Comments needed on new good practice guide for consortia

Press release - 23 June 2010

BSI has been working with key industry stakeholders to develop a Publicly Available Specification (PAS) which will provide good practice guidance on the subject of consortia established for the purpose of creating standards. The guide, titled PAS 98 Code of practice for the establishment and management of consortia, addresses the establishment, governance and operation of consortia formed for standards related purposes. Published in two parts, Part 1 sets out recommended good practice for establishing and managing consortia while Part 2 offers guidance for organizations considering joining a consortia on how to assess the appropriateness and operation of consortia.

PAS 98 has the backing of key stakeholders and will be applicable internationally and across all sectors. It will assist consortia to deliver excellence across key functions such as market analysis, standards development, interoperability, education and lobbying.

A Stakeholder Workshop event held last year gave a wide range of key stakeholders the opportunity to discuss the primary challenges which should be addressed by such a good practice guide. An initial draft of the PAS was then completed and subsequently reviewed and developed by the project’s Steering Group. The Steering Group includes strategic input from key stakeholders in business (including Sun Microsystems and IBM), government, the legal profession and academia. The draft PAS is now complete and available for public consultation.

Steering Group member Andrew Updegrove, partner at Gesmer Updegrove a leading law firm in the US that has represented over 100 standards consortia, said: "Consortia have become extremely important in many areas of standards development over the last 30 years, but there are very few tools available to guide those that are interested in forming, operating or participating in them. BSI is providing a valuable service to those that create and rely on consortium-developed standards by identifying this need and working with industry to develop these new PAS documents."

Mike Low, Director, BSI Standards said: "Consortia hold an important and long established role in creating standards for specific sectors and we are delighted to be participating in creating this best practice guidance. The public consultation phase of PAS 98 signals a significant opportunity for stakeholders operating in the field of consortia to contribute to this important good practice document to ensure that it meets its aims of enabling consortia in any sector to operate successfully."

PAS 98 can be viewed and commented on free of charge at until 22 July 2010. All comments will be considered by the BSI PAS 98 Steering Group.

About BSI

BSI (British Standards Institution) is a global organization that equips businesses with the necessary solutions to turn standards of best practice into habits of excellence. Formed in 1901, BSI was the world’s first National Standards Body and a founding member of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

Over a century later it continues to facilitate business improvement across the globe by helping its clients drive performance, reduce risk and grow sustainably through the adoption of international management systems standards, many of which BSI originated. Famed for its marks of excellence including the instantly recognizable Kitemark®, BSI’s influence spans multiple sectors including aerospace, construction, energy, engineering, finance, healthcare, IT and retail. With over 70,000 clients in 150 countries, BSI is an organization whose standards inspire excellence across the globe.