Funny place to fly a kitemark

19th April 1996 at 01:00
I am writing to clear up any confusion which may have arisen from the article stating that Parkstone Grammar School was applying for a British Standards Institute kitemark (TES, March 29).

The statement is not true. Parkstone is more likely to have been working towards the quality management standards, BS EN ISO 9000. If the school were to achieve ISO 9000 with BSI, it would be able to use the BSI registered firm symbol, not the kitemark, as stated in the article. The kitemark is a product mark and is used in relation to products, not services.

BS EN ISO 900 (formally BS 5750) is a quality management standard. An organisation which has been registered BSI has demonstrated that its management systems have fully met the requirements laid down by the standard and has submitted its management practices to third-party, independent assessment.

Organisations which have been assessed by BSI for BS EN ISO 9000 and have achieved registration from BSI are able to use the registered firm symbol on their promotion material.

Products which bear the kitemark are regularly tested by BSI and the manufacturer's production control system is assessed twice a year against BS EN ISO 9000 or a similar quality management scheme.

The kitemark is, in the main, a voluntary mark and is indicative of the continuing commitment of the manufacturer to produce quality products.

Companies use it to indicate conformity to standards and, in their marketing, to differentiate their product from those of their competitors.

EMMA BLUCK Press officer British Standards Institution 389 Chiswick High Road London W4

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