Why standards matter for consumers

Standards affect all of us, every day of our lives. Whenever we use a product or service, there’s a good chance there’s a standard to cover it, whether we’re using a washing machine, mobile phone, playground or sports stadium, driving a car, paying bills, eating in a restaurant, making a complaint…there are standards for all kinds of things. Put simply, standards make things better: safer, higher quality and easier to use. But as a consumer you don’t just benefit from existing standards. You can also help shape tomorrow’s standards.

What standards do for consumers

From the design of pushchairs or domestic appliances to the way organizations deal with complaints, standards make things easier to use and protect us when things go wrong.

How consumers can influence standards

Standards need to tackle issues that matter to ordinary people, so it’s important that members of the public comment on existing standards, suggest new ones, and even help create standards.

How disabled people influence standards

Many consumers will be vulnerable at some stage of their lives, so there are many standards to address the issues affecting them, in particular disabled people. It’s important they're involved in the standards-making process, which is why our Accessibility Coordination Group exists.

Consumer organizations'
role in standards

Consumer and public interest organizations, such as Which?, Citizens Advice, or the Trading Standards Institute, protect consumers’ interests. They support, and are members of, our Network because they recognize the importance of standards in setting good practice and the need for consumer involvement in their development.

Resources for

Explore a range of brochures and guides on how standards affect people in all kinds of areas, from children’s toys and moving house, to child resistant packaging and scuba diving.