Speaking up for consumers - the Consumer & Public Interest Network

If standards are to have a real impact it’s essential that the people who use products and services – consumers – help create them. That’s what the Consumer & Public Interest Network (CPIN) is for. It represents UK consumers in the development of standards, helping to make sure that they tackle real issues that will make a positive difference for consumers. 

CPIN is a group of trained volunteers who are experts in consumer issues. We work closely with: consumer organizations like Which?, Citizens Advice and the National Consumer Federation; environmental groups such as the Energy Saving Trust and UK Sustainability Network for Standardisation (UK SNS); as well as non-industry groups with a societal focus, e.g. charities, academic research groups, and relevant professional associations such as the Institute of Ergonomics & Human Factors.


How does CPIN make a difference?

BSI’s Consumer & Public Interest Network (CPIN) exists to make sure that the voice of UK consumers is heard in standards. It is made up of trained volunteers who are experts in consumer issues.

CPIN members represent consumers on BSI standards committees so that they can influence standards while they’re being developed. They can also suggest new standards that might benefit consumers. Their work is organized and directed by a smaller group of Consumer Coordinators, who are also volunteers.

Governance

The Consumer and Public Interest Strategic Advisory Committee (CPISAC),  guides the strategic direction of consumer representation in British Standards,  as well as representing  the consumer view on the BSI committee that drives BSI’s standards strategy – the Standards Policy and Strategy Committee.


CPIN priority areas

CPIN couldn’t get involved in every standard that’s developed – BSI publishes around 2,500 standards a year - so it focuses its efforts on areas that are most important to consumers.

Services – improving quality and choice in service markets

Safety – safety of products and services and those related to health

Inclusivity – making sure all consumers are treated fairly regardless of age, disability or personal circumstances

Sustainability – making sure products and services minimize their impact on the environment

Digital – including privacy and security


International links

CPIN collaborates with consumer bodies who represent the consumer voice in  standardization around the world:

ANEC The European voice for consumers in standardization is based in Brussels. CPIN members are active in its working groups and may also represent ANEC directly into European standards developed by CEN/CENELEC, the European standards bodies. 

Consumers International (CI) is the membership organisation for consumer groups around the world. CI represents the consumer voice directly into international standards developed by ISO and IEC, CPIN is a supporter member of CI.

COPOLCO is ISO’s committee on consumer policy. Its members are the National Standards bodies, including BSI. CPIN work closely with the BSI consumer and public interest policy team to collaborate with other NSB’s on international consumer issues. BSI play's a active role in ISO COPOLCO. Past CPIN chairs have been nominated to chair COPOLCO and CPIN members provide valuable expertise.