Broadening expert base beyond workshop

IEC Young Professionals workshop highlights importance of actively growing the next generation

By Janice Blondeau

As part of IEC's efforts to broaden its base of professional experts and increase awareness of its work, 55 representatives from 30 National Committees came together to share experiences, network and learn more about the world of international standardization and conformity assessment at the successful IEC Young Professionals workshop in New Delhi. An important outcome of the workshop was a series of recommendations from IEC Young Professional programme participants for National Committees to nurture and mentor these talented up-and-coming experts once the workshop has ended, so that they can become actively involved in IEC work.

At the Young Professionals workshop in Delhi, 55 participants representing 30 NCs... At the Young Professionals workshop in Delhi, 55 participants representing 30 NCs...

Programme full of promise

During the three-day event, the 4th annual IEC Young Professionals workshop, participants were introduced to many facets of IEC's work in international standards and conformity assessment by key IEC Officers, staff members and other high-level speakers. As part of the workshop programme, 2010, 2011 and 2012 Leaders developed and ran parts of the agenda.

Workshop participants also attended special, tailor-made sessions on the role and functioning of the IEC SMB (Standardization Management Board) and CAB (Conformity Assessment Board), had the opportunity to meet and exchange with IEC executives and to observe IEC technical meetings. Two lunch sessions with SMB members and CAB members provided an avenue for informal sharing of professional experiences and useful networking opportunities. Several sessions were dedicated to the break-outs which looked at subjects of strategic importance to the IEC's work and leveraging the IEC Young Professionals programme.

Satisfied participants

Participant feedback on the workshop has been very positive, with 98% of participants finding the workshop valuable, 96% planning to become more involved in IEC work, and 83% saying that their expectations were fulfilled.

In their own words…

I received a lot of information about International Standards. I appreciate how we can communicate and discuss with senior engineers, standards experts, and how we can use standards to achieve the company’s strategy. (Zhan Wei, China)

I truly had a wonderful experience and was able to meet and network with many individuals who can expand my contacts, both professionally and personally. Through talking with other YPs I was able to see the “big picture” scope of the IEC. (Chelsey Schweikert, USA)

Recommendations for improvements

Recommendations coming out of the IEC Young Professionals - 2013 workshop highlighted the importance of continuing encouragement for Young Professionals once the workshop ends, especially from their National Committees. The first recommendation was for National Committees to establish IEC national YP programmes. National programmes which focus on the electrotechnical sector offer the greatest benefits to participants, particularly in terms of networking opportunities. Some NCs have already established or are in the process of establishing a national equivalent programme.

Post-workshop follow-up from NCs called for

The participants also strongly recommended mentoring activities to help them become more involved in the work of the IEC. In addition, they highlighted the need for communication and follow-up between the YPs and their respective NCs as a key to further success. With this in mind, the IEC Central Office encourages the NCs who were represented at the IEC Young Professionals - 2013 workshop to maintain contact with their national YP participants in order to identify opportunities where they can continue to grow, learn and participate in IEC-related activities.

2013 Leaders announced

A feature of the IEC Young Professionals programme is the Young Professional Leaders, programme ambassadors within the IEC family. During the time that they are Leaders they help to shape the post-workshop activities to keep YPs engaged.

The workshop saw the election of the three new leaders for 2013 who are:

  • Ethan Biery (United States of America)
  • Adam Hamilton (South Africa)
  • Dimitrios Ladas (France)

The IEC wishes these three new leaders every success. You can read their short profiles in the next issue of e-tech.

Tokyo calling…

In preparation for the IEC YP workshop next year, National Committees are invited to start their selection processes to select the two participants (three for NCs holding eight or more IEC TC/SC Secretariats) to represent their country at the 2014 workshop. Participants should be graduate engineers or managers, aged early 20s to mid-30s, working in any industry or business relevant to the IEC and with some experience in standardization.

A final word… growing our next generation

With four YP workshops successfully hosted by the IEC since the programme kicked off in Seattle in 2010, more than 210 participants representing 40 National Committees have been welcomed to the IEC family. Given that the majority of the workshop participants from the last four years would like to become more involved in the work of the IEC, let us do all we can to ensure that they do!

For more information about the IEC Young Professionals Programme, please see IEC Young Professionals programme.

At the Young Professionals workshop in Delhi, 55 participants representing 30 NCs... At the Young Professionals workshop in Delhi, 55 participants representing 30 NCs...
...were introduced to the world of IEC work ...were introduced to the world of IEC work
Feedback from the workshop, the fourth held by the IEC, has been very positive Feedback from the workshop, the fourth held by the IEC, has been very positive