BSI British Standards develops and publishes a wide range of technical standards (currently about 1,800 a year).
These standards are developed on the basis of public and industry need, and are important for ensuring safety, interoperability and fitness for purpose of components, goods and services.
Preparing a standard is costly and these costs are largely recovered by the sale of the standards themselves. With the growth in international and European standards activities and the requirement for BSI British Standards to adopt European standards, costs are rapidly rising.
As a non-profit-distributing body, BSI ploughs back all available surplus from sales into the standards development programme. The costs to BSI of developing and publishing different standards are broadly comparable, but the revenue they generate varies widely because the importance of a standard is entirely unrelated to the number of people who actually use it.
For example, a particular standard may be crucial for establishing safety in a product used by children (babies’ dummies, for example). Its drafting will require a number of meetings and the input of a large number of different experts, and the standard itself will need to be edited and published. However, the number of companies actually manufacturing the product may be very small, so the sales of the standard will be low.
As a consequence, standards cannot be priced like normal commercial publications. In common with most standards bodies, BSI prices on the basis of a simple page count and there is a substantial degree of cross-subsidization. For example, sales of ISO 9000, which has a very wide range of applications, funds a considerable part of the standards programme each year.
Print on demand and loose leaf format
BSI British Standards introduced a print-on-demand process in 1995 to avoid the costs and waste levels of bulk print and stock control. The savings made from this process has enabled us to reduce costs and to fund the increasing level of international committee participation.
Prior to introducing our print-on-demand process and the new loose leaf format, BSI conducted market research amongst its customer base. The majority of our customers agreed that the revised presentation would bring benefits to the management and amendment of their standards collection.
BSI operates a Membership scheme that has a number of benefits, including a 50% discount on the list price of British Standards and free postage and packing.
Visit the BSI Shop for details about becoming a BSI Member.