British Standards
British Standards
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FAQ's


Delivery Options
PDF download
Standard Delivery within the UK
Next Day Delivery within the UK
Express Delivery outside the UK

Searching for Standards
Why do British Standards cost so much?
What is a Standard?
What are the different types of standards?
What is a PAS?
What is a BIP?
Terms applying to PDF Documents
PDF Download Expiry

Delivery Options
BSI British Standards is a non-profit-distributing organisation and its charging structures are designed to recover the costs of operating the service and the ongoing development of standards. The different delivery options are listed in the following sections.

All prices quoted below for postage and packaging are indicative and should be verified at the time of placing your order with BSI British Standards.

PDF download
Most BSI products can be downloaded immediately in PDF format without any additional delivery charges.

Products which cannot be downloaded in PDF format include some standards which have been replaced by more up-to-date versions or those which have been withdrawn for whatever reason. Should you require one of these standards then click through to the BSI British Standards website and follow the ordering instructions.

Standard Delivery within the UK
Standard delivery is available for a charge of £5.95 (inclusive of VAT). Standard delivery timescales are within five working days of order.

Next Day Delivery within the UK
Next day delivery is available for a charge of £26 + VAT.

Express Delivery outside the UK
BSI British Standards offers an express delivery to overseas countries. Delivery takes place within 5 working days if this option is selected.



Searching for Standards
Our database contains in excess of 37,000 products from BSI British Standards. Therefore we have created sophisticated searching functionality to make it easier to find the standards and products that you are looking for. To use the search function simply go to the home page and enter your search text, then click the 'Search' button.

Your search text can be as specific or broad ranging as you wish. The more specific the search query then the lower the number of results that will be returned. If you know the exact name of the standard you are looking for then please enter the full standard name. Alternatively you could enter a snippet from the document title or the ISBN number.

Our 'smart search' function allows you to enter a search query in many ways. For example, 'BS EN ISO 9001:2008' can be entered as 'ISO9001' and would still return the matching records.

Why do British Standards cost so much?
At first glance the standards documents appear to be expensive versus other publications that many people buy on a day to day basis. This initial reaction is understandable and therefore we thought that it was worth explaining why the costs are as they are.

The first point to re-iterate is that the BSI is a non-profit-distributing body whose whole purpose is the maintenance and development of standards. All revenues are re-invested into the ongoing development of the huge range of standards.

BSI British Standards is responsible for maintaining over 27,000 current standards at any moment in time. During the course of typical year around 1,800 standards are in the process of being developed and published. The costs of developing each standard are broadly similar, however the revenue raised from selling the standards varies tremendously since each standard can appeal to a very different sized audience. Yet, a standard document which is used by only a relatively few people can be as important to society as a whole as one which is purchased by many people.

This means that standards cross subsidise each other. A simple example is the ISO 9000 series of standards which are applicable to a broad cross section of businesses and are therefore generate higher sales revenues which then support the costs of developing and maintaining many other standards.

What is a Standard?
A standard is an agreed, repeatable way of doing something. It 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. Standards are created by bringing together the experience and expertise of all interested parties such as the producers, sellers, buyers, users and regulators of a particular material, product, process or service.

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.

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.

In modern business, effective communication along the supply chain and with legislative bodies, clients and customers is imperative. Standardization can deliver measurable benefits when applied within the infrastructure of a company itself. Business costs and risks can be minimised, internal processes streamlined and communication improved. Standardization promotes interoperability, providing a competitive edge necessary for the effective worldwide trading of products and services.

What are the different types of standards?
Standards represent a consensus on current best practice in whichever field they relate to. Within the UK we have national standards which are prefixed with 'BS'. There are then international standards which are prefixed with 'ISO'. Alongside the standards there are 'Published Documents' where the document reference is prefixed with 'PD', such as agreed specifications. There are also technical specifications (document reference is prefixed with 'TS') and technical reports (document reference is prefixed with 'TR').

There are also a range of European standards under the 'EN' prefix, such as CEN, CENELEC, ETSI, ECISS, AECMA.

PAS's and BIP's are described in the next sections.

What is a PAS?
The acronym 'PAS' refers to a Publically Available Specifications.

PASs are developed using a similar process to that of British Standards and are commissioned by an external sponsor, subject to stakeholders consultation and do not require full consensus. This means that PASs can be developed and published faster in order to satisfy short term business needs particularly in areas of technology, innovation or service industries. Some PASs may evolve into formal consensus standards

What is a BIP?
The acronym BIP refers to Business Information Publications.

BIPs are guides, Codes of Practice, compliance workbooks, CD-ROMs, text targets, surveys etc. They provide essential information and guidance on the use and implementation of existing standards, legislation and best practice. Subject experts write these publications in an informal, user-friendly style.

BSI British Standards also produces a range of products that are largely market-driven. These can be published in much shorter time scales than traditional formal standards.

Terms applying to PDF Documents
We would like to highlight the Terms and Conditions of use when you buy and download PDF documents. In particular:

Clause 6, "Delivery of electronic publications"

This clause says that:
* you are entitled to download one copy of each PDF onto a single computer
* you must not copy or transfer that copy to any other computer
* you must not send it to a third party unless the buyer is referring to actions in Clause 8.


Clause 8, "Restrictions on use"

This clause says that:
* the PDF download document is not for resale
* you cannot resell, loan or part with possession of the PDF unless with prior written consent from BSI
* your details are watermarked on the PDF download document
* the PDF is subject to copyright laws and that BSI owns the copyright of the document
* if you want to sell, license or part with the PDF download document, or reuse the information to produce another product, you can only do this with prior written consent and if granted must pay the relevant royalty fee.


PDF Download Expiry
Downloads are available for 72 hours after purchase. If you try to download the product after this time you will receive a termination message. If you wish to reactivate your download please contact the BSI Shop Online Support help.

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