The BSI Kitemark™, Britain’s famous consumer quality trust mark, turns 110 today

For over a century the trust mark recognized by over 72% of British consumers has stood the test of time and continues to grow into new areas.

The BSI Kitemark™, which provides a clear and independent confirmation of quality, started life standardizing tramway rails in the 1900s. Soon after, it told the world that General Electric’s lights were safe and trustworthy, and in the 1960s became the first ever mark to make seatbelts safe. Today it does the same for a whole range of products including users of riding hats, electric plugs, smoke detectors and condoms.

The BSI Kitemark was first registered by BSI on the 12th June 1903 – the same year in which Harley Davidson, Crayola crayons and the Tour de France were born.

Since its inception the BSI Kitemark has grown into one of Britain’s most important and most recognized consumer quality marks. Evolution is survival of the fittest and Kitemark has never stood still, it has evolved with the changes of the times and grown into new global territories such as the UAE where it helps protect buildings from the risks of fire. Now, vehicle damage repairs, window installation, sustainability and other services are just a few of the new areas where it reassures consumers. The longest running BSI Kitemark licence, for copper pipe fittings is testament to this, having been issued in 1945 and still going strong.

To commit to this growth, BSI continues to develop the Kitemark and recently announced an investment of over £3million in new advanced testing facilities at the 54 year old home of the BSI Kitemark in Hemel Hempstead. Here many products from ladders and windows to pressure cookers and respiratory equipment have been tested and are still assessed and Kitemarked today. Changes to standards and innovation in product design mean that the laboratories have developed to include new tests and schemes enabling manufacturers to bring product to market as quickly as possible. 

Mark Basham, EMEA Managing Director, BSI said: “The BSI Kitemark remains as relevant to British consumers today as it did when it was first created 110 years ago - providing reliable independent confirmation that the most stringent standards for safety and quality have been met by products and services.

“Over its lifetime the BSI Kitemark has protected consumers as they use everyday consumer goods; such as electrical and protective equipment including fire extinguishers, gas appliances, crash helmets, plugs and sockets, heaters and lighting.

The future of the BSI Kitemark is an exciting one as it meets the consumer need in an ever changing landscape where services such as managing data and customer complaints become more pressing.