The IEC Young Professionals (YP) Programme serves as a catalyst for the next generation of experts and leaders to become involved in IEC work. Developed for IEC and its National Committees to reach out to upcoming expert engineers, technicians and managers, the YP Programme helps to promote IEC standardization and conformity assessment activities. Young Professionals also bring a diversity of new voices to the organization. Since its launch in 2010, the Young Professionals Programme has welcomed a total of 468 participants from 50 countries.
Each year, a new group of YPs is formally introduced to IEC at the annual Young Professionals workshop. Participants can network with the 3 000 IEC leaders and experts in standardization and conformity assessment attending the IEC General Meeting. The eighth edition of the YP workshop took place in Vladivostok, Russia in October 2017 and brought together 67 Young Professionals from 35 countries.
The YP workshop is an opportunity for Young Professionals to experience IEC in action. They can observe a meeting of the Standardization Management Board (SMB), the Conformity Assessment Board (CAB) or a technical meeting of their choice. Numerous breakout sessions provide participants with the opportunity to share their thoughts and, in one interactive session, to simulate a technical meeting.
A breakfast meeting is also held to foster the network between the Young Professionals and their National Committee Officers. Because National Committees serve as the gateway for Young Professionals to evolve in their participation in IEC work, they are an essential element in the continued development and involvement of young experts and leaders.
Once the YP workshop is completed, collaboration with the Young Professionals continues. Individual follow-up with all participants and their National Committees encourages further involvement at either the national or international level. Young Professionals are also invited to share their thoughts about future tools and services which will enable an enhanced and active participation in IEC work in the future.
Each year, the IEC Young Professionals Programme encourages the participants to join specific projects which contribute to their increased IEC involvement and to the development of the YP Programme. In previous years, these activities have included drafting a collection of business case studies and presenting IEC at local universities.
Some YPs have been given the opportunity to take part in certain SMB and CAB groups as YP representatives. This year, a group of Young Professionals attended the IEC Future Leader’s Industry Forum in Munich to discuss cyber security in smart infrastructures, with the aim of producing a paper on the topic which will be submitted to the Market Strategy Board (MSB).
At the national level, a number of National Committees have begun organizing activities for their young experts.
In India, BIS launched its national equivalent IEC Young Professionals Programme in 2016 and has since organized three workshops. The most recent workshop was held in March in Bangalore. Similarly, China launched its first workshop in 2017 and is planning another one later this year. Other National Committees planning YP workshops in 2018 include Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Singapore, South Africa and the United Kingdom.
Registration to participate in this year’s IEC Young Professionals workshop will be open from mid-May until the end of July. The YP workshop will take place in Busan, Republic of Korea from 22 to 24 October alongside the IEC General Meeting. It is expected that approximately 70 participants will attend from over 35 countries.
Prior to attending the YP workshop, upcoming Young Professionals are asked to complete an online pre-workshop training course to familiarize them with IEC work. It contains information slides, videos and a questionnaire for completion.