Parliamentarians Urged to Back Standards


21 October 2003

An influential group of Parliamentarians today heard how the use of standards can boost competitiveness by encouraging innovation, improving markets and supporting trade.

At a meeting at the House of Commons, the Chairman of the British Standards Institution (BSI), Sir David John, and the Director of British Standards at BSI, David Lazenby, briefed The Associate Parliamentary Manufacturing Industry Group* on the merits and benefits of standardization.

Introducing Parliamentarians to ISO 9001:2000, Sir David highlighted the fact that ISO 9001 is the first globally recognised Management Standard, providing confidence between companies and their customers both domestically and internationally. Over 510,000 companies and organisations in 161 countries are certified to it. It helps to facilitate trade, improves competitiveness and protects consumers.

ISO 9001:2000 has three distinct new benefits:

Less red tape - companies will find it easier to show that they meet the requirements of the updated standard;

Customer satisfaction - the updated standard helps companies ensure that customer satisfaction is central to their operation, making them more competitive;

More flexible - the updated standard is more flexible, enabling companies to run quality management systems the way that is most relevant to them.

The group also heard about the National Standardization Strategic Framework, which is jointly sponsored by the CBI, the DTI and BSI. The NSSF was born out of the recognition that the UK's competitiveness, productivity and ability to innovate were being hampered by the lack of an infrastructure that makes the most of the benefits of standardization. Urging Members to support both ISO 9001:2000 and the NSSF, Sir David said:

"UK companies need to use all means available to them to improve efficiency, raise productivity, expand global trade and mitigate risk. In the USA, for example, there is a concerted government led campaign to push standardization as part of an export drive. In Germany, too, it is estimated that around one third of economic growth is due to the dissemination of new technology enabled by standards. We must do likewise to remain competitive."

*The APMIG, a cross-party Parliamentary group working in partnership with the private and public sectors, is dedicated to resolving these issues and securing a brighter future for British manufacturing. Further information is available at 

For more information please contact:

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