BSI’s role as the UK’s National Standards Body

BSI is recognized as the UK National Standards Body (NSB) by the UK Government. This status is formally codified in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the United Kingdom Government and the British Standards Institution in respect of its activities as the United Kingdom’s National Standards Body.

The MoU recognizes BSI’s status as the UK member of the international standards organizations, ISO and IEC; the European standards organizations, CEN and CENELEC; and as the National Standards Organization (NSO) participating on behalf of the UK in ETSI.

The MoU defines a number of key responsibilities for BSI as the NSB. Its membership of the international and European standards bodies also entails a number of specific responsibilities. In addition, there are certain aspects of BSI’s work that are further defined through the World Trade Organization’s Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement (TBT), to which the UK Government is a signatory.

Most of BSI’s responsibilities are undertaken on a day-to-day basis by BSI Standards Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary company of BSI Group. A Supply of Services Agreement sets the framework by which this can be systematically monitored.

The NSB has the responsibility of the Director of Standards and is administered within the External Policy team. It receives some funding from the UK Government in recognition of work undertaken in the public interest.

BIS funding

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is responsible for UK government policy on standardization and BSI receives funding from BIS in respect of its role as the UK NSB. Recognizing the importance of the work we do and that some aspects are not self-funding, BIS fund specific activity in three main areas: Influence and Leadership – helping to support the infrastructure necessary for the UK to participate in international standardization and giving HMG access to standards, Standards Development – covering activities relating to developing standards content, and Participation in Standardization – enabling UK participants in international standards work by contributing towards their travel costs.

Each year, we produce a report which covers in detail how this money is spent. Download BSI's annual report to the UK Government's Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) on the use of BIS funding.

Current report
Report for the financial year 2015-2016 (PDF)

Past reports
Report for the financial year 2014-2015 (PDF)
Report for the financial year 2013-2014 (PDF)
Report for the financial year 2012-2013 (PDF)
Report for the financial year 2011-2012 (PDF)