International Standards and Conformity Assessment for all electrical, electronic and related technologies

October 2013


Mentoring and training

IEC programmes to help broaden participation

Claire Marchand

In a world in constant evolution, where new technologies are developed every day and new markets are emerging, the role played by IEC standardization and CA (Conformity Assessment) activities is bound to be more important than ever. For this to happen however, the IEC needs to increase awareness of, and enhance participation in its work. To this end, the IEC has set up specific programmes aimed at its members and Affiliate countries.

Mentoring helps move forward

Recognizing that mentoring can help countries move forward in their work with the IEC, the Commission has established a Mentoring Programme for its Members and Affiliate countries. The purpose of the programme is to broaden participation at all levels by encouraging long-established NCs to mentor and share their experience with other NCs (National Committees) and Affiliates’ NECs (National Electrotechnical Committees).


The IEC has been a pioneer in bringing the benefits and advantages of involvement in the IEC to many countries throughout the world, not only through membership and the Affiliate Country Programme, but also for example by opening up membership of its CA Systems to countries that are not yet part of the IEC family.


Through its mentoring programme, the IEC will further increase support to countries that want to build their capacity for greater participation in the Commission’s technical work. NCs and Affiliates NECs participate in the programme on a voluntary basis for a maximum duration of two years.

Benefits for NCs and Affiliates NECs

The mentoring programme will help NCs and Affiliate NECs at the management and technical levels. Mentoring at the management level will focus on the reinforcement of the NC or NEC structure and its mirror committees, as well as on the adoption of IEC International Standards as national ones. Technical mentoring will enhance the participation of experts, focusing on the procedures for commenting on IEC International Standards during the development and providing guidance in understanding the requirements laid out in these Standards.


Both mentor and mentee, not to forget the IEC, are bound to gain from the partnership they engage in. Stronger ties may provide mentoring countries with new business opportunities in developing or emerging markets. The fast-track approach will help mentees enhance their participation in IEC standardization work and have their voice heard sooner rather than later, thus reinforcing the truly global and leading role played by the IEC in the electrotechnical field.

Off to a good start

Two mentoring agreements have already been signed, one between Austria and Rwanda, the other between Germany and the Czech Republic.


Mentoring may take place via phone, email, Skype, participation in meetings via webinars, one-to-one meetings for example during the IEC General Meeting, and at workshops organized either by the mentor or the mentee.

More information

For more information about the Mentoring Programme or to register please contact:

NCs interested in participating either as a mentor or as a mentee: Reena Teuber.

Interested Affiliates: Thomas Robertson.

Regional training workshop

IEC has brought training sessions and workshops to several regions of the world.

The first set of trainings and workshops, organized by IEC TISS (Technical Information and Support Services) together with the IEC Asia Pacific Regional Centre, took place in Asia in May 2012. Four countries were selected: China, Singapore, Japan and Korea.


In 2013, the training focused first on Latin America. Workshops were organized in Brazil, Chile, Argentina and Mexico, together with the IEC Latin America Regional Centre. Then it was back to Asia, where four countries were on the agenda: Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines and Thailand. In September, a training workshop took place in Nairobi for the Kenyan NC.


Because all these countries have different needs, demands and expectations in terms of infrastructure and development, the format and content of the workshops were adapted to each specific audience. While providing training for participants, helping them get better acquainted with, and encouraging them to participate more actively in with IEC technical and CA activities, the IEC also learned much from the experience.


There is a definite need for more regular training workshops to bring a larger audience from industry onboard.



  • The IEC Mentoring Programme will help experts share knowledge, experience and expertise between peers
  • Some of the mentoring will be done via video conferencing
  • Several NCs and many technical experts have benefited from the training workshops organized in their region


Mentoring requirements for Affiliates

For the purpose of the Mentoring Programme, the Affiliate Countries are split into different categories so that they can each get the type of learning that best reflects their needs.

Affiliate Plus with an established NEC will be offered mentoring at the management and technical levels provided by volunteer IEC experts. Affiliates that do not have a NEC will be offered training to help establish their NEC by the Affiliate Team and Regional Centers, with support from IEC TISS (Technical Information and Support Services).

Training on the adoption procedure for Standards as well as on the fundamentals needed for active participation in IEC work will continue to be offered by the Affiliate Secretariat.


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