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Digital boot camp for future standards professionals
"Standard in a day" digital boot camp

Learning by doing is the ethos behind the IEC Academy and Capacity Building (ACB) “Standard in a day” boot camp. ACB and DKE Next GEN recently organized a virtual edition of the event, which is aimed at beginners to standardization.

The boot camp format is based on an idea by an IEC Young Professional Leader from Germany. 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 roleplaying.

On the day before the standardization exercise, the participants were given an opportunity to meet and to find out about each other. This facilitates collaboration.

In the longer term, it also helps participants to start developing their own networks of contacts in the world of standardization and conformity assessment.

For the boot camp, participants were divided into fictional countries and given roles as experts with different objectives. Their challenge was to develop a standard for a “baby robot” through a process of developing their assigned positions, discussing their points of view and reaching a consensus.

They discussed a variety of technical and ethical questions, with a particular focus on safety. One of the issues discussed was whether baby robots should be made to look and feel human and whether there was a danger that they might one day replace real babies.

Another challenge lay in the design of the interface. Some “experts” drew attention to the vital importance of taking cyber security into account.

The design of the maximum and minimum temperature range for outdoor use of the baby robots was also discussed. Some “experts” pointed out that an international standard would have to take into account the widely varying temperatures on our planet.

Following the discussion of the comments, the challenge was to find a common consensus in order to be able to adopt the modified draft standard. Feedback from the event was overwhelmingly positive.

"Now that I have taken the first steps in active participation, it was imperative to grasp the big picture," said one participant. "The role of the convenor — that is pure leadership work.

"With today's training, I see the work of the standardization experts with completely different eyes. Standardization is an asset and something that should be upheld through personal commitment within the scope of one's own sphere of activity."

Another participant said: "I would like to take this opportunity to thank you personally for the extremely exciting, instructive and simply great boot camp!
It really gave me a lot of new, important insights into the world of standardization, which I will definitely use in my future standardization work.

"I'm really looking forward to it! I just had fun and joy from start to finish and it was an honour for me to be part of it!”

IEC ACB works closely with National Committees, IEC Regional Centres and IEC Departments to build knowledge and grow enthusiasm. It offers high-quality training through webinars, capacity building events and national training workshops.

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