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What is a standard?


We're BOBS, the Botswana Bureau of Standards. We develop and publish Botswana Standards.

A standard as a document

What is a standard?

A standard as a document, established by consensus and approved by a recognized body, that set out specifications, procedures and guidelines that aim to ensure products, services, and systems are safe, consistent, and reliable.
Content covers several subjects and disciplines dealing with all technical, economic and social aspects of human activity and covering all basic disciplines such as language, mathematics, physics, etc.
Standards provide a reliable basis for people to share the same expectations about a product or service. This helps to facilitate trade, provide a framework for achieving economies, efficiencies and interoperability, and enhance consumer protection and confidence.
To ensure they remain relevant and keep pace with new technologies, standards are regularly reviewed by technical committees.

Categories of Standards

Standards can be categorised into International Standards, Regional Standards and National Standards of standards:
01. International Standards are developed by ISO, ITU, and IEC for countries to adopt for national use.
02. Regional Standards are developed by regions such as the European Union’s EN standards
03. National Standards are developed by national standards bodies such as the Botswana Bureau of Standards

Standards are normally voluntary.
That is to say there is no requirement for the public to comply with the standards.
There are instances however where the Governments legislate then, resulting them becoming compulsory.

The Botswana Bureau of Standards (BOBS) understands the importance of impartiality and confidentiality in carrying out its management system certification activities. BOBS management is committed to gaining and maintaining the reputation, credibility and ultimately, confidence of its stakeholders in rendering its certification services. Additionally, BOBS strives to continuously manage foreseen potential conflicts of duty and interest and ensures objectivity of its activities under the management system certification. To achieve the above, BOBS shall identify, analyse, record and manage potential conflict of duty and interest to ensure that certification services are not provided within relationships that have been identified to pose an unacceptable threat to impartiality. An Impartiality Committee shall periodically review activities of the certification function to verify commitment to credibility and fairness. The Committee shall further assist in the development of policies relating to impartiality of providing certification activities. BOBS is committed to maintaining in strict confidence all information accessed while rendering the certification services and shall ensure that such information is not divulged to third parties without the Client’s written consent unless if required by law.
Demand Quality

When things don't work as they should, it often means that standards are absent.

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