UKTC Archive

Re: Storm the BSI!

Subject: Re: Storm the BSI!
From: Scott Cullen
Date: Mar 17 2006 11:23:56
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You can look at this two ways.  

On the one hand if a standard were free everyone would have a bit easier 
access.  Do we really think that every contractor would then read, understand 
and follow it?  Maybe if consumers could get it free they'd know waht to 
expect from a contractor.  Do we really think the consuker has the time or 
will be able to know the difference?

If you want to consider standards available free the Uniform Standards of 
Professional Appraisal Practice (US), Uniform Standards of Professional 
Appraisal Practice (CA), and the International Valuation Standards can all be 
downloaded in electronic format free.  The Royal Institution of Chartered 
Surveyors Appraisal and VAluation Manual (RICS Red Book) and the European 
Valuation Standards are both very pricey by contrast.  The former are 
published by professional bodies that want their members and all consumers to 
have access.  The latter two published in the UK.

BSI, DIN, ANSI, virtually all the national standards bodies are for profit 
publishers.  They get stakeholder volunteers to wrtite the standatrds and 
they publish them and take the money.  That's the way it works.  

Now given that's the way it works, here's the filp side.  If a standard has 
the force of law (practice, safety, whatever) then any contractor should at 
least be aware of it.  The law says follow it.  Now, you run a business.  
Just how big a deal is $100 or 100EU or 100GBP in a year's revenue?  Oh, the 
standards are revised only every 5-10 years.  How big a deal spread over 5-10 
years revenue.  It's a cost of doing business.  How much are you spending on 
chain saws.  How about chains.  Truck tires?  Boots, gloves, ropes?  New 
computer fro the office?  Oh the paper.  Oh the new i-POD.  Oh the tunes you 
download?  How about ring tones for the mobile, sure I'll pay for fancy ring 

Seems like it's a cost of doing business.  

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Jerry Ross 
  To: UK Tree Care 
  Sent: Friday, March 17, 2006 3:46 AM
  Subject: Storm the BSI!

  Broadening the "Standard of Tree Work" thread (well, diverting it 
  entirely actually) - yeah, photocopying it is illegal and yeah, it's 
  pricey - and you can bet your bottom euro that it will be priced at well 
  over £100 when Derek Patch and his colleagues has finished updating it - 
  Just as BS5837:2005 is now £120 - for which sum you get 34 
  computer-printed black and white A4 pages - not even bound, but banged 
  out in plastic shrink-wrap.
  And the BSI don't even pay the contributors' expenses!.
  As these documents have the force of law (as has been pointed out, 
  they're often made parts of planning conditions, for instance) it seems 
  outrageous that they're not more freely available, preferably online.
  So I've made a complaint to the Office of Fair Trading and with a 
  request that they investigate the BSI under the Competition Act.
  I think this is a serious matter of public interest - so I've also drawn 
  it to the attention of my MP.
  Anyone else out there want to join a campaign?

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