Young Professionals Programme : the next generation of IEC leaders

The IEC Young Professional (YP) Programme offers a gateway for the next generation of leaders and experts to become involved in standardization and conformity assessment work.

Through its flagship YP workshop held each year alongside the IEC General Meeting, the IEC introduces a group of highly motivated young professionals into its community to learn more about IEC work and to meet its experts.

To better understand the benefits of the YP Programme, the IEC organized a moderated networking session moderated by IEC YP Leader Baoying Tong and with the participation of IEC TC 106 Chair Mike Wood, IEC YP Jacob Lynge and Clare Hobern from Standards Australia.

Benefits of the YP Programme

In joining the YP Programme, participants are introduced into a network of standardization and conformity assessment professionals from around the world.

According to Lynge, “The programme provided me with a professional network in my field and gave me a better understanding of standards. In my work, I think differently because I am aware of standards. Now I am involved in standardization work which offers my company another opportunity to be involved with the National Committee”.

Tong concurred noting that the programme has allowed him to become more involved in his area of interest, smart cities, at both the national and international levels. “It is a stepping- stone to get involved.”

For Hobern, the YP Programme “fosters an international community in standardization. It is an opportunity to meet people working in the same area from around the world and learn from each other.

Companies who invest in employee participation in the YP Programme also reap benefits. According to Wood, “Companies that invest in YPs get 10 times the value in terms of the networking, the contacts and the exposure to new ideas. And we get to see the upcoming stars of the future”.

YP contribution to IEC work

With the development of 5G two years earlier than anticipated, IEC TC 106 needed to fast-track the testing methods needed to assess human exposure to 5G. With the help of a young engineer to lead the project, IEC TC 106 published a technical report in record time. “We benefited from dynamic leadership, harnessing available knowledge and a can-do attitude. YPs will ask questions that no one will have thought of. Volunteering is a great way to get involved.”

He adds, “Words that come to mind: wanting to learn and make a difference, energy and enthusiasm. We want you to be the leaders in 10 years. I see a lot of YPs working in 5G and expect to see them leading 6G”.

How to become a YP

Each year, IEC National Committees are invited to select two candidates to participate in the YP programme, including to attend the annual YP workshop held alongside the IEC General Meeting.

Selection for the YP programme is determined by IEC National Committees which varies by country. Hobern notes that “In Australia, we have a call for applications to widen field and select two candidates in a competitive process. We seek candidates who are have a commitment to be involved in the long term. “ The National Committee from Australia runs a similar programme on the national level known as Nextgen.

Moderated networking sessions

As part of its virtual 2020 General Meeting, the IEC organized a series of moderated networking sessions on topics such as the circular economy, artificial intelligence, cyber security and 5G. These sessions can be viewed live on  The recordings of these sessions is available on Facebook and YouTube.

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