Training and capacity building in standardization

China, Germany and Russia to sign collaboration pledges during IEC Academy & Capacity Building day

Underscoring its strong ties with academia, the IEC will sign collaboration pledges with Shenzhen Technology University, the DKE Next GEN programme and GOST-R Academy. The signing ceremony will take place during the IEC Academy and Capacity Building day on 24 October with the presence of Dr Shihong Tian, Administrator for Standardization Administration of China (SAC), Roland Bent, President of the National Committee of Germany (DKE), Alexey Abramov, Head of the Federal Agency for Technical Regulation and Metrology (Rosstandart), and Frans Vreeswijk, General Secretary & CEO of the IEC.

Bootcamp participants

The IEC Academy and Capacity Building day takes place alongside the IEC General Meeting in Shanghai. It offers an opportunity for participants to discover best practices on training and capacity building programmes, contribute an open discussion and learn about the new 'Standard in a day' bootcamp concept. It is a full day event that will showcase the work of IEC Academy & Capacity Building and demonstrate how National Committees can benefit from its training and professional development programmes in standardization and conformity assessment.

Working with academia

During the IEC Academy & Capacity Building day, IEC will present the standardization learning activities of the Shenzhen Technology University, part of a larger aim to reach out to academia and cooperate with universities. The collaboration pledges are a first step in developing standardization teaching packages that can be used in universities around the world. With Shenzhen Technology University, IEC will start a joint pilot project on standardization as part of the university’s Bachelor’s programme.

According to Jan-Henrik Tiedemann, Head of IEC Academy and Capacity-Building, "we recognize the unique perspective provided by academics and seek to support projects that can stimulate academic debate and bring new insight on the development and impact of international standards". Last year, IEC Academy, together with the American Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the Korean Agency for Technology and Standards (KATS), organized the competition Future Challenges in Standardization. During the IEC General Meeting 2018, five prizes were awarded for best academic publications.

In addition, IEC Academy co-organizes the World Standards Cooperation annual Academic Day and lectures at universities around the world.

Offering training and webinars

IEC Academy offers high-quality training through webinars, capacity building events and national training workshops in different countries every year to the IEC community. In 2018, IEC Academy provided 350 hours of training to over 3 000 professionals. Workshops and training sessions take place all over the world as well as at IEC Central Office and IEC regional centres.

Each year, IEC Academy provides training to incoming National Committees Officers to help them better understand how to navigate the IEC community. Training is also given to new TC/SC Chairs and Secretaries to help inform them of how IEC functions. Capacity building and training workshops are also provided to National Committees with the aim of providing best practices for NCs and their mirror committees.

According to Tiedemann, "these workshops offer an opportunity to meet with many members of the IEC community and help them understand how IEC works and how to make the best use of IEC resources available to them. It also allows us to get their feedback and ideas for improving IEC processes".

IEC Academy also delivers tailored events. In 2018, it organized a one-day capacity building and training event at the HUANENG headquarters in Beijing that was attended by 90 participants and live-streamed to all HUANENG branch offices across China. "This was a very exciting event for us," noted Tiedemann. "It gave us the opportunity to not only serve an IEC Member but also to help prepare the team of the IEC President-elect, Dr Yinbiao Shu, for an active participation in the IEC".

Public webinars

IEC Academy offers webinars each month which are open to the general public. These webinars provide a better understanding of different areas of IEC activities, such as the standards development process, conformity assessment, the importance of terminology, etc.

'Standard in a day' boot camps

Based on an idea from an IEC Young Professional Leader from Germany, IEC Academy has begun organizing intensive trainings for beginners to standardization. Over a one and a half day period, participants simulate the development of a standard, from a new proposal (NP) to committee draft (CD) and final draft international standard (FDIS), through a mix of training, discussions and role playing.

Two bootcamps have already been organized in Germany with DKE, one in China and a fourth in Malaysia. According to Tiedemann, “feedback for the boot camps has been extremely positive. It has even led to one industry leader wanting to further engage in standardization as a result of participating in the bootcamp.”

Strengthening collaboration

IEC offers a collaboration platform that National Committees and IEC TC/SCs can use to connect with other experts from around the world and share their standardization work. Users have access to designated workspaces where they can find and share documents. This platform facilitates the process for sourcing comments and views that can then be used to develop a national position.

National versions of the collaboration platform are available. This platform is already in use in eight countries across Europe, Asia and North America.

Online learning

The IEC Academy & Capacity Building is currently in the process of developing an online learning management system that will allow participants to take courses online. This new platform will be composed of courses on topics such as standardization and conformity assessment as well as on the requirements of specific IEC roles such as Convenors, Secretaries or Chairs. Each course is comprised of several modules that, once successfully completed, allow the participant to receive an online recognition and a certificate. National Committees will be able to see in the IEC Expert Management System which of their experts has successfully completed a course.

In his role as Head of the IEC Academy & Capacity Building, Tiedemann is very excited about the prospects for fully developing the IEC Academy and serving IEC Members. "We want to show to the community how active participation can be an effective strategy not only for stakeholders, such as regulators and industry, but also for the personal development of all participants. We receive very positive results from our breakout sessions questions and discussions. It is a give and take. We learn so much from participants, which leads to improvements in IEC processes and tools".