Developing Standards at IEC

Developing Standards at IEC

On October 22, 2020 Women in Standards welcomed Jan-Henrik Tiedemann, Head of the IEC Academy & Capacity Building at the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). Jan-Henrik provided an overview of the international standardization process and the role IEC plays in developing standards for all stakeholders in electrotechnology. Electrotechnology, Jan-Henrik informed attendees, includes electric and electronic products, systems and services.

The IEC develops consensus-based international standards with the support of approximately 20,000 experts world-wide sitting on over 206 technical committees and subcommittees. IEC also develops conformity assessment systems for the use of the standards. A list of IEC’s TCs and SCs can be found here. Membership on the IEC includes 173 countries – 89 members and 84 affiliates. Each country has a national committee which represents the country on the IEC committees. If an individual would like to work on a standard or is interested in getting involved, they would reach out to their national committee to express their interest. A list of country members can be found here.

Jan-Henrik also discussed with attendees the stages of standards development and included guidance on proceeding through each step and the activities performed for each. There are 7 steps through which the IEC develops a standard – these include the

  1. Preliminary
  2. Proposal
  3. Preparatory
  4. Committee
  5. Enquiry
  6. Approval
  7. Publication

The IEC library currently includes 6952 international standards, 614 technical reports, 358 technical specifications, and 33 publicly available specifications with new work items in process or being considered. To support their members, IEC offers monthly webinars that can be accessed for free online at www.iec.ch/academy and includes training for committee secretaries and new IEC members. The IEC academy also offers training workshops to support the work of the committees and national workshops to support experts in the country on how to participants can effectively participate.

To learn more about the IEC, visit the following links:

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