The committee process



26 November 2002

The British Standards Institution (BSI) is the national standards body for the UK, independent of government, industry and trade associations. BSI produces independent standards through a committee process.

The committee process used to draft standards was devised to avoid any conflict of interest and to allow all relevant groups to participate in the formulation of a standard. When consensus is reached by a committee, a draft standard is put forward for public debate.

Most standards are voluntary although they can be made mandatory by law or regulation. If industry ask for a standard to be reviewed we can facilitate this process. All standards are reviewed every five years, and if a standard is unworkable or no longer relevant it can be redrafted or replaced.

British Standards are national guidelines for products ranging from toys to digital audio equipment, or for services like complaints management and data protection.

Technical committees developing British Standards are made up from volunteers - people of all ages and professions. The meetings take less than one day a month, and are normally held at BSI's headquarters in Chiswick, West London, England.

David Lazenby, director of British Standards, said: "The committee process adds a vital ingredient to standardization. The inquisitive minds of committee members tease out issues that can so easily be missed by those working inside a problem. I am constantly impressed by their dedication and insight, and by the broad perspective they bring to standards making."

By complying with British Standards, suppliers demonstrate that their products or services are safe and fit for purpose. To be certain that a standard meets the needs of all interested parties, from manufacturers to retailers and end users, all interests need to be represented in its development.

Wilma Tulloch on +44 (0)20 8996 6330 OR
Marc Edney on +44 (0)20 8996 6330