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Globalization has pushed standardization into the limelight making it become not only desirable, but also necessary in its capacity as a trade-enhancing tool that fosters innovation.
What is education about standardization?
Education about Standardization (EaS) is teaching pupils, students, CEOs, managers, employees in business, and life-long learners the subject of standards and standardization. The level of education has to be carefully tailored to these target audiences. It may include the use and benefits of standards, the strategic importance of standardization for business and Europe's competitiveness, how to implement standards in businesses and how to participate in standardization to influence the content of future standards.
Why is education about standardization important?
Education about standardization is necessary in particular, but not only, for future generations of executives, engineers, entrepreneurs and lawyers who need to be familiarised with how to use standards, and how to take part in the standards making process. This will allow them to include standardization from the beginning of their projects or businesses, thereby reaping the full benefits standardization can offer.
The European institutions have shown their support to education about standardization. Indeed, the European Council ‘Conclusions on standardisation and innovation' (2008) "encourages the Member States to improve the position of standardization in education programmes and academic curricula, in order to familiarize students with the strategic benefits and challenges of standardization, drawing on the expertise of standardization bodies".
The European Commission has shown its interest in increasing awareness about standardization. In its Communication on a Strategic vision for European Standards, (2011) the European Commission asked the European Standardization Organiszations (ESOs), the Member States and other standardization bodies to improve awareness and education about standardization. Public knowledge about standardization should be increased by means of training, awareness-raising activities and targeted workshops.
What we do?
In response to the first European Council Conclusions, a 'Joint Working Group on Education about Standardization' (JWG-EaS) was established by the three European Standardization Organizations, namely the European Committee for Standardization (CEN), the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC) and the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI).
The JWG-EaS established a policy on Education about Standardization with the aims of
achieving a significant increase in the number of people who have a fair and positive knowledge of standardization, its characteristics and added value;
improving the understanding of the added value of standardization amongst the key stakeholders (business executives, academia, government and relevant authorities, ...);
increasing the competency of those persons seeking to participate in the standards-making process.
Contact: Should you want to learn more about the activities of CEN and CENELEC on education about standardization, please get in touch with Ingrid Soetaert Programme Manager, Innovation Department from CEN and CENELEC.