BSI Consumer Forum is an open network that brings together organizations from across the consumer protection landscape, including CPIN, to share valuable insight about topical consumer issues.
Members include charities, regulators, enforcement agencies and government departments who may have expertise in:
general consumer issues
a specific topic (e.g. electrical safety or sustainability)
the needs of particular groups of consumers (e.g. children or older people).
There is an annual Consumer Forum conference for members and other interested parties.
We are seeking an independent Consumer professional to chair the BSI Consumer Forum
BSI Consumer Forum is an open network that brings together organizations from across the consumer protection landscape to share valuable insight about topical consumer issues related to standards.
Members include charities, regulators, enforcement agencies and government departments. BSI’s Consumer Forum Council draws together strategic thinkers from 16 UK Consumer Organizations to work in the interests of protecting the consumers they represent, through British Standards.
To read our March 2021 Committee Member Newsletter, click here.
Consumer Forum Council
Senior representatives from UK consumer protection organizations form the Consumer Forum Council, which:
takes a strategic overview of consumer issues
explores potential standards solutions
guides CPIN’s priorities
provides the consumer perspective to BSI’s Standards, Policy, and Strategy Committee (SPSC)
CPIN is a core member of the Consumer Forum Council, along with organizations such as Which?, Citizens Advice, Age UK and Trading Standards. This collaboration strengthens the consumer stakeholder voice in standards and helps to achieve a shared ambition to enhance consumer protection.
Consumer Forum Chair
Liz Barclay is a well-known consumer champion and brings with her a wealth of experience, both in consumer issues and as a member of a range of charity, industry and regulatory boards.
She says, “Standards are a key tool in improving consumer protection and giving consumers the information they need to make the best possible choices. This role provides me with an amazing opportunity to contribute to that agenda.”
Case studies: Consumer Forum collaboration
CPIN and the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) at BEIS collaborated to improve the product recall system for consumers. An OPSS spokesperson says: “Standards are part of the toolkit for tackling consumer problems, working alongside education and legislation. We had evidence that the product recall system was not well understood and therefore was not protecting consumers from unsafe products. We worked with BSI, through the Consumer Forum Council, to develop a PAS on Product Recalls to outline good practice for businesses and regulators. This proved to be a quick and effective way to raise awareness and improve processes.”
Domestic appliance fires
Which? research and data provides valuable evidence to support CPIN representatives in their work. In 2018 CPIN collaborated with Which?, Electrical Safety First and the London Fire Brigade to improve safety standards for domestic appliances to reduce the risk of fire. A spokesperson from Which? says: “Standards play an important role in consumer protection by providing a framework that helps businesses comply with legislation. British standards are also used in a lot of the comparative product testing that Which? undertakes.”
CPIN works closely with RoSPA and the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) to make sure that standards minimize potential risks to children. CAPT’s CEO says: “We have been collaborating with CPIN to contribute to a new standard for button batteries to make it harder for children to access potentially lethal batteries in everyday household products such as remote controls, gaming headsets and tea lights. Standards are vital in helping to protect children and reassuring parents that what they’re buying is safe. We’re very pleased to work with CPIN to help improve product safety.”
How to get involved
Join the BSI Consumer Forum
If you work in consumer protection, join the Consumer Forum to network with other organizations about topical consumer issues and find out about CPIN’s work in key consumer standards.
Become a CPIN rep
If you would like to make a positive difference to consumers through standards, apply to become a CPIN representative. We welcome consumer champions with a wide range of knowledge, skills and experience. Full training and support will be given.
Contribute to standards in development
Directly - Where a standard is particularly important to your organization, a member of your team can join the relevant committee as a consumer expert. You may work alongside other consumer organizations, such as CPIN, in the consumer stakeholder group.
Indirectly - Liaise with CPIN reps working on specific standards to:
brainstorm key issues
share your expertise
provide evidence of consumer harm
This will help to inform their work and strengthen the consumer voice. CPIN runs ad-hoc stakeholder workshops throughout the year.