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BSI Group

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BSI Group
Company typeNon-profit distributing incorporated body operating under Royal Charter
United Kingdom
Number of locations
90 offices in 31 countries[1][2]
Area served
Productsstandards and standards related services
Revenue£539.3m (2020)[3]
Number of employees
5,237 (2020)[4]

The British Standards Institution (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 headquarters building in Gunnersbury, West London, featuring the BSI Group logo

BSI was founded as the Engineering Standards Committee in London in 1901.[5][2] 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 a Royal Charter in 1929.[2] 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 in 195 countries.[6] 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.[7]

In 2021, BSI appointed its first female chief executive officer, Susan Taylor Martin.[8]


Meeting of the international standards committee for the C++ programming language, hosted at the British Standards Institution in 1997

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.[9] 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 standardized 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 shorter.

BSI also publishes standards-related books, CD-ROMs, subscription and web-based products as well as providing training on standards-related issues.

Management systems assessment and certification

BSI representative presenting a standards certification to the International Maritime Organization in 2018

With 80,000 clients, BSI is one of the world's largest certification bodies. It audits and provides certification to companies worldwide who implement management systems standards. BSI also runs training courses that cover the implementation and auditing requirements of national and international management systems standards.

It is independently accredited[10] 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),
  • ISO 45001 (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),
  • ISO 22301 (Societal security – Business continuity management systems – Requirements),
  • 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)
  • ISO 31000 (Risk Management)

Testing Services and Healthcare

BSI Group Kitemark certification symbol
Kitemark symbol as seen on an access cover in Newtownards, Northern Ireland

Within Testing Services, BSI's best known product in the UK is the Kitemark, a registered certification mark first used in 1903.[2][5] The Kitemark – which is recognized by 82% of UK adults[11] – 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 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,[12] 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.[13] It is the market leader in the US, the world's biggest healthcare market.[14]


BSI EMEA headquarters in Milton Keynes
  • BSI is the world's first national standards body.[15]
  • BSI created one of the world's first quality marks in 1903, when the letters 'B' and 'S' (for British Standard) were combined with V (for verification) 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 1961.[16]
  • BSI pioneered the development of management systems standards: the first of which was BS 5750,[2] 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.[17] BSI reduced staff's business travel by 200,000 miles per annum, and invested in carbon offsetting in the UK and Bulgaria.
  • BSI was nominated a Business Superbrand in the UK in 2004, and profiled in their annual Superbrands publication in 2013.[18][19]



Starting in 1998, BSI Group has adopted a policy of international growth through acquisition as follows:[20]

  • 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,[21] the certification business of BS Services Italia S.r.l. (BSS); Systems Management Indonesia (SMI).
  • 2013: 9 May 2013 – NCS International and its daughter company NCSI Americas, Inc.[22]
  • 2015: 24 January – EORM, a US consultancy specialising in environmental, health, safety (EHS) and sustainability services[23]
  • 2015: 30 January – the management systems certification business of PwC in South Africa[24]
  • 2015: 3 June – Hill County Environmental Inc, a US environmental and engineering services consultancy[25]
  • 2016: 4 April – Espion Ltd and Espion UK, experts at managing and securing corporate information[26]
  • 2016: 15 August – Atrium Environmental Health and Safety Services LLC, experts in occupational safety, industrial safety and environmental compliance[27]
  • 2016: 22 September – Creative Environment Solutions (CES) Corp., an Environmental and Safety consulting firm[28]
  • 2016: 4 October – Info-Assure Ltd, a leading provider of cyber security and information assurance[29]
  • 2016: 15 December – Quantum Management Group Inc, a US environmental, health and safety (EHS) consultancy[30]
  • 2017: 5 December – Neville Clarke, the Business Process Improvement Expert [31]
  • 2018: 8 November – AirCert GmbH, a specialist aerospace certification company located in Munich, Germany[32]
  • 2019: 3 April – AppSec Consulting, a US cybersecurity and information resilience company[33]
  • 2021: 1 February – Q-Audit, a JAS-ANZ accredited healthcare auditing body based in Sydney, Australia and Auckland, New Zealand.[34]

BSI Identify


In 2021, BSI Group, supported by the Construction Products Association,[35] led the development of a system known as BSI Identify, which has been established in response to Dame Judith Hackitt's recommendation that

The built environment sector ... needs to accelerate the adoption of readily available means of providing product traceability. ... [T]here is a strong case for materials and products to carry permanent marking to ensure their identification and traceability...and...a consistent labelling and traceability system.[36]

BSI Identify uses new Digital Object Identifier (DOI) technology "to deliver a unique, constant, and interoperable identifier", known as a BSI UPIN, "which can be assigned to products to help UK manufacturers to directly manage information about their products in the supply chain".[37] The aim of the BSI Identify programme is that "wherever you are with [a] product, you can take a snapshot of the QR code with your mobile device and it will immediately take you to the product technical data sheet. You can see exactly what product it is, you can answer any questions about it, you can see installation advice etc."[38]

See also


Notes and references

  1. ^ "Fast facts and figures". bsigroup.com. BSI Group. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e "British Standards Institution". ICE.org Institution of Civil Engineers. 2018.
  3. ^ "Annual Report 2020". bsigroup.com. BSI Group. Retrieved 10 November 2021.
  4. ^ "BSI Annual Report 2019" (PDF). BSI Group. Retrieved 10 November 2021.
  5. ^ a b Robert C McWilliam. BSI: The first hundred years. 2001. Thanet Press. London
  6. ^ "BSI Group Annual Report 2021" (PDF). BSIgroup.com. BSI Group. Retrieved 28 September 2022.
  7. ^ "Annual Report 2018". bsigroup.com. BSI Group. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  8. ^ "BSI announces appointment of new chief executive". bsigroup.com. BSI Group. Retrieved 9 December 2020.
  9. ^ European Committee for Standardization Benefits and Principles Archived 7 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "Who's accredited?" (PDF). www.ukas.com. United Kingdom Accreditation Service. Retrieved 18 May 2021.
  11. ^ "Annual Review 2006, page 15" (PDF). Retrieved 3 April 2012.
  12. ^ "BSI Group Annual Report and Financial Statements 2009, page 97" (PDF). Retrieved 3 April 2012.
  13. ^ "BSI Group Annual Report and Financial Statements 2009, page 11" (PDF). Retrieved 3 April 2012.
  14. ^ "BSI Group Annual Report and Financial Statements 2009, page 24" (PDF). Retrieved 3 April 2012.
  15. ^ BSI was founded in 1901
  16. ^ Roland Wenzlhuemer. "The History of Standardisation in Europe". European History Online. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  17. ^ "Annual Review 2006, page 24" (PDF). Retrieved 3 April 2012.
  18. ^ "BSI Brand Joins The Super League". bsigroup.com. 19 April 2004.
  19. ^
  20. ^ "History of BSI Group". Bsigroup.com. 22 April 1929. Retrieved 3 April 2012.
  21. ^ "BSI Press Release 22 March 2010". Bsigroup.com. 22 March 2010. Retrieved 3 April 2012.
  22. ^ "BSI strengthens position in Australia with acquisition of NCS International". BSI. 10 May 2013. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  23. ^ "BSI enters the US consultancy market with EORM acquisition". bsigroup.com. BSI Group. Archived from the original on 28 September 2020. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
  24. ^ "BSI Group Annual Report and Financial Statements 2014, page 59, Post balance sheet events" (PDF). bsigroup.com. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  25. ^ "BSI expands its environmental consulting and engineering offering with acquisition of Hill Country Environmental Inc". bsigroup.com. BSI. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  26. ^ Weckler, Adrian (5 April 2016). "British IT security firm snaps up Espion". The Irish Independent. Independent IE. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  27. ^ "BSI expands US footprint with Atrium acquisition". cirmagazine.com. Continuity Insurance and Risk. 15 August 2016. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  28. ^ "BSI acquires creative environment solutions east coast ehs". bsigroup.com. BSI Group. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
  29. ^ Sims, Brian. "BSI moves to acquire UK cyber security and assurance expert Info-Assure Ltd". risk-uk.com. Risk UK. Archived from the original on 11 November 2016. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  30. ^ "BSI completes third EHS consulting firm acquisition of 2016 with addition of Quantum Management Group Inc". bsigroup.com. BSI Group. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  31. ^ "BSI strengthens position in Asia Pacific with acquisition of Neville Clarke". bsigroup.com. Retrieved 4 February 2022.
  32. ^ "Aircert acquisition strengthens BSI certification offer". aircraftinteriorsinternational.com. Aircraft Interiors. 15 November 2018. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  33. ^ "BSI acquires AppSec Consulting". cirmagazine.com. CIR Magazine. 4 April 2019. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  34. ^ "BSI strengthens its healthcare business with the acquisition of Q-Audit". bsigroup.com. BSI Group. Archived from the original on 1 February 2021. Retrieved 1 February 2021.
  35. ^ Construction Products Association, BSI Identify, accessed 16 July 2022
  36. ^ This article contains OGL licensed text This article incorporates text published under the British Open Government Licence: Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety: final report, p. 96, published 17 May 2018, accessed 13 December 2021
  37. ^ BSI Group, BSI Identify: New ID technology to bring transparency and product traceability through the built environment supply chain, published 15 November 2021, accessed 13 December 2021
  38. ^ Turk, A. in interview with Cameron, H., Why product traceability matters, Barbour ABI, published November 2021, accessed 13 December 2021