The UKQI comprises four long-established and exceptionally strong institutions which oversee standardization, testing and measurement, and certification and accreditation in the UK.
BSI – The British Standards Institution – is the UK's National Standards Body (NSB) responsible for producing national and international standards. Founded in 1901, BSI remains among the world's largest and most active NSBs, publishing around 2,500 new standards every year.
BSI operates in more than 150 countries and has been instrumental in shaping the majority of the world's most widely used and implemented international standards, such as the quality management systems standard, ISO 9001. It was a founder member of ISO and maintains a highly influential voice in international and European standardization. BSI has held a Royal Charter since 1929.
NMRO – The National Measurement and Regulation Office – has origins dating back to the 19th century. It has operated as an Executive Agency1 since 1989. NMRO is responsible, among other things, for providing the legal metrology infrastructure necessary to make markets function more effectively, underpinning trade measurement and providing confidence in the market. Its focus is on simplifying technical regulation wherever possible. It also offers a range of certification services that enable businesses to export their products globally.
NMRO is a leading voice in WELMEC2 and provides a major influence on the implementation and future design of EU legislation via membership of the Commission's Measuring Instruments Working Group. NMRO is also a highly influential participating member of OIML3.
NPL – The National Physical Laboratory was established in 1900 and is the UK's National Measurement Institute. NPL is responsible for maintaining the UK's primary measurement standards that ensure the accuracy and consistency of measurement.
NPL is a world leader in scientific metrology (measurement science) carrying out research to develop the next-generation of measurement techniques and playing a key role in helping develop international measurement standards. NPL is influential in the work of both the international and European scientific metrology organizations – BIPM and EURAMET respectively – and is currently represented on more than 400 international committees or professional bodies. NPL also contributes to the Mutual Recognition Arrangements whereby institutes worldwide recognize the validity of each other's calibration and measurement certificates.
UKAS – The United Kingdom Accreditation Service – was formed in 1995 and is the UK's National Accreditation Body. UKAS accreditation assures the competence, impartiality and integrity of certification and conformity assessment bodies. This reduces the need for suppliers to be assessed by each of their customers.
UKAS is a world-leading innovator in accreditation services. Its development projects range from physiological diagnostic services to nuclear new build, energy management and retail banking products. UKAS is also highly active and influential internationally, holding positions on both the ILAC4 and IAF5 Executives. UKAS' involvement in international groups provides for mutual recognition, further reducing the need for multiple supplier assessments and as a consequence helping reduce barriers to trade.
1 A semi-independent organization set up by the UK Government to carry out some of its responsibilities
2 European Cooperation in Legal Metrology
3 The International Organization of Legal Metrology
4 International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation
5 International Accreditation Forum