Moving forward

Affiliate Plus, NECs, mentoring and training on the Affiliate Forum agenda

By Claire Marchand

The Affiliate Forum has been part of the IEC General Meeting (GM) agenda since 2009 and is a great opportunity for Affiliate delegations to meet, exchange views, share experiences and discuss common challenges and best practices, both at the global and regional levels.

Minsk Affiliate Forum group photo
In 2015, 44 delegates from 16 countries took part in the Affiliate Forum at the GM in Minsk

The Forum is now well established. In all, 44 delegates from 16 Affiliate countries (Armenia, Bhutan, Cambodia, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gambia, Ghana, Haiti, Honduras, Lebanon, Mongolia, Namibia, Sudan, Tanzania and Zambia) were present. Seven IEC Members (Belarus, Egypt, Germany, Kenya, South Africa, Sweden, United Kingdom) attended the Forum. 

Also in attendance were the African Electrotechnical Standardization Commission (AFSEC) President Claude Koutoua, as well as representatives from the Pan American Standards Commission (COPANT), the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the National Metrology Institute of Germany (PTB). 

IEC Affiliate Executive Secretary Françoise Rauser opened the session. After a warm welcome to all participants, she made some introductions and outlined the proposed agenda. 

Update on the Programme

Rosario Uría, the new Affiliate Leader from Peru, who chaired the Forum, was the first to take the floor. She provided delegates with an update on the Programme since the 2014 GM in Tokyo, Japan, based on her report to the Standardization Management Board (SMB) and the Conformity Assessment Board (CAB). She highlighted the efforts made to encourage Affiliates to establish their National Electrotechnical Committee (NEC): country visits, dedicated workshops, training webinars and the NEC workshop in Minsk during the GM. 

Uría updated the audience on the Affiliate Mentoring Programme and the partnerships established so far (four in the last 12 months): Afghanistan-Malaysia, Bhutan-Sweden, Côte D’Ivoire-France, DR Congo-France, Ethiopia-Germany, Mongolia-Germany, Peru-Mexico, Rwanda-Austria, Uruguay-Norway and Zambia-Austria. 

Affiliate Conformity Assessment Status (ACAS) which provides training on how to use IEC International Standards with the IEC Conformity Assessment (CA) Systems, and introduced the ACAS e-Learning modules for IECEE and IECEx, both available on the IEC website. 

On Uría’s initiative, several guides were developed to help Affiliates find their way through the Programme:

  • Guide to the Affiliate Country Programme
  • Affiliate Website Guide 

The second edition of the NEC Guidelines is expected in 2016. 

Moving forward

Next to take the floor was Mongolia, a country that recently became Affiliate Plus. NEC Secretary Battsengel Gurragchaa from the Mongolian Agency for Standardization and Metrology (MASM), presented the work of the NEC and explained in great details how the IEC and the World Trade Organization (WTO) Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreement impact her country. 

Then, Jean-Robert Magloire, President of the Haitian NEC, reviewed the history behind the creation of the NEC in his country, the identification of stakeholders, the NEC achievements so far, the next steps and the challenges they are facing. 

ACAS benefits

The last presentation of the day focused on ACAS. After a rapid overview of the benefits of using ACAS, IEC ACAS Coordinator Thomas Robertson made a step-by-step demonstration of the newly-launched ACAS e-Learning modules, guiding the audience through the three levels (introductory, intermediate and advanced) and the test participants have to take after completing the intermediate level. Robertson encouraged all delegates to visit the ACAS pages on the website and to see for themselves the benefits of the e-Learning modules. 

The last part of the Forum was as usual dedicated to regional issues and the delegates split into three sessions on Africa, Latin America and Asia-Pacific. It was the occasion for regional bodies such as AFSEC and COPANT to discuss with Affiliate delegates the successes and challenges of their participation in IEC International Standardization work. 

All presentations made during the Affiliate Forum are available on the IEC website.

Minsk Affiliate Forum group photo In 2015, 44 delegates from 16 countries took part in the Affiliate Forum at the GM in Minsk
Jean-Robert Magloire made a presentation at the Affiliate Forum Jean-Robert Magloire, President of the Haitian NEC, made a presentation during the Forum
The Affiliate Secretariat team and the Leader From left: Affiliate Executive Secretary Françoise Rauser, Affiliate Country Project Coordinator Thomas Robertson and Affiliate Leader Rosario Uría