Standards are in everything that surround us. Just the mobile phone in your pocket uses hundreds of standards, from the cellular network and the cable connectivity to physical elements such as the processing chips and the LED screen, not to mention security testing and the process design. We rely on product standards to ensure their safety for consumers and society. Standards enable the interoperability of devices and networks as well as help streamline procedures, such as border controls. However, not many people know about product standards and the sustainable development benefits they create for society at large.
UNECE, through its Working Party on Regulatory Cooperation and Standardization Policies (WP.6) aims to promote harmonization of standards and relevant regulations in order to reduce technical barriers to trade and to adapt to new technologies, thus improving the reliability of products and contributing to sustainable development. A large part of UNECE’s work involves awareness raising on the importance of standards and encouraging the integration of teaching standards in university curricula.
On World Standards Day, UNECE is proud to launch its e-learning platform on quality infrastructure. This platform currently provides four modules on key topics of quality infrastructure related to product design and standards: market surveillance, conformity assessment, risk management and gender-responsive standards. These are part of a larger model programme on education on standardization comprising more than 15 modules with a non-technical audience in mind. The e-learning module is currently available in English and will be available in the coming weeks in the five other official languages of the United Nations (French, Russian, Spanish, Arabic and Chinese). WP.6 is seeking extrabudgetary funds to develop additional modules.
UNECE WP.6 proposes this e-learning platform for the benefit of academia and professors as a tool that can be used by students to better understand how standards affect their daily life and how these enter into the international trade of goods. It could be used as an external resource followed by in-class discussion on quality infrastructure.
A network of academia experts will be considered at the WP.6 Annual Session on 7 to 9 November 2022 in order to promote awareness raising and the importance of the topic in international trade. The WP.6 Annual Session will also discuss education on standards as well as its work on gender-responsive standards, market surveillance, risk management and how these areas relate to digital and green transformations.
Additional documents and information about registration are available on the event web page. Experts are welcome to join in person in Geneva.