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BSI Group
Non-profit distributing incorporated body operating under Royal Charter
United Kingdom
Number of locations
90 offices in 31 countries[1][2]
Area served
Productsstandards and standards related services
RevenueIncrease£548.1m (2019)[3]
Number of employees
4,784 (2018)[4]

BSI Group, also known as the British Standards Institution, is the national standards body of the United Kingdom. BSI produces technical standards on a wide range of products and services and also supplies certification and standards-related services to businesses.


BSI Group headquarters building in Gunnersbury, West London, featuring the BSI Group logo
BSI Group headquarters building in Gunnersbury, West London, featuring the BSI Group logo

BSI Group was founded as the Engineering Standards Committee in London in 1901.[5][2] It subsequently extended its standardization work and became the British Engineering Standards Association in 1918, adopting the name British Standards Institution in 1931 after receiving a Royal Charter in 1929.[2] In 1998 a revision of the Charter enabled the organization to diversify and acquire other businesses, and the trading name was changed to BSI Group.

The Group now operates in 193 countries.[4] The core business remains standards and standards related services, although the majority of the Group's revenue comes from management systems assessment and certification work.[6]


Meeting of the international standards committee for the C++ programming language, hosted at the British Standards Institution in 1997
Meeting of the international standards committee for the C++ programming language, hosted at the British Standards Institution in 1997

BSI produces British Standards, and, as the UK's National Standards Body, is also responsible for the UK publication, in English, of international and European standards. BSI is obliged to adopt and publish all European Standards as identical British Standards (prefixed BS EN) and to withdraw pre-existing British Standards that are in conflict.[7] However, it has the option to adopt and publish international standards (prefixed BS ISO or BS IEC).

In response to commercial demands, BSI also produces commissioned standards products such as Publicly Available Specifications, (PASs), Private Standards and Business Information Publications. These products are commissioned by individual organizations and trade associations to meet their needs for standardized specifications, guidelines, codes of practice etc. Because they are not subject to the same consultation and consensus requirements as formal standards, the lead time is shorter.

BSI also publishes standards-related books, CD-ROMs, subscription products and web-based solutions[buzzword] as well as providing training on standards-related issues.

Management Systems Assessment and Certification

BSI representative presenting a standards certification to the International Maritime Organization in 2018
BSI representative presenting a standards certification to the International Maritime Organization in 2018

With 80,000 clients, BSI Group is one of the world's largest certification bodies. It audits and provides certification to companies worldwide who implement management systems standards. BSI also runs training courses that cover the implementation and auditing requirements of national and international management systems standards.

It is independently accredited[8] and assesses a wide range of standards and other specifications including:

  • ISO 9001 (Quality),
  • ISO 13485 (Quality management systems for medical devices)
  • ISO 14001 (Environment),
  • ISO 50001 (Energy management systems),
  • BS 65000 (Organizational Resilience),
  • ISO 45001 (Occupational Health and Safety),
  • ISO/IEC 27001 (previously BS 7799 for Information Security),
  • ISO/IEC 20000 (previously BS 15000 for IT Service Management);
  • PAS 99 (Integrated Management),
  • ISO 22301 (Societal security – Business continuity management systems – Requirements),
  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions Verification,
  • (RSPO) Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil
  • SA8000 (Social Accountability) and
  • Food Safety standards and specifications, including ISO 22000.
  • AS9100, AS9110, AS9120 Aerospace
  • EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS)

Testing Services and Healthcare

BSI Group Kitemark certification symbol
BSI Group Kitemark certification symbol
Kitemark symbol as seen on an access cover in Newtownards, Northern Ireland
Kitemark symbol as seen on an access cover in Newtownards, Northern Ireland

Within Testing Services, BSI's best known product in the UK is the Kitemark, a registered certification mark first used in 1903.[2][5] The Kitemark – which is recognized by 82% of UK adults[9] – signifies products or services which have been assessed and tested as meeting the requirements of the related specification or standard within a Kitemark scheme.

BSI also conducts testing of products for a range of certifications, including for CE marking. CE marking must be applied to a wide range of products intended for sale in the European Economic Area. Frequently manufacturers or importers need a third-party certification of their product from an accredited or 'Notified' body. BSI holds Notified Body status for 15 EU Directives,[10] including construction products, marine equipment, pressurised equipment and personal protective equipment.

BSI also conducts testing for manufacturers developing new products and has facilities to test across a wide range of sectors, including construction, fire safety, electrical and electronic and engineering products.

Within Healthcare, BSI provides regulatory and quality management reviews and product certification for medical device manufacturers in Europe, the United States, Australia, Japan, Taiwan, Canada and China.[11] It is the market leader in the US, the world's biggest healthcare market.[12]


BSI EMEA headquarters in Milton Keynes
BSI EMEA headquarters in Milton Keynes
  • BSI is the world's first national standards body.[13]
  • BSI created one of the world's first quality marks in 1903, when the letters 'B' and 'S' (for British Standard) were combined with V (for verification) to produce the Kitemark logo.
  • BSI was instrumental in the formation of ISO, the International Organization for Standardization, in 1947 and of its European equivalent, CEN, in 1961.[14]
  • BSI pioneered the development of management systems standards: the first of which was BS 5750,[2] the original quality management systems standard which formed the template for the ISO 9000 series of quality standards, first published in 1994.
  • BSI published the world's first environmental management standard, BS 7750, in 1992. This led to the publication of the first international environmental management standard, ISO 14001, in 1996. BSI also published the world's first sustainability standard, BS 8900, in 2006.
  • BSI's management systems operation in the UK has been carbon neutral since 2006.[15] BSI reduced staff's business travel by 200,000 miles per annum, and invested in carbon offsetting in the UK and Bulgaria.
  • BSI has been nominated a Business Superbrand in the UK every year since 2004. BSI is currently ranked no. 42 out of 500 organizations.[16][17]


Starting in 1998, BSI Group has adopted a policy of international growth through acquisition as follows:[18]

  • 1998: CEEM, USA and International Standards Certification Pte Ltd, Singapore
  • 2002: KPMG's certification business in North America
  • 2003: BSI Pacific Ltd, Hong Kong
  • 2004: KPMG's certification business in the Netherlands
  • 2006: Nis Zert, Germany; Entropy International Ltd, Canada & UK; Benchmark Certification Pty Ltd, Australia; ASI-QS, UK
  • 2009: Supply Chain Security Division of First Advantage Corp. USA; Certification International S.r.l, Italy; EUROCAT, Germany
  • 2010: GLCS, the leading certifier of gas related consumer equipment in the UK and one of the top three in Europe,[19] the certification business of BS Services Italia S.r.l. (BSS); Systems Management Indonesia (SMI).
  • 2013: 9 May 2013 – NCS International and its daughter company NCSI Americas, Inc.[20]
  • 2015: 24 January – EORM, a US consultancy specialising in environmental, health, safety (EHS) and sustainability services[21]
  • 2015: 30 January – the management systems certification business of PwC in South Africa[22]
  • 2015: 3 June – Hill County Environmental Inc, a US environmental and engineering services consultancy[23]
  • 2016: 4 April – Espion Ltd and Espion UK, experts at managing and securing corporate information[24]
  • 2016: 15 August – Atrium Environmental Health and Safety Services LLC, experts in occupational safety, industrial safety and environmental compliance[25]
  • 2016: 22 September – Creative Environment Solutions (CES) Corp., an Environmental and Safety consulting firm[26]
  • 2016: 4 October – Info-Assure Ltd, a leading provider of cyber security and information assurance[27]
  • 2016: 15 December – Quantum Management Group Inc, a US environmental, health and safety (EHS) consultancy[28]
  • 2017: 5 December – Neville Clarke, the Business Process Improvement Expert [1]
  • 2018: 8 November – AirCert GmbH, a specialist aerospace certification company located in Munich, Germany[29]
  • 2019: 3 April – AppSec Consulting, a US cybersecurity and information resilience company[30]

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ "Fast facts and figures". BSI Group. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e "British Standards Institution". Institution of Civil Engineers. 2018.
  3. ^ "Annual Report 2019". BSI Group. Retrieved 20 April 2020.
  4. ^ a b "BSI demonstrates resilience with global growth". BSI Group. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  5. ^ a b Robert C McWilliam. BSI: The first hundred years. 2001. Thanet Press. London
  6. ^ "Annual Report 2018". BSI Group. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  7. ^ European Committee for Standardization Benefits and Principles Archived 7 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "UKAS Organisations". United Kingdom Accreditation Service. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
  9. ^ "Annual Review 2006, page 15" (PDF). Retrieved 3 April 2012.
  10. ^ "BSI Group Annual Report and Financial Statements 2009, page 97" (PDF). Retrieved 3 April 2012.
  11. ^ "BSI Group Annual Report and Financial Statements 2009, page 11" (PDF). Retrieved 3 April 2012.
  12. ^ "BSI Group Annual Report and Financial Statements 2009, page 24" (PDF). Retrieved 3 April 2012.
  13. ^ BSI was founded in 1901
  14. ^ Roland Wenzlhuemer. "The History of Standardisation in Europe". European History Online. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  15. ^ "Annual Review 2006, page 24" (PDF). Retrieved 3 April 2012.
  16. ^ BSI Press Release 2004
  17. ^ Superbrand Official Top 500 2012 Archived 14 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ "History of BSI Group". 22 April 1929. Retrieved 3 April 2012.
  19. ^ "BSI Press Release 22 March 2010". 22 March 2010. Retrieved 3 April 2012.
  20. ^ "BSI strengthens position in Australia with acquisition of NCS International". BSI. 10 May 2013. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  21. ^ "BSI enters the US consultancy market with EORM acquisition". BSI Group. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
  22. ^ "BSI Group Annual Report and Financial Statements 2014, page 59, Post balance sheet events" (PDF). Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  23. ^ "BSI expands its environmental consulting and engineering offering with acquisition of Hill Country Environmental Inc". BSI. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  24. ^ Weckler, Adrian. "British IT security firm snaps up Espion". The Irish Independent. Independent IE. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  25. ^ "BSI expands US footprint with Atrium acquisition". Continuity Insurance and Risk. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  26. ^ "BSI acquires creative environment solutions east coast ehs". BSI Group. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
  27. ^ Sims, Brian. "BSI moves to acquire UK cyber security and assurance expert Info-Assure Ltd". Risk UK. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  28. ^ "BSI completes third EHS consulting firm acquisition of 2016 with addition of Quantum Management Group Inc". BSI Group. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  29. ^ "Aircert acquisition strengthens BSI certification offer". Aircraft Interiors. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  30. ^ "BSI acquires AppSec Consulting". CIR Magazine. Retrieved 3 May 2019.

External links

This page was last edited on 26 August 2020, at 05:16
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