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The next generation of standards development

June 10, 2020

It’s important we get the right people involved in developing standards. We work with hundreds of organisations and thousands of volunteers to get the best and the brightest minds to help shape these documents. One of the ways we do this is through the NEXTgen program.

The NEXTgen Program is designed to invest in the next generation of standards leaders and experts. The program aims to give an insight behind the scenes and outline the importance of standards and their impact on the Australian community and its industries.

I work closely with many of the participants and it’s always interesting to learn their reasons for getting involved. Whether it’s to better understand the measures that impact their industry or because they want to be involved and bring their expertise to the front line, each participant has their own driving force.

Beer Opatsuwan got involved when he began a role as Standards Engineer working in the Engineering Standards Group at Energex. “I got interested in the standards development process as I saw the potential for standards to impact the lives of everyone,” said Beer.

Through the NEXTgen Program, Beer has had the opportunity to be mentored by Darryl Yaniuk, chair of SA QR-008 (Quality Systems) and ended up joining the committee in 2015. This, along with his time as an IEC young professional, has led to his current involvement in more senior roles for the IEC.

“It has been a steep learning curve as the IEC is a complex organisation, the first SMB meeting in New Delhi was a huge eye-opener for me,” he said.

With a growing depth of knowledge because of his experiences through NEXTgen, the IEC Young Professionals Programme and now as the SMB alternate for IEC, Beer has a vision for the future, “As a former young professional, I'd like to strive to be the glue between the IEC Young Professionals Program and established leaders to attract and retain the world’s best leaders and experts in the field to support the work of standardisation.”

Our NEXTgen Program is a big step towards Standards Australia becoming a household name and bringing a more diverse range of knowledge into standards development. It’s interesting to see how each of our participants evolves through their time in the program and with applications currently open for the next intake,  I look forward to welcoming the next group later this year.

Emily Dawson

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