Training sessions in Southeast Asia focus on individuals
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.
Spotlight on Southeast Asia
The training programme put in place by the IEC has picked up speed in 2013: After Latin America in March, a new series of workshops were held in Southeast Asia in May. Four countries were on the agenda: Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines and Thailand.
Organized by TISS (Technical Information and Support Services) and conducted by IEC Community Business Coordinator Jan-Henrik Tiedemann, in collaboration with IEC-APRC (Asia-Pacific Regional Centre) Regional Director Dennis Chew, the workshops brought together about 40 participants in each location and received very positive feedback.
Focus on the participants
To kick start each workshop, Tiedemann tested a new feature: the roll call. Participants were asked to introduce themselves, and also to explain what their personal motivation and expectations were in attending this event. This put the focus on individuals rather than on the audience as a whole.
For the organizers it was interesting to see the wide range of interests and expectations brought forward by attendees. Some were very new to standardization and keen to gather any bit of information available, others were veterans of 20 or more years, wishing to find ways of working more efficiently.
Having participants spell out their needs at the beginning of a session helps fine-tune the programme. The training material put together by TISS, which consists of a series of presentations on a variety of topics related to IEC standardization and CA (Conformity Assessment) activities, can easily be adapted to each audience at very short notice.
IEC IT tools for Singapore?
Prior to the workshop, Tiedemann and Chew met with the Director of Standardization at SPRING, the NSB (National Standardization Body) that hosts the Singapore NC (National Committee) of the IEC, to discuss the possibility of having free use of the IEC IT Collaboration Tool Suite at the national level.
Having NCs use the IEC tools is a win-win situation. On the one hand, it helps experts in their national mirror committee work who can familiarize themselves with the IEC 100% electronic environment. Then, when they become members of an IEC TC/SC (Technical Committee/Subcommittee), they require minimal training and are immediately operational.
Spreading the word through social media
The half-day workshop gathered people from various horizons representing national stakeholders. It is interesting to note that two participants learned about the upcoming Asian tour through LinkedIn discussions and contacted TISS to find out whether there would be an event in Singapore. They were redirected to their NC for registration and were present at the session.
SPRING deemed this workshop extremely beneficial and asked if another session could be organized later this year to cover more ground.
The Philippines – focus on CA
This time, the workshop was organized not with the NC but with one stakeholder and took place in a factory that is assembling short-term housing modules. This gave a different flavour to the meeting, hosted in one of their test houses.
Among participants, several were from test laboratories or chairs of mirror technical committees. While the core presentations on IEC activities remained on the programme, the focus was more on CA activities, the IECEE System and luminaires in particular.
The company had the opportunity to make a presentation and treated participants to a tour of their own test lab.
Indonesia and Thailand – making their voice heard
Many stakeholders, including manufacturers and government agencies, took part in these two events.
The Thai workshop saw some very lively exchanges between presenters and the audience. Several topics were broached, among them the national adoption of IEC International Standards and the issue of participation in IEC work, especially for NCs with a limited number of experts.
The workshops will move to Europe and the United States in the second half of 2013.