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BSI British Standards' role as the UK's National Standards Body

BSI British Standards is recognised as the UK National Standards Body (NSB) by the UK Government. The UK NSB role is performed by BSI British Standards on behalf of the UK Government and principally involves the representation of the UK in European and International standards fora. Some British Standards (BSs) go on to become European or International standards (ENs or ISOs). The world’s most famous series of standards, ISO 9000, for example, began life as a British standard.

An important aspect of the work of BSI British Standards is the creation of European Standards (ENs). The EU relies heavily on the standardization to reduce technical barriers to trade for products and services whilst assuring appropriate levels of safety and performance. BSI provides a means to participate in European standards activities through the two European standards organizations:

  • the European Committee for Standardization (CEN)
  • the European Committee for Electro-technical Standardization (CENELEC).

European Standards are usually adopted as British Standards.

BSI British Standards is also a leading member of the worldwide federations of national standards bodies:

  • The International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
  • The International Electro-technical Commission (IEC).

ISO and IEC represent 148 countries worldwide. They promote the development of standardization to aid international exchange of goods and services and BSI British Standards decides whether to adopt these international standards for the UK.

BSI works in partnership with other countries and their standards bodies, for example in twinning or Technical Assistance programmes organised through ISO and CEN.

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