UK Quality Infrastructure

Value of NQI


The value of a National Quality Infrastructure

International trading relationships are built on trust and always have been. Today trust is often built via a structure of standards, agreements, codes and regulations designed to ensure that when we buy something – as businesses or consumers – we get exactly what we expect.

For these standards, agreements and codes to carry weight, they must be written and implemented rigorously and consistently in ways that give everyone involved a high level of confidence in the outcome. It is to enable that consistent rigour that the concept of National Quality Infrastructures has emerged.

A National Quality Infrastructure can be understood as having five core components: standardization, testing, measurement, certification and accreditation.

Standardization - creates the national and international standards that specify how things should be made and done in a way that is mutually acceptable.

Testing and measurement - implementation of specifications and standards to ensure validity and consistency.

Certification - ensures that those who use standards and codes are applying them in the right way.

Accreditation - ensures that those who carry out testing, certification and inspection are competent to do so.

Trading nations with a well-regarded and trusted National Quality Infrastructure enjoy a host of benefits:

  • Using standards creates better, safer, more sustainable products
  • The knowledge from standards and measurement techniques enable more innovation and product development
  • Domestic commercial activity increases
  • Consumer protection is enhanced


  • Technical barriers to international trade are reduced
  • There are fewer duplicated or competing standards, tests, regulations and accreditations, so the costs of international trade are reduced
  • Products and services become internationally competitive
  • The country can represent its views more effectively in international fora and shape the development of international rules

The net result is greater participation in global trade and a stronger balance of payments.

For developing and transition economies, a National Quality Infrastructure forms the foundation for economic development and greater prosperity.

Read our case studies to find out how UKQI partners have helped governments around the world to build their quality infrastructures.

The value of a National Quality Infrastructure