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Working With BT
Generic Standards

1. Introduction

Generic Standards will form part of the tenderer selection process and will be included in Invitations to Tender and form part of any subsequent contract. The inclusion of Generic Standards into Invitation to Tenders or contracts will be either through the Quality of Supplies and Generic Standards clause, specifically drafted contract clauses or via inclusion in tender documents by Buyers

The purpose of Generic Standards (GS’s) is to help ensure that the goods or services purchased by BT meet:

  •  Statutory requirements for safety and environmental matters

  •  Requirements unique to the BT business and those of its customers

  •  Performance requirements over their entire life cycle

The Standards are reviewed at least annually to take account of legislative and regulatory changes.


2. General

The general format of Generic Standards (apart from GS13 and GS18 and GS19 -see Generic standard overview below) is:


BT will state what it wants and leave you the supplier to declare the degree to which you are able to meet these Requirements.


Wherever possible, GS's are designed to be universally applicable with International or European specifications quoted rather than the British Standard equivalents.


Buying teams may send selected GS's and request receipt of your response electronically.


To determine the applicability of the Generic Standards to a contract our buying teams will consider a wide range of issues. These will include:


  •  Nature of the goods - new / old / simple / complex / proprietary,

  •  Their impact on BT's business,

  •  Their impact on BT's customers,

  •  Safety, reliability and environmental considerations,

  •  Past performance and so on.

 3. Accessing the Generic Standard documents

To access the Generic standard document click on the link below

Download Generic Standards documents

Note: IT Security Generic Standard, if applicable will be supplied by the Buyer.

4. Generic Standard overview

Generic Standard 1 – Business Management standard

This standards defines BT's position on Business Management Systems, including those that impact on Quality, Environment, Health and Safety, Security Management, Management of IT Services and Business Continuity Management. It also explains BT's position on Supplier Assessment and defines BT's requirements. It explains how suppliers’ response to these requirements and the extent to which the Supplier complies with or is registered to BT’s Preferred Standards are used in Supplier selection and adjudication.

Generic Standard 3 – Software Realisation Standard

This standard applies where a supplier is developing software for BT or where they are modifying Commercial off the shelf software to meet BT’s requirements. It provides BT with the ability to assess the capacity and capability of a supplier’s software development process

Generic Standard 7 - Electromagnetic Compatibility Standard

This Standard details the minimum Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) requirements for electrical or electronic goods supplied to BT, and services that involve the installation, maintenance, repair or modification of electrical/electronic goods already owned by BT.

Generic Standard 16 - Equipment Operational Power and Environment Standard

This Standard details generic requirements for, Environment and Cooling Equipment, D.C. Power Supplies and Equipment and A.C. Power Supplies and Equipment for use in the BT internal and external network

Generic Standard 11 - Safety Management Standard – Applicable outside of the UK

This Standard outlines the safety management that suppliers must demonstrate at the tendering stage and achieve at all times when executing work on behalf of BT Plc.

Health and Safety Standard for the UK

Within the UK there is a requirement for Service Suppliers to meet the SAFEcontractor accreditation standard. Service Suppliers to BT will be required to achieve SAFEcontractor accreditation as an indication of their organisation’s competence in Health and Safety matters.

Generic Standard 13 - Environmental Impact Standard

GS13: Environmental Impact Standard is used to drive forward environmental improvement with in contract suppliers by giving a series of questions with categorised responses that can be directly compared and scored. This will help identify if there are areas for improvement.

Generic Standard 18 - Sourcing With Human Dignity Standard

BT's Sourcing with Human Dignity Initiative establishes the aspiration that working conditions in our supply chain should meet standards based on international guidelines. Suppliers should seek to work towards the Sourcing with Human Dignity aspirations, collaborating with BT to meet this goal where required.

For more information go to the Suppliers GS18 homepage.

Generic Standard 19 - Product Stewardship Standard

GS19 requests suppliers of electrical or electronic equipment to provide information on the materials content and environmental attributes of products, specifically to ensure BT can meet the requirements of the following EU Directives:

1) The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive
2) The Restriction on the use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (RoHS) Directive
3) The European Regulation on the Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals (REACH)

For more information please see the GS19 Standard

Generic Standard 20 - Climate Change Procurement Standard

The Climate Change Procurement Standard consolidates BT expectations on climate change action by suppliers. It sets out minimum requirements and future direction for suppliers, including carbon footprinting and evolving energy standards. The aim is to drive supplier engagement on greenhouse gas reduction.

IT Security Generic Standard (ITSGS)

This Standard details BT's generic requirements for Information Technology (IT) Security. The Buyer will include a copy of this Generic standard in all applicable tenders and contracts.

5. So how will the GS's affect you?

The "Requirements" have been written to establish the degree to which you, the supplier, are satisfied that you meet BT's requirements. You will need to demonstrate this in any Invitation to Tender response.

To each Generic Standard "Requirement" you should make a declaration of "Compliant", "Partially compliant" or "Non-compliant" as appropriate (in only a few instances will "Not applicable" be valid). A supporting statement of how you comply, or why you do not must follow this declaration. Ideally this statement should be brief, but it must contain sufficient information to support the declaration. (GS13 Environmental Impact Standard is different using a questionnaire format instead. Please see GS13 note in Section 2 above. GS18 also differs. For details see GS18 note in Section 2 above.)

Please note that a declaration of, for example, "compliant" will not of itself be considered sufficient.

If your response is accepted and becomes part of the contract then you will be expected to meet these commitments as you would with any other contractual clause.

6. BT’s Right to audit

BT reserves the right to verify the validity of the responses via on site audits or by requesting additional supporting evidence from the Supplier.

It is hoped that this Briefing will help you to understand the Generic Standards and the philosophy on which they are based, but if you need further advice please contact the buyer concerned.