• Content Type

BSI Flex 236 v1.0:2022-01

Enabling the development of inclusive standards. Understanding the role of data and data analysis. Guide

Last updated: 11 May 2023

Development Stage




31 Jan 2022


What is a BSI Flex?

BSI Flex is a new model of standards development that uses an agile, iterative approach and open consultation to develop consensus-based good practice in areas that change and develop quickly. BSI Flex 236: v1.0 2022-01 is the first version of guidance on how to use data in standards and standards development to produce inclusive standards. It is simultaneously available for download and open for public comment and user feedback.

Who is BSI Flex 236: v1.0 2022-01 for?

Any and all standards developers and standards development organizations, including professional bodies

Government departments and agencies developing policy and regulation

What does BSI Flex 236: v1.0 2022-01 cover?

This BSI Flex is a tool for enabling the development of inclusive standards across all sectors and gives guidance on how data can be used in the development of all types of standards.

This includes data used to decide which standards to develop, what they should and should not include, and to inform development decision-making; and where a standard specifies use of data or data collection.

BSI Flex 236: v1.0 2022-01 covers:

  • The ways data is selected, assessed and used in standards development, including different data types and processing.
  • Analysis of types of human bias.
  • How cognitive biases can change the way data is interpreted and incorporated into decision-making processes.
  • How data and data models can introduce bias or exclusion into the standards development process.
  • The impacts of data bias or exclusion and the communities affected. This can include impacts related to protected characteristics, as well as non-protected characteristics.

NOTE: BSI Flex 236: v1.0 2022-01 does not cover: specific aspects of product or service design; legal requirements for equality and diversity; or data privacy or security.

Why should you use BSI Flex 236: v1.0 2022-01?

  • It builds the capability of standards makers to work with data with inclusion in mind.
  • It helps grow an understanding of the limitations of data.
  • It helps minimize harm and to produce more robust outputs that will serve a diverse population without bias.
  • It helps standards makers develop their confidence and expertise.
  • It strengthens the risk management of the organizations that develop standards.

BSI Flex 236: v1.0 2022-01 contributes to UN Sustainable Development Goal 5 on gender equality and Goal 10 on reduced inequalities.

BSI Flex documents are a new type of standard, created where there is a need to rapidly iterate and update content as best practice emerges. BSI Flex Standards are developed using repeated cycles of iteration.

© British Standards Institution 2022

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Domain: Horizontal

Key Information

Organisation: BSI

Referenced standards: BS 0:2021, BS ISO/IEC 11179-7:2019, PD ISO/TR 14872:2019, BS ISO 30400:2016, BS ISO/IEC/IEEE 12207:2017, BS ISO/IEC 38505-1:2017, BS ISO 19731:2017, ISO/IEC 2382-28:1995, PD ISO/TS 16901:2015, BS ISO/IEC 25012:2008, BS ISO 30415:2021, BS EN ISO 9000:2015, PD ISO/IEC/TR 29119-11:2020

Free to access: Yes
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