BSI’s role as the national standards body is evolving following the UK’s departure from the EU as the government takes sole responsibility for all regulation in the UK.
BSI manages over 1,200 standards development committees representing UK stakeholder experts from business, consumers, government and others. Between them BSI’s committees oversee around 38,000 British Standards, over 85% of which are identical with international and European regional standards.
Post-EU transition UK regulatory and trade policies will be autonomous, the responsibility of central and devolved governments. Many of these policies will call on the British Standards collection to support compliance and underpin productivity, innovation and the international competitiveness of UK industry.
As BSI’s role to support government evolves, we are ensuring that our national processes will continue to be robust and transparent, based on broad stakeholder consensus, open public consultation and regular review. Speed and agility are key, as we have seen in BSI’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, releasing guidance and making standards more easily available. The Building Safety Act 2020 will regulate competence requirements in the built environment and in BSI is delivering new standards that will support these requirements using a rapid development process.
Responding to government policy is a key element of BSI’s national standards body role. Enabling regulatory compliance in the UK, for example, is an important way in which our national standards (British Standards) meet stakeholder needs.
Under the direction of UK stakeholders including government, BSI has for many years sought wherever possible to develop international standards first, with UK leadership or influence. Post-EU transition, leading the development of international standards will be even more crucial for the UK, as an autonomous, global trading nation.
BSI’s stakeholders are adamant that, for products and services, the concept of ‘one standard used everywhere’ brings the maximum benefits for the UK, simplifying production, reducing costs and bringing clarity for consumers. This approach has driven the creation of the world-leading British Standards catalogue that is available today for government and industry.
Post-EU transition, BSI’s role as the national standards body will evolve to:
- Support the delivery of an autonomous UK regulatory policy. BSI will provide the necessary mechanism to coordinate UK government’s needs for standards. This will involve the creation of a facility to request standards to support policies, including legislation. BSI will deliver standards, UK-specific where needed, to support compliance with UK legal requirements.
- Promote and enable UK stakeholder leadership in international and European regional standardization. BSI will work with government on the role of standards as an enabler of trade and international competitiveness. We will optimize the participation of UK stakeholders through BSI’s membership of ISO, IEC, CEN, CENELEC and ETSI and our support for UK government in the ITU, always recognizing the need for flexibility where standards are used to support compliance with national regulation.