BSI publishes first good practice guide for industry standards consortia

Press release - 17 November 2011

Guide created in response to growth of standards in key sectors of the economy. The British Standards Institution (BSI) has launched the first good practice guide for the establishment and management of standards consortia.

Consortia are formed by industry sectors to develop new standards, explore markets for new products and services and manage the certification of industry standards.

The guide – known as Publicly Available Specification 98 (PAS 98) – has been developed in recognition of the growth of standards in sectors such as ICT, healthcare, energy, automotive and financial services and their increasing influence in the field of standards development.

Key standards bodies (European Committee for Standardization), government departments (Department for Business, Innovation & Skills) and leading ICT companies such as IBM Europe, Adobe Systems and Sun Microsystems were brought together to create the PAS 98 guide.

The guide was written in two parts. Part I of PAS 98 provides good practice on the creation and management of consortia, including membership policies, governance, networking, influencing and optimizing the output of consortia through liaison with other standards development bodies.

Part II provides practical guidance for assessing the relevance and performance of consortia for both first time and active users.

Mike Low, Director of Standards at BSI, said: “The role and influence of consortia in the creation of standards has significantly grown across a number of sectors in recent years, in particular within ICT and consumer electronics. In response to the wide spread enthusiasm for robust good practice guidelines in this area we are delighted to announce the publication of PAS 98.

“This specification will provide users and managers of consortia with practical guidance on their formation and management along with guidelines for assessing the relevance and performance of consortia for first time or active participants.

“This guidance should further clarify the role and potential value of consortia in the creation and adoption of industry driven standards and the potential relationship with other national and international standards organizations.”