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BSI Top 10 Standards


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BSI Top 10 Standards

  1. 1. The Top Ten Standards that matter to consumers BSI Consumer & Public Interest Network raising standards worldwide™
  2. 2. 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. 2 The Top Ten Standards that matter to consumers
  3. 3. The top ten standards that matter to consumers The ‘top ten’ standards selected here illustrate the areas where standards matter to consumers: in accessibility, in safety, in security, in sustainability and in services. This is a far from exhaustive list. There are around 27,000 published standards to choose from, and for every one of the top ten standards chosen, there were several others that could (and possibly should) also be mentioned. These other examples can be found at: For now, it is intended that the following small selection will offer a window into the ways in which consumers can use and benefit from standards. The top ten standards Accessibility: • Accessible buildings (BS 8300) 4 • Accessibility of hotels (PAS 88) 5 Safety: • Fire safety (BS 9999) 6 • Safety of toys (BS EN 71) 7 Security: • Personal data protection (BS 10012) 8 • Internet safety for children (PAS 74) 9 Sustainability: • Environmental labelling (BS EN ISO 14021) 10 Service: • Customer service (BS 8477) 13 • Vehicle body repair (PAS 125) 13 • Adventurous activities (BS 8848) 14 We have a long history of support for the use of standards. They have a fantastic track record of success in bringing consumer protection and confidence into a wide variety of areas. Historically this has been particularly the case in the manufacture of products but increasingly we can see their benefit in various service areas. In an age of better regulation they can also provide an important alternative to statutory approaches to regulation. Helen McCallum, Director of Policy and Communications, Which? 3
  4. 4. 4 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 practice 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. 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.
  5. 5. 5 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 PAS 88 has been developed to help hotel companies extend a welcome for all guests and to meet their ongoing obligations under the Disability Discrimination Act. It explains ways of achieving this in association with British Standards, the Building 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
  6. 6. 6 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 buildings 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.
  7. 7. 7 Child’s play Protecting children will always be important and many standards take their safety into account. BS EN 60335, which ensures the safety of household electrical appliances, is a good example of a standard that includes requirements dealing with common hazards for children. Children at play are protected by BS EN 71, an 11-part standard looking at every aspect of toy safety, from flammability and toxicity to their potential to trap clothing or injure a child’s body. This standard underpins the European Toy Safety Directive. In most instances, toys that fail to meet its requirements may not be placed on the market. A separate standard, BS EN 62115, deals with the safety of electrical toys. BS EN 71 – Safety of toys The importance of keeping children safe from accidents cannot be overstated. BS EN 71 provides the detail which underpins the European Toy Safety Directive and as such makes a valuable contribution to ensuring that children playing with toys have fewer injuries. Mike Hayes, Head of Research and Development, Child Accident Prevention Trust
  8. 8. 8 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 system 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.
  9. 9. 9 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 BSI's familiar Kitemark sends out a message to Mums and Dads. It says this product has been tested and been found to work to a high standard – a standard which puts a premium on usability. We all hope that when parents see the logo they will feel encouraged to buy and use the product to help keep their kids safe. That was the whole idea behind developing it. Standards provide reassurance. John Carr, Executive Board Member, UK Council for Child Internet Safety
  10. 10. 10 Caring for the environment Many standards help organizations to safeguard the environment. PAS 2050 gives organizations a consistent way to calculate the greenhouse gas emissions of their goods and services across their entire lifecycle – from sourcing raw materials, to manufacture, distribution, use and disposal. BS EN ISO 14001 sets out the framework for an environmental management system. This is currently enabling more than 154,000 organizations worldwide to measure and reduce their environmental impacts. BS EN ISO 14021 was written to address a growing trend for manufacturers and service providers to attach environmental claims, symbols and declarations to their products and packaging – such as ‘recyclable’, ‘reduced resource use’, and ‘designed for disassembly’. It standardizes definitions and makes these claims verifiable, accurate and not misleading. BS EN ISO 14021 – Environmental labels and declarations. Self-declared environmental claims 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 from those who provide products and services. 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 from those who provide products and services.
  11. 11. 11 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 sustainable and leave a lasting legacy. BS 8901 is inspired by this ambition and will benefit the events industry long after 2012. It provides a coherent and flexible framework which can be applied to all kinds of events and organizations no matter what their size. David Stubbs, Head of Sustainability, London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games & Paralympic Games Sustainable events From London 2012 to the village fête, all events have an impact on the wider community and the environment. BS 8901 provides guidance to enable event organizers and suppliers to continually improve the sustainability of their events, by developing and implementing systems that identify, evaluate, and address the environmental, social and economic issues and opportunities.
  12. 12. 12 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.
  13. 13. 13 Meeting customers’ expectations When customer service is poor, consumers and businesses both suffer. BS 8477 can play an important role in improving customer service: it identifies essential features that organizations need to address to meet customer expectations. A partner standard is in development which will help organizations identify and respond to consumer vulnerability. BS 8477 recommends that billing is in accordance with BS 8463, a standard aimed at giving consumers clear, accurate bills for traditional utilities as well as internet service and mobile phone use. Work on an international billing standard is now underway. Additionally, the suite of customer service standards, BS ISO 10001, 2 and 3, covers codes of conduct, complaints handling and external dispute resolution. BS 8477 – Code of Practice for customer service Vehicle repair and servicing Recent crash test research proved that passengers are considerably less safe in poorly repaired vehicles than in those that are repaired properly. To safeguard passengers, pedestrians and other road users, PAS 125 provides bodyshops with the requirements to achieve safe and technically sound repairs. The PAS underpins the Thatcham BSI Kitemark® scheme. Similarly, PAS 80 defines requirements for customer service at garages, ensuring technical and service standards are maintained. There is also a Kitemark® for PAS 80. PAS 125 – Automotive services. Vehicle body repair. Specification For more on the BSI Kitemark, see: Having your car repaired by a Kitemark bodyshop could help save your life. The Kitemark is there to show the motorist that the highest standards of repair have been applied to your vehicle. It means that the actual repair has been done safely, using the right materials and by skilled technicians so that your car offers you the same protection as it did before your accident. Kitemark bodyshops are serious about the safety of motorists. Quentin Willson, motoring journalist, broadcaster and consumer champion
  14. 14. 14 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 Kingdom
  15. 15. 15 • keep an eye on standards development work at: (all draft standards are circulated for public comment); • ask to be part of the national committees in their area of interest – developing UK standards or feeding into European or international work; • propose ideas for new standards for consideration by the relevant Technical Committees; • actively sponsor the development of a standard – collaboratively producing a Publicly Available Specification (PAS); • join BSI’s CPI Network to have a long term and active voice in the development of consumer standards. For more information on these standards development opportunities, please contact the Consumer & Public Interest Unit at Standards – tackling consumer detriment Consumer and public interest organizations often campaign for changes to legislation to right consumer wrongs. Standardization is another approach that is flexible, can be quicker to accomplish and (because of the rules that govern the way BSI operates) allows consumers to be fully involved in the process. Consumer and public interest organizations can:
  16. 16. The Consumer & Public Interest Network (CPIN) works to give a voice to the consumer and the public interest in the standards making process. We highlight areas where society will benefit from the development of standards and liaise with representatives from consumer and public interest organizations to strengthen this viewpoint on key issues. CPIN plays an important role in ensuring the interests of UK consumers are represented in European and international standards making. CPIN is made up of individuals and representatives of consumer and public interest organizations, who take part in the standards making process. They focus on the real life problems of end users, such as disabled people wishing to access spectator facilities, or hotel guests who need safe emergency evacuation from hotels. CPIN is supported by the CPI Unit, which works within BSI. The CPIU can instigate work on new standards and is also the key contact point for consumer organizations to feed their initiatives and concerns into the standards development process. Contact CPIU BSI Consumer & Public Interest Unit 389 Chiswick High Road London W4 4AL UK Tel: 020 8996 7754 Email: Further information: This brochure can offer only a brief introduction to standards that help consumers. Many others exist, including a set of international Guides. These are aimed at standards’ developers, but are of wider interest, and give advice on consumer issues in areas such as packaging, instructions for use, service delivery, environmental aspects, child safety and symbols. Details of these and a longer list of consumer standards can be found at: To purchase any of the standards mentioned in this publication please contact: About the BSI Consumer & Public Interest Network (CPIN) raising standards worldwide™ BSI Group: Standards • Information • Training • Inspection • Testing • Assessment • Certification Printed responsibly on FSC material under chain of custody conditions by an FSC certified printer. Please recycle after use. BSI Group Headquarters 389 Chiswick High Road London W4 4AL UK Tel +44 (0)20 8996 9001 Fax +44 (0)20 8996 7001 © BSI copyright 11/09 FSC LOGO