IEC training sessions in Asia
Raising awareness, increasing participation
As part of its strategy to increase awareness of, and enhance participation in standards development work, the IEC made the decision to have regular training sessions for its members, experts and for the community at large. Three broad geographical regions were defined: Asia, the Americas and Europe.
The first set of trainings and workshops, organized by IEC TISS (Technical Information and Support Services) and conducted by Jan-Henrik Tiedemann, IEC Community Business Coordinator, took place in Asia in May 2012. Four countries were selected: China, Singapore, Japan and Korea.
The first training was in Shenzhen, a major city in the Guangdong Province, where most of the Chinese electronics industry is located and flourishing. The Chinese NC (National Committee), the provincial standardization office and the local industry cooperated closely to make this first event a success.
Two training sessions were organized, one open to the public and the other reserved for TC/SC (Technical Committee/Subcommittee) secretaries. The public session was a workshop addressing topics such as the IEC and its standardization and conformity assessment activities, the benefits of standardization for industry, national adoptions of IEC International Standards and so forth.
More than 350 participants, mainly from the Guangdong Province but also from other provinces attended the public session. Such a large audience showed that the need for standardization is clearly understood. The questions and comments at the end of the session gave a strong indicator that Chinese professionals are extremely keen to learn more about IEC International Standards and want to use them. They all expressed an interest in having further training. Many of the technical questions dealt with the electronics, battery and solar industry sectors.
In Singapore, the training was for National Secretaries from SPRING, the Singapore NSB (National Standardization Body) and the IEC-APRC (Asia-Pacific Regional Centre) staff. The accent was put on new developments in IT Tools and other projects undertaken by TISS that will help the Technical Officers, editors and assistants in their work.
The one-day event in Tokyo, Japan, organized by JISC (Japanese Industrial Standards Committee), gathered about 30 TC/SC Secretaries, all highly-experienced people. As part of the workshop there was a brainstorming session on “How would you improve IEC electronic processes”? The feedback was valuable for IEC andvery positive. Participants again expressed the need for regular training.
The last leg of the tour was in Seoul, Korea. The two-day event was broken down into two specific events. The first day was for experts who had little experience of standards and standardization work, the second for those who already knew about standards. About 40 participants, mainly from the battery and energy sectors were present for each day.
A huge number of questions were answered, many focusing on national adoptions, intellectual property and on the Young Professionals Programme. During the workshop, a professor who had been active in and teaching standardization for close to 40 years, made a presentation, telling the young generation why it was important to be involved and participate in standardization work.
As in the other trainings, the necessity of further training was stressed.
Training and learning
In total, 7 workshops were conducted in 4 countries in 3 weeks. Each country has its specificities, and while providing training for local audiences, the IEC also learned much from the experience.
Trainings and workshops have to be tailor-made for each audience because expertise, knowledge, expectations, needs and markets are widely different in each country.
There is a definite need for more regular training workshops to bring a larger audience from industry onboard. This first set of training provided a wealth of information that will definitely be used when preparing future events.
The next sessions are scheduled for spring 2013 in North America and later in Europe, South America and Asia.