BSI's Top 10 standards that matter to consumers
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BSI's Top 10 standards that matter to consumers

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The Top Ten Standards that matter to consumers - BSI Consumer & Public Interest Network ...

The Top Ten Standards that matter to consumers - BSI Consumer & Public Interest Network

What are standards?

Standards are published documents that help to make products and services safe,
effective and efficient. They are written through a formal process involving wide consultation with relevant bodies – including consumer representatives – and come in the form of methods of test, guides, codes of practice, terminologies or specifications.

Standards are not the same as legislation. Their use is voluntary but they can and
often do provide the detail to underpin legislation. Standards also often support certification schemes, such as the well known Kitemark®.

Why standards matter to consumers

Standards matter to consumers because they help to protect them, and to ensure that consumers are given enough information to make informed choices.

Standards raise levels of quality, safety, reliability, interoperability and efficiency.

How consumers play their part in standards
Consumers are important to BSI (which is the National Standards Body) and to the UK Government. Both actively support consumer and public interest involvement in the standards making process to ensure their views are properly taken into account. This function is performed by representatives of the Consumer & Public Interest Network, who are supported by a small team in the Consumer & Public Interest Unit (CPIU) at BSI headquarters in Chiswick, London. This brochure has been prepared by the CPIU.

www.bsigroup.com/ConsumerStandards

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    BSI's Top 10 standards that matter to consumers BSI's Top 10 standards that matter to consumers Document Transcript

    • The Top Ten Standardsthat matter to consumers BSI Consumer & Public Interest Networkraising standards worldwide ™
    • The Top Ten Standards that matter to consumers What are standards? How consumers play their Standards are published documents that part in standards help to make products and services safe, Consumers are important to BSI (which is effective and efficient. They are written the National Standards Body) and to the through a formal process involving wide UK Government. Both actively support consultation with relevant bodies – consumer and public interest involvement including consumer representatives – and in the standards making process to ensure come in the form of methods of test, their views are properly taken into guides, codes of practice, terminologies or account. This function is performed by specifications. representatives of the Consumer & Public Interest Network, who are supported by a Standards are not the same as legislation. small team in the Consumer & Public Their use is voluntary but they can and Interest Unit (CPIU) at BSI headquarters in often do provide the detail to underpin Chiswick, London. This brochure has been legislation. Standards also often support prepared by the CPIU. certification schemes, such as the well- known Kitemark®. Why standards matter to consumers Standards matter to consumers because they help to protect them, and to ensure that consumers are given enough information to make informed choices. Standards raise levels of quality, safety, reliability, interoperability and efficiency.2 www.bsigroup.com/ConsumerStandards
    • We have a long history of support for the use of standards. They have a fantastic trackrecord of success in bringing consumer protection and confidence into a wide varietyof areas. Historically this has been particularly the case in the manufacture of productsbut increasingly we can see their benefit in various service areas. In an age ofbetter regulation they can also provide an important alternative to statutoryapproaches to regulation.Helen McCallum, Director of Policy and Communications, Which?The top ten standards that The top ten standardsmatter to consumers Accessibility:The ‘top ten’ standards selected hereillustrate the areas where standards matter • Accessible buildings (BS 8300) 4to consumers: in accessibility, in safety, in • Accessibility of hotels (PAS 88) 5security, in sustainability and in services. Safety:This is a far from exhaustive list. There arearound 27,000 published standards to • Fire safety (BS 9999) 6choose from, and for every one of the top • Safety of toys (BS EN 71) 7ten standards chosen, there were severalothers that could (and possibly should) also Security:be mentioned. These other examples can • Personal data protection (BS 10012) 8be found at: • Internet safety for children (PAS 74) 9www.bsigroup.com/ConsumerStandardsFor now, it is intended that the following Sustainability:small selection will offer a window into • Environmental labellingthe ways in which consumers can use and (BS EN ISO 14021) 10benefit from standards. Service: • Customer service (BS 8477) 13 • Vehicle body repair (PAS 125) 13 • Adventurous activities (BS 8848) 14 www.bsigroup.com/ConsumerStandards 3
    • Accessibility for all We are continuously working for standards that fulfil the basic consumer principles, particularly in the area of accessibility and inclusivity. With that in mind, our work supports standards that promote the availability of products and services to all consumers, regardless of where they live, their sensory, cognitive or physical abilities and other social, cultural and economic considerations. Accessible buildings Since 2001 BS 8300 has provided guidance and recommendations on how the built environment can be designed or modified to anticipate and overcome restrictions that have caused problems for people with disabilities. The standard was revised in 2009 to incorporate key changes, such as sanitary ‘Changing Places’ rooms, accessible baby-changing and more information on means of escape. It is applicable to all buildings, except individual dwellings, which are now covered in DD 266. It also helps organizations to fulfil their legal duties under Part 3 of the Disability Discrimination Act. BS 8300 – Design of buildings and their approaches to meet the needs of disabled people. Code of practice4 www.bsigroup.com/ConsumerStandards
    • PAS 88 has been developed to help hotel companies extend a welcome for allguests and to meet their ongoing obligations under the Disability DiscriminationAct. It explains ways of achieving this in association with British Standards, theBuilding Regulations and guidance from tourism authorities in the United Kingdom.It should be considered a useful tool as part of this process.Brian Seaman, Head of Consultancy, Tourism for All Room for everyone With over 10 million disabled people in the UK, spending around £80bn on goods and services, there is an increasing demand for accessible hotel accommodation. PAS 88 provides information for large hotel premises and chains working to meet the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act. It contains principles of good practice and covers every aspect of a hotel stay from access to bedrooms, bathrooms and all public facilities, to staff training, transport provisions and interior features and design. A shorter version is available for consumers to check what hotels should be offering – see the BSI consumer website for details. PAS 88 – Guidance on accessibility of large hotel premises and hotel chains www.bsigroup.com/ConsumerStandards 5
    • Safe and well Safety has always been at the top of our agenda, particularly with regard to children, people with disabilities and older people. Safety standards can save lives, so we make sure consumers are involved across the board, from powered lawnmowers to safety glass, from the burning behaviour of bedding to child resistant packaging, and many more. Fire safety Fire is ruthlessly destructive of human life and property, so a large number of fire safety standards exist to protect consumers and communities. Among them, BS 9999 builds on government guidance to provide an advanced approach to fire safety in the design, management and use of buildings. Its guidance on means of escape for disabled people has been greatly expanded from that in previous codes, to reflect the principles of inclusive design. The standard covers the design of new buildings and alterations to existing ones, giving guidance throughout the entire lifecycle of the building. BS 9999 – Code of practice for fire safety in the design, management and use of buildings6 www.bsigroup.com/ConsumerStandards
    • The importance of keeping children safe from accidents cannotbe overstated. BS EN 71 provides the detail which underpinsthe European Toy Safety Directive and as such makes a valuablecontribution to ensuring that children playing with toyshave fewer injuries.Mike Hayes, Head of Research and Development,Child Accident Prevention TrustChild’s playProtecting children will always beimportant and many standards take theirsafety into account. BS EN 60335, whichensures the safety of household electricalappliances, is a good example of astandard that includes requirementsdealing with common hazards for children.Children at play are protected byBS EN 71, an 11-part standard lookingat every aspect of toy safety, fromflammability and toxicity to theirpotential to trap clothing or injure achild’s body. This standard underpinsthe European Toy Safety Directive.In most instances, toys that failto meet its requirements may notbe placed on the market. A separatestandard, BS EN 62115, deals withthe safety of electrical toys.BS EN 71 – Safety of toys www.bsigroup.com/ConsumerStandards 7
    • Secure and confident Security is key for consumers, who need reassurance about products and services in terms of personal physical security, the security of belongings and the security of personal information. Consumers are involved in a growing number of standards being written to address these issues. Protecting personal data The cost of identity fraud has been estimated at £1.7bn a year in the UK. The Data Protection Act (DPA) provides consumers with legal protection, but recent BSI research showed that almost one in five small businesses had unwittingly breached the DPA at least once. In response, BS 10012 sets out a framework for organizations to maintain and improve their DPA compliance, providing a tool to manage consumers’ personal information responsibly, confidently and effectively. It includes procedures for training and awareness, risk assessment, and data sharing and disposal. BS 10012 – Data protection. Specification for a personal information management system8 www.bsigroup.com/ConsumerStandards
    • BSIs familiar Kitemark sends out a message to Mums andDads. It says this product has been tested and been found towork to a high standard – a standard which puts a premiumon usability. We all hope that when parents see the logo theywill feel encouraged to buy and use the product to help keeptheir kids safe. That was the whole idea behind developing it.Standards provide reassurance.John Carr, Executive Board Member, UK Councilfor Child Internet Safety Safer surfing Concern over the safety of children using the internet has been growing. And although there are some commercial internet safety products available, there has been no way to benchmark their quality and effectiveness, especially as the majority of parents are often less conversant with the technology than their children. Some unscrupulous people use the internet to ‘groom’ children for subsequent abuse. PAS 74 was written to help safeguard children from this. BSI has also established a Kitemark® scheme, which manufacturers or suppliers can use to show the public that their products meet a minimum standard of quality, effectiveness and ease of use. These products are not a complete answer, nor are they a substitute for parental involvement, but they can be an invaluable aid for parents. PAS 74 – Internet safety. Access control systems for the protection of children online www.bsigroup.com/ConsumerStandards 9
    • Building a sustainable world Building a sustainable world Standards now exist across the environmental and social responsibility spectrum; these can play an important role in enabling consumers to expect and demand higher sustainability standards the environmental and social responsibility spectrum; Standards now exist across from those who provide products and services. these can play an important role in enabling consumers to expect and demand higher sustainability standards from those who provide products and services. Caring for the environment BS EN ISO 14021 was written to address a growing trend for manufacturers and Many standards help organizations to service providers to attach environmental safeguard the environment. claims, symbols and declarations to their PAS 2050 gives organizations a consistent products and packaging – such as ‘recyclable’, way to calculate the greenhouse gas ‘reduced resource use’, and ‘designed for emissions of their goods and services across disassembly’. It standardizes definitions and their entire lifecycle – from sourcing raw makes these claims verifiable, accurate and materials, to manufacture, distribution, not misleading. use and disposal. BS EN ISO 14021 – Environmental labels BS EN ISO 14001 sets out the framework and declarations. Self-declared for an environmental management system. environmental claims This is currently enabling more than 154,000 organizations worldwide to measure and reduce their environmental impacts.10 www.bsigroup.com/ConsumerStandards
    • The Olympic Games and Paralympic Games are the world’s biggest sporting events.Underpinning our plans is the ambition to ensure that our Games are truly sustainableand leave a lasting legacy. BS 8901 is inspired by this ambition and will benefit theevents industry long after 2012. It provides a coherent and flexible framework whichcan be applied to all kinds of events and organizations no matter what their size.David Stubbs, Head of Sustainability, London Organising Committeeof the Olympic Games & Paralympic GamesSustainable eventsFrom London 2012 to the village fête,all events have an impact on the widercommunity and the environment.BS 8901 provides guidance to enable eventorganizers and suppliers to continuallyimprove the sustainability of their events,by developing and implementing systemsthat identify, evaluate, and address theenvironmental, social and economicissues and opportunities. www.bsigroup.com/ConsumerStandards 11
    • Service please Service standards are becoming increasingly important as consumers seek the means to identify in advance what the service will cover, its quality, its safety and what can reasonably be expected of the service provider. Consumers have played a lead role in the evolution of service standards, especially for customer service.12 www.bsigroup.com/ConsumerStandards
    • Having your car repaired by a Kitemark bodyshop could help save your life. The Kitemark isthere to show the motorist that the highest standards of repair have been applied to yourvehicle. It means that the actual repair has been done safely, using the right materials andby skilled technicians so that your car offers you the same protection as it did before youraccident. Kitemark bodyshops are serious about the safety of motorists.Quentin Willson, motoring journalist, broadcaster and consumer championMeeting customers’ Vehicle repair and servicingexpectations Recent crash test research proved thatWhen customer service is poor, consumers passengers are considerably less safeand businesses both suffer. BS 8477 can in poorly repaired vehicles than in thoseplay an important role in improving that are repaired properly. To safeguardcustomer service: it identifies essential passengers, pedestrians and other roadfeatures that organizations need to users, PAS 125 provides bodyshops withaddress to meet customer expectations. the requirements to achieve safe andA partner standard is in development technically sound repairs. The PAS underpinswhich will help organizations identify the Thatcham BSI Kitemark® scheme.and respond to consumer vulnerability. Similarly, PAS 80 defines requirementsBS 8477 recommends that billing is in for customer service at garages, ensuringaccordance with BS 8463, a standard aimed technical and service standards areat giving consumers clear, accurate bills maintained. There is also a Kitemark®for traditional utilities as well as internet for PAS 80.service and mobile phone use. Work on PAS 125 – Automotive services. Vehiclean international billing standard is now body repair. Specificationunderway. Additionally, the suite ofcustomer service standards, BS ISO 10001, 2 For more on the BSI Kitemark, see:and 3, covers codes of conduct, complaints www.Kitemark.comhandling and external dispute resolution.BS 8477 – Code of Practice forcustomer service www.bsigroup.com/ConsumerStandards 13
    • Safer adventures BS 8848 was developed because of consumer concerns about the risks associated with adventurous activities, and gaps in provider responsibilities. BSI research showed that one in four parents didn’t know who was in charge when their children were away and 82 per cent thought trips should comply with a safety standard. Parents, travel operators, educational groups and adventure specialists developed BS 8848. It was written to manage the risks of injury or illness from adventurous activities abroad, while allowing the fun to remain, and is aimed at anyone involved in organizing expeditions. BS 8848 – Specification for the provision of visits, fieldwork expeditions and adventurous activity outside the United Kingdom14 www.bsigroup.com/ConsumerStandards
    • Standards – tackling consumer detrimentConsumer and public interest organizations often campaign for changes tolegislation to right consumer wrongs. Standardization is another approach thatis flexible, can be quicker to accomplish and (because of the rules that governthe way BSI operates) allows consumers to be fully involved in the process.Consumer and public interest organizations can:• keep an eye on standards development • actively sponsor the development of work at: www.bsigroup.com/drafts a standard – collaboratively producing (all draft standards are circulated a Publicly Available Specification (PAS); for public comment); • join BSI’s CPI Network to have• ask to be part of the national a long term and active voice in the committees in their area of interest – development of consumer standards. developing UK standards or feeding For more information on these standards into European or international work; development opportunities, please contact• propose ideas for new standards for the Consumer & Public Interest Unit at consideration by the relevant Technical consumer@bsigroup.com Committees; www.bsigroup.com/ConsumerStandards 15
    • About the BSI Consumer & Public Interest Network (CPIN) The Consumer & Public Interest Network (CPIN) Contact CPIU works to give a voice to the consumer and the BSI Consumer & Public Interest Unit public interest in the standards making process. 389 Chiswick High Road London We highlight areas where society will benefit W4 4AL from the development of standards and liaise UK with representatives from consumer and public interest organizations to strengthen this Tel: 020 8996 7754 viewpoint on key issues. Email: consumer@bsigroup.com www.bsigroup.com/standards CPIN plays an important role in ensuring the interests of UK consumers are represented Further information: in European and international standards This brochure can offer only a brief introduction making. CPIN is made up of individuals and to standards that help consumers. Many others representatives of consumer and public interest exist, including a set of international Guides. organizations, who take part in the standards These are aimed at standards’ developers, but making process. They focus on the real life are of wider interest, and give advice on problems of end users, such as disabled people consumer issues in areas such as packaging, wishing to access spectator facilities, or hotel instructions for use, service delivery, guests who need safe emergency evacuation environmental aspects, child safety and from hotels. symbols. Details of these and a longer list of consumer standards can be found at: CPIN is supported by the CPI Unit, which www.bsigroup.com/ConsumerStandards works within BSI. The CPIU can instigate work on new standards and is also the key contact To purchase any of the standards mentioned point for consumer organizations to feed their in this publication please contact: initiatives and concerns into the standards www.bsigroup.com/shop development process.BSI Group Headquarters389 Chiswick High Road London W4 4AL UK FSC LOGOTel +44 (0)20 8996 9001Fax +44 (0)20 8996 7001 Printed responsibly on FSC material under chain of custody conditions by an FSC certifiedwww.bsigroup.com printer. Please recycle after use.© BSI copyright 11/09raising standards worldwide™BSI Group: Standards • Information • Training • Inspection • Testing • Assessment • Certification