Countdown to Vladivostok

Update on the IEC Young Professionals Programme

By Janice Blondeau

National Committees (NCs) have until the end of July to register participants, selected at national level, for the IEC Young Professionals (YP) – 2017 workshop. The workshop will be held in Vladivostok, Russia, in October during the IEC General Meeting.

IEC Young Professionals workshop 2016 in Frankfurt, Germany The IEC Young Professionals – 2017 workshop will be held in Vladivostok in October during the IEC General Meeting. (Photo: IEC YPP – 2016 workshop, Frankfurt)

Growing the IEC Family

Expanding its expert community to involve more and more qualified people is an ongoing IEC priority. The IEC Young Professionals Programme (YPP) provides a springboard for further involvement in electrotechnical standards and conformity assessment work. 

Geared towards younger professionals who already use Electrotechnical Standards and conformity assessment in their work, the IEC Young Professionals Programme provides direct networking opportunities and capacity building to enable them to become tomorrow's leaders in the world of international standardization. 

In 2017, the IEC Young Professionals Programme, along with the workshop in Vladivostok, will build on the success of the past seven years while, at the same time, the Programme is continuously improving to better meet the needs of YPs and NCs. 

Ongoing opportunities to join in the work of the IEC

In Vladivostok, workshop participants have the opportunity to meet key management, from IEC Officers to members of the Standardization Management Board (SMB) or the Conformity Assessment Board (CAB). They will also observe part of the SMB or CAB meetings and a technical meeting of their choice. 

To foster networking between the NCs and their respective YPs, a country tables’ breakfast will be held again this year in Vladivostok. Since the involvement of YPs in both national and IEC activities is managed by the National Committee, the support of the NC following the workshop is essential for YPs to become more involved and continue their participation. Formal mentoring is an element that the YPs consider to be very important to help increase their involvement in IEC-related activities and this is an area where NCs can be instrumental.

Individual follow-up with each YP and their NC after last year’s workshop has encouraged Young Professionals to leverage opportunities to become further involved at national or international level. Also nine YPs were selected to participate in CAB and SMB groups as YP representatives (more about this initiative in the e-tech article The next generation of IEC leaders)

On the conformity assessment side, the IECEE sponsored a YP competition again this year, with the two winners attending the IECEE Certification Management Committee (CMC) Meeting in Yokohama, Japan, (read more about this in the e-tech article Growing the IEC next generation). 

National IEC Young Professionals Programmes

Another way to build interest and encourage up-and-coming experts to be part of IEC work is through a National IEC YP Programme. Here are some recent updates on national activities. 

In France

The French National Committee to the IEC is holding its third national equivalent IEC YP workshop in Paris on 15-16 June 2017. The Programme ‘Jeunes Professionels des Electrotechnologies’ (PJPE) aims to create a community based on electrotechnical standardization and conformity assessment. It also encourages collaborative actions between French experts. 

During two days, participants will gain a good overview on different themes related to the French NC and IEC work. The agenda includes presentations, breakout sessions, an industry visit and a role-play session, during which the participants will “act” as if they are in a real-life standards development technical meeting. The expected 20 participants will also meet and network with experts who have been involved in standardization and/or conformity assessment at the national or international level for many years. 

In South Africa

The South African National Committee to the IEC is holding its fourth national IEC YP workshop on 9 June 2017 in Pretoria, where an expected 50 participants will hear about their NC work and IEC work. The Programme includes information on how YPs can apply to be in a mentoring programme to initially be able to participate in IEC mirror committees and become eligible to be considered for participation in IEC International Standards technical meetings in the future. 

As well, South African YPs are encouraged to join a LinkedIn Group “The YP Chapter of the IEC Young Professionals”, which provides an easily accessible communication channel and forum in which South African IEC mirror committee chairs and National Committee members are also invited and encouraged to join the group as informal mentors. The group presently comprises over 100 members and continues to grow.  See earlier e-tech article Calling Young Professionals

In the UK

The Future of Engineering annual conference series was created to introduce standards to engineering professionals, and to encourage them to engage in the standards development process. The events cover engineering as a whole and it also has a direct interest to those in the electrotechnical sector. 

Now in its sixth year, the annual conference is a co-production between partners BSI, IET, GAMBICA, BEAMA and AMDEA, and it directly supports the IEC Young Professionals Programme. On 26 April 2017, the UK National Committee to the IEC was part of the Future of Engineering annual conference. 

In the session called ‘Shaping the future of international standardization’, Andrew Evans, Technical Director, GAMBICA, and Alan Sellers, Senior Environmental Control Approvals Engineer, Dyson and IEC Young Professional Leader 2016, showcased the work of the IEC Young Professionals Programme. 

See also the e-tech article Growing the next generation in India about the India NC national YP Programme. 

Growing engagement

When asked about how they were planning to become involved in electrotechnical standardization or conformity assessment activities, the Young Professionals from the 2016 workshop responded:

  • Being more involved at national and/or international level
  • Passing from national to international level involvement in IEC work
  • Helping to have more YPs involved
  • Developing national equivalent IEC YP Programmes
  • Promoting IEC within different industry associations, education boards and universities 

Benefits also for companies

Enabling their employees to take part in the IEC Young Professionals Programme empowers companies to provide their staff with fast track access to the world of international standardization and conformity assessment and boosts employees’ personal motivation. For employer organizations, benefits include enhanced participation in standardization, expanded awareness of the company and increased potential for new contacts. 

IEC Young Professionals – 2017 workshop

The IEC Young Professionals – 2017 workshop will be held in Vladivostok, Russia, from 9 to 11 October, during the IEC 81st General Meeting.  For the workshop, each IEC Member and Associate Member country can register two to three representatives, chosen via an NC selection process. Registration will remain open until the end of July. For more information about this, please contact Robert McLaren

More information about the IEC Young Professionals - 2017 workshop is available from National Committees and on the IEC website

About the IEC Young Professionals Programme

The IEC Young Professionals Programme was developed as a way for the IEC and its National Committees to reach out to the younger generation of experts, managers and leaders and to encourage their long-term participation in standardization and conformity assessment activities. This helps guarantee continuity in the availability of high quality experts, enabling the IEC to maintain its focus on responding to market needs on a long-term basis.

Gallery
South African Young Professionals workshop Around 50 participants are expected to attend the South African National Committee IEC YP workshop this year
French Young Professionals workshop The French National Committee IEC YP workshop aims to create a community based on electrotechnical standardization and conformity assessment
IEC Young Professionals workshop 2016 in Frankfurt, Germany The IEC Young Professionals – 2017 workshop will be held in Vladivostok in October during the IEC General Meeting ((Photo: IEC YPP – 2016 workshop, Frankfurt)