BEC Young Professionals event - 1 April 2014

The BEC International Standards Professional workshop, hosted by the IET, is a free one-day event that will show how individuals and companies alike can profit from helping to create and improve standards. Improvements in standards can lead to a range of benefits, such as an in increase competitive advantage, faster product development and more efficient interaction between technicians and professionals.

Why are standards important?

Standards are indispensable: they promote an improved quality of life and contribute to health and safety. With world electricity consumption predicted to double between now and 2030, electricity production will need to increase dramatically - and energy efficiency will continue to be an important issue. The better international standards, the more they can help to increase electrical energy efficiency and reduce threats from climate change.

However, despite these challenges and the clear need for skilled people in these areas, demographic trends in the developed world suggest a decline in the number of people working in the electrotechnology and standardisation fields. In fact, the chief executive of Iberdrola, the Spanish energy group that owns ScottishPower, has said that 80 per cent of ScottishPower’s engineers are due to retire over the next fifteen years - and that this was typical across the UK power industry.

What we’re doing about it

The International Technical Committee (IEC) has established the International Standards Professionals Programme, designed to encourage engineers to participate in improving standards and conforming to assessment activities. A key feature of this programme is a series of annual one-day workshops. The IET is fully supportive of this IEC initiative and has helped to fund the attendance of young UK professionals in Seattle, Melbourne, Oslo and New Delhi. Working with a number of organisations, the IET has also created the International Standards Professional Workshop.

What will the workshop cover?

This workshop will provide an opportunity for all professionals, young and mature, to learn how standards can boost their careers and give their company a competitive advantage.

One exciting feature will be the selection of two candidates to attend the next IEC workshop in Tokyo (all expenses paid). IET member Peter Ridge, who went to the IEC workshop in Seattle, described it as a “wonderful experience”. He found the organisation “warm and