Meet young professionals in European Standardization - Episode 6: Jayson Shepherd

2022 is the European Year of Youth. To celebrate this occasion, CEN and CENELEC are conducting a campaign, presenting a regular series of interviews with young professionals active in European standardization. In the sixth episode of the series, we get to know Jayson Shepherd, from the United Kingdom.

1. Please, present yourself. To what extent are you involved in standardization?

I am an engineer specialising in standardization and product certification and living in the United Kingdom. In my current role as Certification Engineer for the explosive atmosphere cable gland manufacturer, CMP Products, I am involved in standardization daily in multiple ways:

  • I act as an ambassador for the British Standards Institution (BSI) Young Professionals Programme and I am a current IEC Young Professional for the United Kingdom;
  • At the national and European levels, I am a member of five committees:
    • EXL/31 (national) and CLC/TC 31 (European) – Electrical Equipment for Explosive Atmospheres
    • PEL/213 (national) and CLC/TC 213 (European) – Cable Management Products
    • GEL/70 – Protective Enclosures for Electrical Apparatus;
  • Finally, at the international level, I am a member of technical committees for explosive atmospheres IEC TC31/WG22 and TC31/MT60079-1.

2. Why and how did you become interested in standardization?

I started to develop my interest in standardization around ten years ago, at the beginning of my career. Rather than opting for university, my career began through an apprenticeship scheme as a Research and Development Engineer for household water pumps. I was introduced to standardization during product development testing to harmonized standards EN 60335-1 and EN 60335-2-41.

I was interested by how standards ensure that products entering the marketplace are safe for consumers, as well as the process of meeting an agreed set of requirements - this interest has since driven my career down the path of standardization.      

3. Do you think standardization offers some added value for your career development?

Standardization has provided enormous value to my career development. It has allowed me to develop my collaboration, communication and consensus-building skills faster than would have been possible otherwise. I have had the opportunity to work with and learn from many very knowledgeable engineers and standards professionals, accelerating my learning both technically and politically.

As a Young Professional within BSI, I had the opportunity to join the 2022 CEN and CENELEC Annual Meeting in Prague, Czech Republic, as a participant to a Young Progessionals panel discussing the future of European Standardization. This opportunity to witness the work of CEN and CENELEC at a policy, strategic level has broadened my knowledge and understanding of standardization.

4. Do you think standardization can play a role in the future in addressing big challenges, such as the digital transition and climate change?

In my opinion, standardization provides the world with the strongest possible tool to tackle climate change and drive forward the digital transformation. Businesses and organisations worldwide use standards as the benchmark for their product development, as they provide presumption of conformity to legislation and ensure that their products and services remain up to date.

If standards makers decide to focus on addressing the challenges of digital transformation and tackling climate change, large organisations, government and businesses will follow. As a consequence, standards will become the driving force of positive change.

5. Do you have or have you had a role model or mentor in standardization? What is the best advice they gave you?

Over the years I have had the privilege of working for organisations across varying sectors, all of whom had their own involvement in standardization and conformity assessment. Within each of these organisations I have met and learned from many great engineers and standards experts, so it is difficult to name a single person.

The best advice that I have received is that there is always opportunity for improvement, all you have to do is look for it.

6. Why should there be more young people in standardization? And what should organisations like CEN and CENELEC do to involve more of them into standardization?

Standardization provides young people with the platform to design the world of the future by deciding how products and services are developed, determining how future cities will look, driving digital transformation and tackling climate change. Especially the latter two - digital transformation and climate change - are two areas where young people show particular interest.

The youth have grown up in a developing digital world and they have adopted digital products and services into everyday life. The vision of a digital future excites young people, and motivates them to make an impact: for this reason, they could bring new and innovative ideas into standardization.

Through investing in education programs, CEN and CENELEC can raise awareness of standardization among young people in universities and through apprenticeship schemes to demonstrate the impact that they can make on the future of Europe and the world.


You can follow the rest of the campaign here and also read the other interviews to our Young Professionals in Standardization. 


Read the previous episodes of the series:

Episode 1, with Kévin Carta

Episode 2, with Lea Emmel

Episode 3, with Kristin Fagerli

Episode 4, with Alexandre Colombier

Episode 5, with Saharnaz Dilmaghani

Join the conversation through the hashtag #EuropeanYearOfYouth


Giovanni COLLOT


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