Developing standards

By Charlie Duncombe, BSI

How standards benefit businesses
Standards are a powerful tool for use by organizations of all sizes and can potentially support innovation and increase productivity. Standardization can be used by businesses to help shape their industry and promote and enhance profitability.

The business benefits that can result from adopting and using standards include :

• cutting costs and driving profitability by reducing the time, effort and money that has to be invested in the research and development of new products, while increasing their likelihood of success in the marketplace;
• providing best-practice guidance and sharpening business processes;
• providing a reliable benchmark against which performance can be judged;
• demonstrating a commitment to the quality of goods, services or processes;
• providing a competitive edge which will keep existing customers coming back and open the door to new customers;
• providing a reliable and consistent reference point which can help to reduce the risk of making an error;
• ensuring that products or services are compatible (or ‘interoperable’) with those manufactured or provided by others;
• helping to ensuring regulatory compliance;
• supporting exports;
• enabling innovation by defining and measuring product performance;
• strengthening marketing resources;
• providing assurance to stakeholders and customers via independent verification and certification that products or services consistently stand up to rigorous examination.
Why should I get involved
Participation in the work of a technical committee is unpaid, however funding assistance is available in some circumstances particularly when international travel is required. Representation on a technical committee is usually through groups with related interests, such as trade associations, to ensure that as wide a consensus as practicable is reached. Where individuals have specific expertise, they might be co-opted onto a committee and so contribute directly.

BSI welcomes approaches from those who are interested in taking part in standards work and although it requires time and effort, there are a number of direct benefits that can be gained from participating by :

• increasing knowledge of and familiarity with existing standards which can then support evolutionary business ventures, decrease development time and increase speed to market;
• being pro-active and taking a leadership role in putting forward the business case for adapting existing standards to suit new products or technologies or drafting new standards;
• taking advantage of the immediate benefit of professional and personal networking with experts from the same business/technology area;
• being fully and currently aware of developments and trends in the standards it is interested in;

Further information regarding taking part in standards work can be found at :

Good for Business is BSI’s Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) guide to standardization, designed to introduce small businesses to British and international standards and showcase organizations benefiting from standardization. To download your free copy of the guide, visit :

If you would like to discuss the opportunities available for taking part in standards work, please contact BSI customer services at :

If you are particularly interested in getting involved in standardization work in the area of Industrial Valves and Actuators, please contact Charlie Duncombe, Programme Manager, Manufacturing and Services at BSI on +44 (0)208 996 7141.

Published in Valve User Magazine Issue 11

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