Go ahead, Get ahead

The IEC Young Professionals - 2011 Workshop

By Claire Marchand

Building on the success of the first Young Professionals Workshop in Seattle, USA, in 2010, and on the ongoing involvement of the 2010 participants in the Young Professionals Programme, the IEC held its second workshop at this year’s General Meeting in Melbourne. Thirty IEC NCs (National Committees) selected the 59 IEC Young Professionals to attend the 2011 Young Professionals Workshop.

Sharing experiences

IEC President Klaus Wucherer officially opened the workshop before IEC General Secretary Ronnie Amit welcomed all participants. The master of ceremonies, Michel Bourassa of Canada, introduced the Young Professionals Programme and underlined the importance of involving the younger generation in IEC work. On behalf of the 2010 Young Professional Leaders, Stephanie McLarty gave a first-hand account of how the 2010 participants had developed the programme over the past year and reflected on their changed perspectives on standardization and conformity assessment.

Enthusiasm and motivation on the agenda

The workshop was a mix of presentations, interactive sessions as well as management and technical meeting observations. Both standardization and conformity assessment were on the agenda, offering participants an insider’s view of the workings of the IEC.

Involvement is key

Through their observation of a technical meeting participants gained an understanding of the importance of being actively involved and the awareness that technical work is more than just commenting on documents. At the workshop, participants underlined their views that involvement in standardization and conformity assessment work is an important part of career development and that their employers can benefit enormously from their involvement.

New Leaders elected

As in 2010, the Young Professionals elected three Leaders who will spread their messages and be their voice within the IEC community. The 2011 Leaders are:

  • Elaine Clayton (Australia)
  • Jonathan Colby (United States)
  • David Tackie (Denmark)

In the first quarter of 2012, e-tech will feature interviews with all three Leaders.

Feedback from the workshop

The aim of the Young Professionals Programme is to get young managers and engineers involved in IEC standardization and conformity assessment activities, and from the feedback received, it is achieving its mission.

In the questionnaire given at the end of the workshop, all participants said they found the experience valuable, 90 % said their expectations were fulfilled and 91 % said they planned or would like to get more involved in the IEC, which they described as very open to newcomers. They said that seeing the standardization community accept them so easily and in such a friendly way was both extremely encouraging and motivating.

In their own words

"I was most impressed by the dedication and commitment shown by a number of high-level executives within the IEC to the Young Professionals Programme. It was a privilege to listen to speeches they had written specifically for the workshop and to attend SMB and CAB meetings which would not otherwise be accessible to us. It was also an honour to network with IEC executives and experts during coffee breaks, lunches and dinners."
 Elaine Clayton from Australia

"I want to thank you for all your support. It was an amazing experience, one of the best in my life. Actually, I think it's a very nice programme that needs to be continued for the future of IEC. So, please count with me for anything that could be done for the programme. There’s a lot that can be done with the Young Professionals."
 Arturo Gaytan from Mexico

"It was one of the best workshops I have ever attended. I gained a lot of information about the IEC which will enable me to do my standardization job better and more efficiently."
 Gurveen Singh Sachdeva from India

On the workshop

The three-day event started with a reception the night preceding the workshop, where IEC Officers were present to welcome the participants.

The workshop saw IEC key staff members and other high-level speakers give presentations on topics ranging from involvement in IEC standardization work and participation in technical meetings and conformity assessment activities to Smart Grid, multimedia, the importance of IT tools in IEC work and much more.

Participants had the opportunity to observe the SMB (Standardization Management Board) and CAB (Conformity Assessment Board) meeting as well as a technical meeting of their choice.

Following interactive sessions in the morning, the afternoon of the third day was dedicated to an industry visit organized by the Australian NC.

For more information on the Young Professionals' Programme and the workshop, please go to: http://www.iec.ch/members_experts/ypp/

The three Leaders: David Tackie (left), Jonathan Colby (second from right) and Elaine Clayton (right) together with Evgeny Rashchevskiy The three Leaders: David Tackie (left), Jonathan Colby (second from right) and Elaine Clayton (right) together with Evgeny Rashchevskiy
A group of Young Professionals during a breakout session A group of Young Professionals during a breakout session
Questions and discussions followed each presentation Questions and discussions followed each presentation