Supporting government policy
Government recognises the important role that standards play in supporting the public policy interest. As the UK’s National Standards Body, BSI operates in accordance with a Memorandum of Understanding with UK Government that sets out our role in supporting public policy. The MOU highlights how standardization is a key factor in support of a number of government policies, including competitiveness, innovation, trade, the protection of consumer interests, environmental protection and public procurement. BSI works across UK Government and regulators to offer a tool for Government to deliver its objectives in these and other policy areas.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) leads on government activities in standardization. BEIS works closely with BSI to use standards to deliver government’s policy objectives and to promote the role of BSI to other government departments.
Standards also offer government a tool for delivering better regulation, through self-regulation, earned recognition and co-regulation. Voluntary standards offer a flexible, adaptive and collaborative alternative to regulation by providing common languages, terminologies, guidelines and good practice developed by and for stakeholders. BSI’s robust standards development process, with full stakeholder engagement and open public consultation, provides the credibility to be used for public policy purposes. Using standards as an alternative to regulation can also save valuable parliamentary time.
Through our engagement activities, BSI informs key government stakeholders of how standards can be used to help government deliver its policy objectives. We do this through regular face-to-face meetings with senior Civil Servants and through responding to public consultations and parliamentary inquiries.