Frequently Asked Questions

How to look for Standards (using the BS number)

Just type the number you require into the search box and click on ‘BS Number’ (above the search box) and then ‘Search’ (to the right of the search box).

Tip - you may want to start by using the number only, i.e. if you are looking for BS EN ISO 9001:2008, start with ‘9001’, then if too many Standards are displayed try ‘9001:2008’, or ‘ISO 9001’.

Tip - If the Standard has several parts, i.e. ‘BS EN 12350-1:2000’, start by searching ‘12350-‘, this will display all the parts available.

What is the easiest way to find my British Standard?

Enter some of the number ignoring spaces : and - and do a BSi number search. Click on the link above the search box to choose your search type.

How to look for Standards (without knowing the BS number)

The only way to locate it is to use the Keyword Search facility on our website.
As there are over 46,000 British Standards, our knowledge of them is VERY limited, when you have found one, the only way to check if it is the one you require is to view the keywords which can be found by clicking on the ‘Read more...’ button on each product, these can be seen at the foot of the page.

Alternatively, try the Advanced Search. The advantage of this is that you can narrow your search down to individual categories, so that you are only searching a small section of our database.

Tip - If you find a Standard that is similar to the one you are looking for click on the ‘Categories’ button under the title, this will display the other Standards in that category.

Delivery of Standards?

All Standards are printed to order. If ordered before 11.30a.m. they are printed on the day of order, if after that deadline they are printed and sent on the next working day.
All deliveries are via Royal Mail 1st class post. For the Express printing and delivery options see here,

Information about content of Standards

The only information available about the content of a Standard is in the ‘Subjects Related to’ section which can be found via the ‘read more’ button.

The reason for this is that there are over 46,000 products in our database so our knowledge of them all is very limited.

Related Standards

With most Standards there is a list of ‘Related Standards:’. These share some common subject matter with that Standard

Withdrawn Standards

This means they have been withdrawn from use, but are still available, and have in most cases been superseded or replaced by a newer version. This information is listed via a link in the title of the Standard.
If a Withdrawn Standard has not been replaced then no link will be shown. You may want to look at the ‘Related Standards’ to find similar publications

Methods of Buying

We do not offer a credit facility on this side of our business. There are a couple of ways to buy the goods. You can buy on-line with a payment card which will give you an Order Confirmation with all the purchase details on.

Alternatively you can go through with the transaction but when you reach the payment section select to pay by Cheque or BACS. This will load the order into the website, give you an Order Confirmation and as soon as payment is received we can send the goods.

Whichever method you choose once payment is received the Standard(s) will be sent in the post.
If you log-in when ordering you can print out an invoice.
Or, if you prefer, send all of your information by email and we can do the above for you

Can I buy Standards in ??????

All British Standards are printed to order in the UK. Delivery to most worldwide destinations is usually around 5 – 10 days and costs £11.95.
An express service is available at

How do I print an invoice

If you log-in to your account at and go to 'my account' (top right). You can view all activities as well as print your invoice

Can I Download a Standard?

Standards in PDF format are available at, This website is for printed copies.

Buying the latest versions

All Standards on our site are printed to order so will include any amendments made since publication.
There is no way to only purchase only the amendments made, all Standards are only sold as full publications.

Cost of a Standard

The vast majority of the cost of the Standards is for the research and writing procedures involved in producing this information as opposed to the actual production costs.

Can I Download a Standard?

Standards in PDF format are available at, This website is for printed copies.

Standard release date.

We do not get advanced publishing dates, as soon as it is available it will be on our website which is updated regularly.

What is a standard?

A standard is a published document that contains a technical specification or other precise criteria designed to be used consistently as a rule, guideline, or definition. Standards help to make life simpler and to increase the reliability and the effectiveness of many goods and services we use. They are a summary of best practice and are created by bringing together the experience and expertise of all interested parties – the producers, sellers, buyers, users and regulators of a particular material, product, process or service.

Standards are designed for voluntary use and do not impose any regulations. However, laws and regulations may refer to certain standards and make compliance with them compulsory. For example, the physical characteristics and format of credit cards is set out in standard number BS EN ISO/IEC 7810:1996. Adhering to this standard means that the cards can be used worldwide.

Any standard is a collective work. Committees of manufacturers, users, research organizations, government departments and consumers work together to draw up standards that evolve to meet the demands of society and technology. British Standards staff act as secretaries to these committees and project manage the production of standards. As the world’s oldest National Standards Body, BSI has over 100 years’ experience of bringing together these often very varied viewpoints and facilitating consensus.

Electrotechnical standards are harmonized internationally by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). The British Electrotechnical Committee (BEC), working closely with BSI ensures that the views of British industry are represented in Europe and worldwide.

To give you an idea of the scope of British Standards' work, around 2,000 new and revised standards area published each year and some 1,350 technical committees and working groups covering 20,000 standards are supported.

What does a BS number mean?

The display of a British Standard number (eg: BS 1234), on for instance a consumer product, shows that the manufacturer claims to have made the product in accordance with the British Standard.

Sometimes BS will be accompanied by the letters EN and/or ISO. These mean that the standard was developed as a European (EN) or International (ISO) standard and then adopted by the UK as a British Standard.

What is ISO 9000?

ISO is the International Organization for Standardization. ISO 9000 is the generic name given to ISO's series of management system standards for quality.

BSI provides companies adopting the ISO 9000 standard with registration to the requirements set out in ISO 9001.

Registration is when an accredited 3rd party such as BSI visits an organization, assesses their management system and issues a certificate to show that the organization abides by the principles set out in the standard.

All the other standards in the 9000 family have been written to help organizations implement effective quality management systems. They are:

Standard Number Standard Title
ISO 9000 (*) Quality Management Systems fundamentals and vocabulary
installation and servicing
ISO 9001 (R) Quality Management Systems requirements
ISO 9004 (*) Quality Management Systems guidelines for performance improvement
ISO 19011 (+) Guidelines on Quality and Environment Management Systems Auditing

What is ISO 14001?

ISO is the International Organization for Standardization. The ISO 14000 family of management systems standards looks at how organizations can control the impact their activities, products or services have on the environment.

ISO 14004 provides guidelines on the elements of an environmental management system and its implementation, and discusses principal issues involved.

ISO 14001 specifies the requirements for such an environmental management system

What is a PAS?

A publicly available specification (PAS) can be seen as a step in the process of standardization. It includes useful and practical information that can be made available quickly to suit the market need of the developers and users of the PAS.

A full standard requires several more stages of development before full consensus is achieved. A growing number of standards will appear as a PAS before they become standards.

The rationale for publishing a PAS is that while it may not have the full breadth of agreement of a standard, the speed of delivery and the high-calibre quality of the content enables users of the PAS to reap significant benefit.

What is a Management System?

A Management System is a framework based on a structured integration of best practice into operating systems - frequently built around the Plan, Do, Check, Act cycle.

The best businesses work as complete units with a shared vision. This may encompass information sharing, benchmarking, teamworking and working to the highest quality and environmental principles. A Management System helps your organization to achieve these goals through such things as optimisation of processes, management focus and discipline of management thinking.

What is Registration?

Management systems registration means:

verifying practice vs. process
objective 3rd party validation
BSI Management Systems offers Management Systems Registration to help organizations achieve continuous performance improvement in the areas of business performance and risk management, by registering their management systems as meeting the requirements of a management system standards.

Quality - ISO 9000 - the first and most popular system; a common sense, well documented way an organization goes about its business
Environment - ISO 14001 - gives a framework to help manage the organizations impact on the environment
Health and Safety - OHSAS 18001 - enables organizations to develop effective and safe working practices continuously
Information Security - ISO 27001 (BS 7799) - provides a systematic approach to manage the security of confidential and sensitive company and customer information
IT Service Management - learn about BS 15000, which can enable an organiation to effectively and efficiently deliver managed IT services
Food Safety Management Systems - BRC Global Standard-Food, BRC/IoP Packaging Standard, Dutch HACCP Code and ISO 22000
Automotive - QS-9000, ISO/TS 16949, VDA 6.1 - a range of quality standards for the automotive industry
Social Accountability - demonstrate responsible business through SA8000
Aerospace - AS 9100 - a quality management system for the aerospace industry based on ISO 9000
Telecommunications - TL 9000 - a telecommunications quality system to ensure reliability and quality performance of products and services
Complaints Management - CMSAS 86:2000 - enables organizations to manage and understand their customers needs, wants and frustration

What is the Kitemark?

The Kitemark is the world's premier symbol of trust, integrity and quality. Manufacturers having this associated with their product or service will reassure customers and specifiers alike that they have satisfied the most rigorous of quality processes.

A Kitemark Scheme can be developed using a publicly available specification. This specification can either be a BS, EN, ISO or a Trade Association specification.

Based on this specification, BSI produces the formal scheme protocol that forms the backbone of the certification.

Kitemark schemes have been running since 1902 and now cover a wide variety of products and services, from electrical contractors to double glazed windows and from printed circuit boards to cattle tags.

In competitive markets, the Kitemark is often used as a point of differentiation, reassuring customers that the company in question has an ongoing commitment to quality and safety.

What is CE marking?

Many products come under European Directives, and to be placed on the market in the European Union, some must bear CE marking - it's a legal requirement. CE marking is the manufacturer's claim that the product meets the essential requirements of all relevant European Directives.

CE marking requirements vary from Directive to Directive, and even within Directives. Third party testing, systems assessment and technical file assessments can be mandatory, but sometimes the manufacturer's unverified claim is all that's asked for. But if a manufacturer claims their product complies and it doesn't, they may be prosecuted.

At BSI, we have a team of experts who understand precisely what each Directive requires for each product, so that manufacturers don't have to.

What is BSI's Royal Charter?

Royal Charters, granted by the British sovereign on the advice of the UK Privy Council, have a history which dates back to the 13th century.

Their original purpose was to create public or private corporations (including towns and cities), and to define their privileges and purpose.

Today, though Charters are still occasionally granted to cities, new Charters are normally reserved for bodies that work in the public interest.

These organisations include professional institutions and charities that can demonstrate pre-eminence, stability and permanence in their particular field. The BBC has a Royal Charter, as do many long-established universities in the UK.

BSI was granted its Royal Charter in 1929. The change in 1931 gave BSI its present name and there have been other changes to the Charter in 1968, 1974, 1981, 1989, 1992 and 1998, when the Charter was changed to allow acquisitions