Title: The Kitemark – its history and benefits
Author: J.E. Ware
Address: Director, Quality Assurance Services, The British Standards Institution (BSI), Milton Keynes, UK
Abstract: The history of the Kitemark – the British Standard product certification mark – dates back to the beginning of this century. It was first used by manufacturers to certify that their products conformed to the newly defined standards produced by the British Engineering Standards Association – the fore-runner of the BSI. Kitemarking provides benefits to manufacturers, suppliers and consumers. Independent assurance of quality helps a manufacturer to market his product, and provides valuable evidence in defence against legal claims under product liability legislation. Suppliers can benefit by acquiring a reputation for stocking high-quality goods, and are assured of redress from manufacturers if customers complain of faulty products. At the end of the chain, purchasers also benefit from knowing that a product conforms to officially established standards of safety and quality. The process of Kitemarking comprises three component parts: type testing; assessment of quality control systems; and surveillance. Third-party certification, and the Kitemark in particular, fills a need in a market that is becoming increasingly aware of the benefits it can confer.
Keywords: British Standards; consumer protection; kitemark; marketing; product liability; quality assurance; third-party certification; quality control; type testing; surveillance; standardisation.
Int. J. of Technology Management, 1986 Vol.1, No.3/4, pp.491 - 497
Available online: 27 May 2009