Welcome to the IEC Community
For most of the YPs attending the 2012 workshop, the IEC General Meeting is their first “live” exposure to standardization at the international level. To enhance their experience and welcome them to the IEC community, all delegates are encouraged to approach them, introduce themelves and engage them in conversation. How to recognize the IEC YPs? Easy, they have a green badge.
Who they are
The IEC Young Professionals programme was launched in 2010 as a means of getting Generation Y – people in their 20s and 30s – more involved in IEC activities at the start of their careers.
The IEC YPs are technical, managerial and/or engineering professionals who are already familiar with the world of standardization and CA (Conformity Assessment), either because they develop standards or because they use them in their work.
New on the agenda
Suggestions from the 2010 YP Leaders have been incorporated in the 2012 agenda.
As a consequence, and for the first time this year, a working breakfast will be held on the last day of the workshop for YPs to meet and talk with their country’s NC Officers. This is particularly important because, as with all delegates and experts, the NC will be their primary contact point for participation in IEC activities.
Another new activity for the 2012 workshop will be the Open Space session, also scheduled on the third day, which is reserved for YPs only and will be moderated by 4 YP Leaders. The session will allow the participants to discuss topics of their choice with their peers and provide ideas, comments and suggestions.
Experiencing the world of standardization from the inside
This year's workshop again takes place over three days. After a reception on the evening before to welcome all participants, the workshop begins with detailed explanations of the world of IEC International Standards and Conformity Assessment.
YPs hear about the personal experiences of the 2010 and 2011 Young Professional Leaders and about the programme itself. They learn what to expect when attending an IEC technical meeting, are given a detailed explanation of the IEC structure and its membership, and have time to ask questions and obtain additional information.
They sit as observers at the SMB (Standardization Management Board) and CAB (Conformity Assessment Board) meetings and attend the technical meeting of their choice. Breakout sessions are also on the agenda.
Challenges in applying standardization
The final day starts with an interactive session where YPs split into 4 groups, each group dealing with a specific topic. This year’s topics cover IECEE and conformity assessment; the IEC IT Tools, to prepare for the specific needs of the future experts and managers of the IEC; a mock technical meeting to offer participants the opportunity to develop their negotiation skills; and the standards development process for those who are less aware of standardization work.
A better understanding of standardization
YPs who took part in the two previous workshops all say they have come away from the three-day gathering with a deeper understanding of standardization, a broadened network and the satisfaction of feeling part of a bigger world in which they have a personal role to play. Many have found it provided them with an opportunity to express their ideas not only to their peers, but also to some of the experts and management present, and to suggest how their knowledge in certain technical areas might be used in the context of particular technical or conformity assessment work.
Benefits for all
Not only has the feedback from participants been enthusiastic and positive, their employers have underlined benefits too. Organizations have found that, by enabling their employees to take part in the Young Professionals' Programme, not only have they helped provide their staff with fast-track access to the world of standardization and boosted their personal motivation, but that the company profile has improved in the eyes of the customers and they have created the potential for making new contacts and embarking on new projects.