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

BSI is recognised 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 recognises BSI’s status as the UK member of the international standards organisations, ISO and IEC; the European standards organisations, CEN and CENELEC; and as the National Standards Organisation (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 Organisation’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 Publishing 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.

The exact scope of the activities regarded as belonging to the NSB is listed in the BSI Code of Conduct.