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Making excellence a habit
|Non-profit distributing incorporated body operating under Royal Charter|
|Headquarters||London, United Kingdom|
Number of locations
|73 offices in 28 countries |
|Products||standards and standards related services|
Number of employees
|Over 3,500 (2015)|
|Subsidiaries||List of BSI countries|
BSI Group, also known as the British Standards Institution (or BSI), is the national standards body of the United Kingdom. BSI produces technical standards on a wide range of products and services, and also supplies certification and standards-related services to businesses.
BSI Group was founded as the Engineering Standards Committee in London in 1901. It subsequently extended its standardization work and became the British Engineering Standards Association in 1918, adopting the name British Standards Institution in 1931 after receiving its Royal Charter in 1929. In 1998 a revision of the Charter enabled the organization to diversify and acquire other businesses, and the trading name was changed to BSI Group.
The Group now operates internationally in 182 countries. The core business remains standards and standards related services, although the majority of the Group's revenue comes from management systems assessment and certification work.
A standard is a published document that contains a technical specification or other precise criteria designed to be used consistently as a rule, guideline, or definition. All standards take the form of either: specifications, methods, vocabularies, codes of practice or guides.
All formal standards are developed with a period of public enquiry and full consultation. They incorporate the views and expertise of a very wide range of interests from consumers, academia, special interest groups, government, business and industry. As a result, standards represent a consensus on current best practice.
Standards are designed for voluntary use and do not impose any regulations. However, laws and regulations may refer to certain standards and make compliance with them compulsory. For example, the physical characteristics and format of credit cards is set out in standard number BS EN ISO/IEC 7810:1996. Adhering to this standard means that the cards can be used worldwide.
As the UK’s National Standards Body, BSI is responsible for producing and publishing British Standards and for representing UK interests in international and European standards organizations such as ISO, IEC, CEN, CENELEC and ETSI. Formal British Standards are titled BS (for 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 of publication.
BSI produces standards on a wide range of products, services and processes, from nuts and bolts to sustainability, risk, organizational resilience and nanotechnology.
BSI produces British Standards, and, as the UK’s National Standards Body, is also responsible for the UK publication, in English, of international and European standards. BSI is obliged to adopt and publish all European Standards as identical British Standards (prefixed BS EN) and to withdraw pre-existing British Standards that are in conflict. However, it has the option to adopt and publish international standards (prefixed BS ISO or BS IEC).
In response to commercial demands, BSI also produces commissioned standards products such as Publicly Available Specifications, (PASs), Private Standards and Business Information Publications. These products are commissioned by individual organizations and trade associations to meet their needs for standardised specifications, guidelines, codes of practice etc. Because they are not subject to the same consultation and consensus requirements as formal standards, the lead time is much shorter.
BSI also publishes standards-related books, CD-ROMs, subscription products and web-based solutions as well as providing training on standards-related issues.
Management Systems Assessment and Certification
BSI Group is the world’s largest certification body. It audits and provides certification to companies worldwide who implement management systems standards. BSI also provides a range of training courses regarding implementation and auditing to the requirements of national and international management systems standards.
It is independently accredited and assesses a wide range of standards and other specifications including:
- ISO 9001 (Quality),
- ISO 13485 (Quality management systems for medical devices)
- ISO 14001 (Environment),
- ISO 50001 (Energy management systems),
- BS 65000 (Organizational Resilience),
- OHSAS 18001 (Occupational Health and Safety),
- ISO/IEC 27001 (previously BS 7799 for Information Security),
- ISO/IEC 20000 (previously BS 15000 for IT Service Management);
- PAS 99 (Integrated Management),
- BS 25999 (Business Continuity),
- Greenhouse Gas Emissions Verification,
- (RSPO) Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil
- SA8000 (Social Accountability) and
- Food Safety standards and specifications, including ISO 22000.
- AS9100, AS9110, AS9120 Aerospace
- EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS)
BSI has 80,000 clients in 182 countries and operates across all continents (including Antarctica).
BSI Group also offers a range of training services on how businesses can implement and audit management systems effectively.
Testing Services and Healthcare
Within Testing Services, BSI's best known product in the UK is the Kitemark, a registered certification mark first used in 1903. The Kitemark – which is recognised by 82% of UK adults – signifies products or services which have been assessed and tested as meeting the requirements of the related specification or standard within a Kitemark scheme.
BSI also conducts testing of products for a wide range of certifications, including for CE marking. CE marking must be applied to a wide range of products intended for sale in the European Economic Area. Frequently manufacturers or importers need a third-party certification of their product from an accredited or ‘Notified’ body. BSI holds Notified Body status for 15 EU Directives, including construction products, marine equipment, pressurised equipment and personal protective equipment.
BSI also conducts testing for manufacturers developing new products and has facilities to test across a wide range of sectors, including construction, fire safety, electrical and electronic and engineering products.
Within Healthcare, BSI provides regulatory and quality management reviews, and product certification for medical device manufacturers in Europe, the United States, Australia, Japan, Taiwan, Canada and China. It is the market leader in the USA, the world’s biggest healthcare market.
- BSI is the world’s first national standards body.
- BSI created one of the world’s first and most enduring quality marks in 1903, when the letters ‘B’ and ‘S’ (for British Standard) were combined to produce the Kitemark logo.
- BSI was instrumental in the formation of ISO, the International Organization for Standardization, in 1947 and of its European equivalent, CEN, in 1964.
- BSI pioneered the development of management systems standards: the first of which was BS 5750, the original quality management systems standard which formed the template for the ISO 9000 series of quality standards, first published in 1994.
- BSI published the world’s first environmental management standard, BS 7750, in 1992. This led to the publication of the first international environmental management standard, ISO 14001, in 1996. BSI also published the world’s first sustainability standard, BS 8900, in 2006.
- BSI's management systems operation in the UK has been carbon neutral since 2006. BSI reduced staff’s business travel by 200,000 miles per annum, and invested in carbon offsetting in the UK and Bulgaria.
- BSI has been nominated a Business Superbrand in the UK every year since 2004. BSI is currently ranked no. 42 out of 500 organizations.
Starting in 1998, BSI Group has adopted an aggressive policy of international growth through acquisition as follows:
- 1998: CEEM, USA and International Standards Certification Pte Ltd, Singapore
- 2002: KPMG’s certification business in North America
- 2003: BSI Pacific Ltd, Hong Kong
- 2004: KPMG’s certification business in the Netherlands
- 2006: Nis Zert, Germany; Entropy International Ltd, Canada & UK; Benchmark Certification Pty Ltd, Australia; ASI-QS, UK
- 2009: Supply Chain Security Division of First Advantage Corp. USA; Certification International S.r.l, Italy; EUROCAT, Germany
- 2010: GLCS, the leading certifier of gas related consumer equipment in the UK, and one of the top three in Europe, the certification business of BS Services Italia S.r.l. (BSS); Systems Management Indonesia (SMI).
- 2013: May 9, 2013 - NCS International and its daughter company NCSI Americas, Inc.
- 2015: January 24 – EORM, a US consultancy specialising in environmental, health, safety (EHS) and sustainability services
- 2015: 30 January - the management systems certification business of PwC in South Africa
- 2016: 4 April - Espion Ltd and Espion UK, experts at managing and securing corporate information 
- 2016: 15 August - Atrium Environmental Health and Safety Services LLC, experts in occupational safety, industrial safety and environmental compliance 
- European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC)
- European Committee for Standardization (CEN)
- European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI)
- International Electrotechnical Commission
- International standards
- BS 25999
- BS 65000
- ISO 9000
- ISO 14000
- ISO 22000
- ISO/IEC 20000
- ISO/IEC 27000
- Management system
- SA 8000
- Standards organization
- The International Customer Service Institute (TICSI)
- Trading Standards Institute
Notes and references
- Press Release. "BSI reports highest profits and revenue in 114 year history". www.bsigroup.com. Retrieved 22 April 2016.
- "BSI Group financial information". bsigroup.com. BSI Group. Retrieved 22 April 2016.
- Robert C McWilliam. BSI: The first hundred years. 2001. Thanet Press. London
- Press Release. "BSI reports highest profits and revenue in 114 year history". www.bsigroup.com. Retrieved 22 April 2016.
- "BSI Group Annual Report and Financial Statements 2014, page 20" (PDF). www.bsigroup.com. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
- European Committee for Standardization Benefits and Principles Archived August 7, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (2008-11-15). "United Kingdom Accreditation Service Certification Body Schedules". Ukas.com. Retrieved 2012-04-03.
- "Global contact details". www.bsigroup.com. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
- "Annual Review 2006, page 15" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-04-03.
- "BSI Group Annual Report and Financial Statements 2009, page 97" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-04-03.
- "BSI Group Annual Report and Financial Statements 2009, page 11" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-04-03.
- "BSI Group Annual Report and Financial Statements 2009, page 24" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-04-03.
- BSI was founded in 1901
- "Annual Review 2006, page 24" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-04-03.
- http://www.bsigroup.com/en-GB/about-bsi/media-centre/press-releases/2004/4/BSI-Brand-Joins-The-Super-League/ BSI Press Release 2004
- Superbrand Official Top 500 2012
- "History of BSI Group". Bsigroup.com. 1929-04-22. Retrieved 2012-04-03.
- "BSI Press Release 22 March 2010". Bsigroup.com. 2010-03-22. Retrieved 2012-04-03.
- "BSI strengthens position in Australia with acquisition of NCS International". BSI. 10 May 2013. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
- "Press Release:BSI enters US consultancy market with EORM acquisition". BSI Group. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
- "BSI Group Annual Report and Financial Statements 2014, page 59, Post balance sheet events" (PDF). www.bsigroup.com. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
- Press Release. "BSI acquires Espion to boost global information security expertise". BSIGroup.com. BSI Group. Retrieved 22 April 2016.
- Press Release. "Acquisition of Atrium expands BSI environmental health safety and advisory services footprint to the US East Coast". BSIGroup.com. BSI Group. Retrieved 24 August 2016.