Onboarding the next generation of experts

Overview of the IEC Young Professionals – 2017 workshop

The 21st century has already seen the ineluctable acceleration of technological developments that affect every one of us in our personal and professional lives. Electrotechnical standardization work and conformity assessment activities are also impacted by this. In 2010, the IEC, recognizing the need to reach out to the younger generations, set up the IEC Young Professionals (YP) Programme and organized the first Young Professionals workshop.

YP group during the 2017 workshop in Vladivostok
The Young Professionals workshop brought together 67 YPs from 35 countries, each participant nominated by his or her National Committee (NC)

Growing the next generation

The IEC Young Professionals Programme was developed to enable the IEC and its National Committees to reach out to upcoming experts, managers and leaders, encouraging their long-term participation in standardization and conformity assessment activities. This in turn helps guarantee continuity of high quality leaders and experts in the IEC family. 

The workshop

The eighth IEC Young Professionals (YP) workshop took place in Vladivostok, Russia, from 9 to 11 October 2017, in parallel with the 81st IEC General Meeting. The event brought together 67 YPs from 35 countries, each participant nominated by his or her National Committee (NC). Since its creation, the IEC Young Professionals Programme has welcomed a total of 468 participants from 50 countries. 

Before the workshop

Prior to the workshop, the participants completed an online training to be better prepared for the workshop. They also had to reflect on their breakout session questions to help prepare for the discussions. Last but not least, they provided their individual profiles via the IEC Expert Management System and these were made available to the IEC community on the IEC website. 

Insights into IEC activities

Participants had the choice of observing either the Standardization Management Board (SMB) or the Conformity Assessment Board (CAB) meeting. They also experienced the IEC in action by observing a part of a technical meeting. This observation was then followed by a hands-on exercise simulating a technical meeting. The workshop included numerous breakout and interactive sessions to provide participants with the opportunity to share their thoughts and views. 

During the breakout sessions, the YPs were asked to reflect on the digital transformation of IEC work and its impact on how Standards will be developed and used. The results of these sessions were then presented and discussed at a breakout session open to all GM participants. A summary of all these breakout sessions was then presented at one of the Council breakout sessions led by two of the IEC 2016 YP Leaders. 

The country-tables breakfast, where YPs had the occasion to meet with the NC Officers from their country, was also a success this year. 

Positive feedback

As in previous years, the level of satisfaction expressed by the participants at the end of the workshop was very high. All said it was a valuable experience, 98% had their expectations fulfilled and 95% intend to get more involved in IEC work in future. 

For the participants, the benefits of attending the workshop are legion. They have the opportunity to meet and interact with IEC management and NC officers, have access to the inner circles of the Commission and develop their network at the international level. In addition, the workshop helps them enhance their knowledge of the IEC procedures and processes. They can experience the IEC at work from the inside and have their voice heard. 

This year, as in the past, YPs said the workshop was THE platform for those who want to advance their career in standardization and conformity assessment. Employers also benefit from sending people to the workshop: it provides their staff with fast-track access to the world of standardization and boosts their employees’ personal motivation. 

Young Professional Leaders

Each year at the workshop, YP participants vote to elect three leaders who will be the driving force for the whole group. During their year as leaders, they will represent the 2017 YPs and support the IEC YP Coordinator in finding opportunities and working on projects to help increase the group’s involvement in IEC work. The YP Leaders will also be part of the preparation of the IEC YP – 2018 workshop and will be invited to participate and contribute. 

The three 2017 Young professional Leaders, elected by the participants, are:

  • Annette Frederiksen (Germany)
  • Juan Li (China)
  • Jorge Richard Angulo (Mexico) 

In their own words

“I would definitely recommend employers to send their YPs to this workshop. It is a great platform where YPs can express their ideas and learn about IEC work. I will use what I learnt to help our customers, which will ultimately contribute to increasing my organization’s market share.” Juan Li, China 

“This workshop has helped me develop my consensus building skills which is essential for IEC work. I also extended my network significantly and had many opportunities to share my technical knowledge with my peers.” Jorge Richard Angulo, Mexico 

The IEC Young Professionals – 2018 workshop will be held in Busan, Republic of Korea, from 22 to 24 October, in conjunction with the 82nd IEC General Meeting.

About the IEC YP Programme

The IEC Young Professionals Programme was developed as a way for the IEC and its National Committees to reach out to the younger generation of experts, managers and leaders and to encourage their long-term participation in standardization and conformity assessment activities. This helps guarantee continuity in the availability of high quality experts, enabling the IEC to maintain its focus on responding to market needs on a long-term basis.