Dennis Chew, IEC-APRC Regional Director, has been with the regional centre since its creation in 2002. He has spared no effort to visit IEC members and Affiliates in the region, establishing an ongoing dialogue with them and urging them to take an active part in IEC standardization and conformity assessment activities. IEC-APRC has also organized workshops and training sessions to bring Asia-Pacific countries up to speed with new developments in IEC technical work and IT tools.
“Enhancing participation in the IEC work” was the theme of a training course organized by the IEC-APRC and held in their offices in Singapore on 7-8 March 2012.
IEC NCs (National Committees) and Affiliates in the region responded positively to this initiative. There were more than 20 participants from 3 IEC NCs – Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore – and from 3 IEC Affiliates – Bhutan, Cambodia and Papua New Guinea.
Whilst the training covered a wide spectrum of topics related to the IEC organization and management structure, the role of IEC CO (Central Office), the IEC Affiliate Country Programme, the IEC Young Professionals Programme, and so on, the two keynote activities were the participation in the development of IEC International Standards and the use of IT tools.
Using a case study of the development of a typical IEC International Standard, each step of the development process was discussed in detail, highlighting the level of participation expected from IEC NCs and IEC Affiliates. The role of experts in IEC TC (Technical Committee) WGs (Working Groups) was clearly explained, with emphasis on the need for their active contributions to the progress of the development work.
The second keynote activity on the use of IT tools took place via videoconference, with a presentation given by Jan-Henrik Tiedemann, IEC Community Business Coordinator, TISS, at IEC CO. After showing the participants how to navigate to the relevant parts of the IEC website, he described the major IT tools, i.e. EMS (Expert Management System), CTS (Collaboration Tools Suite), MRS (Meeting Registration System) and the Electronic Voting/Commenting System.
The presentations solicited many questions, generating an excellent co-operative, learning environment, benefiting all participants.
The IEC APRC staff, notably Michael Casson, Senior Technical Advisor, Dennis Chew, and Suzanne Yap, IEC-APRC Technical Officer, gave the presentations which were highly appreciated, especially the linkage to the IEC Website which would enable the participants to easily locate the information.
There was very positive feedback from the audience with requests for more hands-on/participative/interactive training sessions. The IEC-APRC will be building on this initial experience to develop future training sessions corresponding to the needs of the IEC NCs and Affiliates in the region.
At the end of the session, Ezrom M.D. Tapparan from Indonesia commented: “I found the workshop really useful and look forward to playing an active role in the IEC in the future.”