal - the standard is being reviewed and it has been proposed that it is withdrawn.
- Revised - the standard has been revised.
- Superseded - the standard has been replaced by one or more other standards.
- Under review - the standard is under review.
- Withdrawn - the document is no longer current and has been withdrawn.
- Work in hand - there is work being undertaken on the standard and there may be a related draft for public comment available.
BSI Group began in 1901 as the Engineering Standards Committee, led by James Mansergh, to standardise the number and type of steel sections, in order to make British manufacturers more efficient and competitive.
Over time the standards developed to cover many aspects of tangible engineering, and then engineering methodologies including quality systems, safety and security.
Examples of British Standards 
- BS 0 A standard for standards specifies Development, Structure and Drafting of British Standards themselves.
- BS 9 - for bullhead steel rail sections in various weights.
- BS 11 - for flat-bottom steel rail sections in various weights
- BS 31 for steel conduit and fittings for electrical wiring
- BS 88 a specification for cartridge fuses for voltages up to and including 1000 V a.c. and 1500 V d.c.
- BS 196 for protected-type non-reversible plugs, socket-outlets cable-couplers and appliance-couplers with earthing contacts for single phase a.c. circuits up to 250 volts
- BS 308 a now deleted standard for engineering drawing conventions, having been absorbed into BS 8888.
- BS 336 for fire hose couplings and ancillary equipment
- BS 381 for colours used in identification, coding and other special purposes
- BS 476 for fire resistance of building materials / elements
- BS 499-1 welding terms and symbols. Glossary for welding, brazing and thermal cutting
- BS 546 for mains power plugs and sockets (older standard)
- BS 857 for safety glass for land transport
- BS 987C: 1942 Camouflage Colours
- BS 1088 for marine plywood
- BS 1192 for Construction Drawing Practice. Part 5 (BS1192-5:1998) concerns Guide for structuring and exchange of CAD data.
- BS 1361 for cartridge fuses for a.c. circuits in domestic and similar premises
- BS 1363 for mains power plugs and sockets
- BS 1377-9:1990 The standard penetration test (SPT) is an in-situ dynamic penetration test designed to provide information on the geotechnical engineering properties of soil.
- BS 1572: 1949 Colours for Flat Finishes for Wall Decoration
- BS 1881:201 Methods of Testing Concrete Part 201: Guide to the Use of Non-Destructive Methods of Test for Hardened Concrete
- BS 1881:204 Testing concrete. Recommendations on the use of electromagnetic covermeters.
- BS 1852 resistor and capacitor value coding
- BS 2660 for colours for building and decorative paints
- BS 3506 for unplasticized PVC pipe for industrial uses
- BS 3621 for thief resistant lock assembly. Key egress.
- BS 3943 for plastic waste traps
- BS 4293 for residual current-operated circuit-breakers
- BS 4343 for industrial electrical power connectors
- BS 4573 a specification for 2-pin reversible plugs and shaver socket-outlets
- BS 4800 for paint colours used in building construction
- BS 4900 for vitreous enamel colours used in building construction
- BS 4901 for plastic colours used in building construction
- BS 4902 for sheet / tile floor covering colours used in building construction
- BS 4960 for weighing instruments for domestic cookery
- BS 4962 for plastics pipes and fittings for use as subsoil field drains
- BS 5252 for colour-coordination in building construction
- BS 5400 for steel, concrete and composite bridges.
- BS 5499 for graphical symbols and signs in building construction; including shape, colour and layout
- BS 5544 for anti-bandit glazing (glazing resistant to manual attack)
- BS 5750 for quality management, the source for ISO 9000
- BS 5759 Specification for webbing load restraint assemblies for use in surface transport
- BS 5837 for protection of trees during construction work
- BS 5930 for site investigations
- BS 5950 for structural steel
- BS 6312 for telephone plugs and sockets
- BS 6651 code of practice for protection of structures against lightning
- BS 6701 installation, operation and maintenance of telecommunications equipment and telecommunications cabling
- BS 6879 for British geocodes, a superset of ISO 3166-2:GB
- BS 7430 code of practice for earthing
- BS 7671 Requirements for Electrical Installations, The IEE Wiring Regulations, produced by the IET.
- BS 7799 for information security, the source for ISO/IEC 27001, 27002 (former 17799), and 27005
- BS 7901 for recovery vehicles and vehicle recovery equipment
- BS 7925-1 vocabulary of terms in software testing
- BS 7925-2 software component testing
- BS 7971 Protective clothing and equipment for use in violent situations and in training
- BS 8110 for structural concrete
- BS 8485 for the characterization and remediation from ground gas in affected developments
- BS 8494 for detecting and measuring carbon dioxide in ambient air or extraction systems
- BS 8888 for engineering drawing and technical product specification
- BS 15000 for IT Service Management, (ITIL), now ISO/IEC 20000
- BS 3G 101 for general requirements for mechanical and electromechanical aircraft indicators
- BSEN12195-2-2001 Load restraint assemblies on road vehicles. Safety. Web lashing made from man-made fibres
- BS EN 60204-1:2009 Safety of machinery - Electrical equipment of machines
PAS Documents 
BSI also publishes a series of PAS documents.
PAS documents are a flexible and rapid standards development model that is open to all organizations. A PAS is a sponsored piece of work allowing organizations flexibility in the rapid creation of a standard while also allowing for a greater degree of control over the document's development. A typical development time frame for a PAS is around 6–9 months. Once published by BSI a PAS has all the functionality of a British Standard for the purposes of creating schemes such as management systems and product benchmarks as well as codes of practice. A PAS is a living document and after two years the document will be reviewed and a decision made with the client as to whether or not this should be taken forward to become a formal British standard. The term PAS was originally an acronym derived from "product approval specification", a name which was subsequently changed to “publicly available specification”. However, according to BSI, not all PAS documents are structured as specifications and the term is now sufficiently well established not to require any further amplification.
- PAS 78: Guide to good practice in commissioning accessible websites
- PAS 55- 1: Asset management - Specification for the optimized management of physical infrastructure assests
- PAS 72: Responsible Fishing - Specification of good practice for fishing vessels
- PAS 911: Fire strategies - guidance and framework for their formulation
- PAS 82: Shopfitting - Management system specification
- PAS 77: IT Service continuity Management - Code of Practice
- BSI PAS 100 Composting specification
- BSI PAS 101 Specification for recovered container glass
- BSI PAS 102 Specification for processed glass for selected secondary end markets
- BSI PAS 103 Specification for quality and guidance for good practice in collection and preparation for recycling
- BSI PAS 104 Specification for quality and guidance for good practice for the supply of post consumer wood for consumption in the manufacture of panel board products
- BSI PAS 105 Specification for paper waste
Copies of British Standards are sold at the BSI Online Shop or can be accessed via subscription to British Standards Online (BSOL). They can also be ordered via the publishing units of many other national standards bodies (ANSI, DIN, etc.) and from several specialized suppliers of technical specifications.
Many British Standards (BSs) – as well as some of the European and International Standards that were adopted as British Standards (BS EN, BS ISO) – are also available in public and university libraries in the United Kingdom. However, BSI makes standards available to these libraries only under licence restrictions which forbid loan, inter-library loan, open-shelf access, and copying of more than 10% of a document by library users. The BSI Knowledge Centre in Chiswick charges visiting members of the public a fee of £20 per hour. This service is free to BSI members, students and accredited journalists.
See also 
- H.M. Glass G. Weston (1959). "Standardization in the United Kingdom". International Symposium on Plastics Testing and Standardization. ASTM special technical publication. 247. American Society for Testing Materials International. pp. 37–38.
- J.M. Faller and M.H. Graham (2003). "Standards, Specifications, and codes of practice". In Geoffrey Stokes. Handbook of Electrical Installation Practice (4th ed.). Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 305–306. ISBN 978-0-632-06002-3.
- MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN THE UNITED KINGDOM GOVERNMENT AND THE BRITISH STANDARDS INSTITUTION IN RESPECT OF ITS ACTIVITIES AS THE UNITED KINGDOM'S NATIONAL STANDARDS BODY (PDF). United Kingdom Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills. 2002.
- "Kitemark.com". Kitemark.com. Retrieved 2012-04-03.
- Valentine Korah (1982). Competition law of Britain and the Common Market (3rd ed.). BRILL. pp. 114–115,138–139. ISBN 978-90-247-2615-8.
- Harm Schepel (2005). The constitution of private governance: product standards in the regulation of integrating markets. International studies in the theory of private law 4. Hart Publishing. pp. 121–124. ISBN 978-1-84113-487-1.
- Guide to using the BSI shop (retrieved 26-Jan-2013)
- "Wartime Camouflage Colours". Patrickbaty. Retrieved 2012-10-12.
- "Colours for Flat Finishes for Wall Decoration". patrickbaty.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-10-12.
- Background to 1950s Colours[dead link]
- "BSI Online Shop". Bsigroup.com. Retrieved 2012-04-03.
- "British Standards Online". Bsigroup.com. Retrieved 2012-04-03.
- "British Library access to British Standards". Bl.uk. Retrieved 2012-04-03.
- "BSI Knowledge Centre - BSI library - BSI Shop". www.bsigroup.com. Retrieved 2012-10-12.
- "BSI Knowledge Centre (includes library)". Bsigroup.com. Retrieved 2012-04-03.