Since AFTA Training Campaign was launched, in order to verify the knowledge grade of the students about standardization, I always state the following questions during the workshop:
What is a standard?
What is it useful for?
Is it mandatory?
Who develops standards?
Although I receive several different answers, some of them really funny, the background is mostly the same:
A standard is something you have to obey
Generally they are developed to limit something
Of course it is mandatory
The current forces in power
As I am driving home I usually think about the workshop and I have reached the following conclusions:
First of all, the students do not seem to be familiar with standardization processes. It is understandable and it is probably one of the reasons why they have attended the workshop. Second conclusion is that they do not have a positive opinion of standards. They are developed to control and limit. Third conclusion is that students suppose that it is always someone else who establish those “impositions”.
According to my experience, the ideas shown by the students are not different to the general opinion of most Spanish companies. Standards are perceived as something foreign and complicated.
As we already published two months ago, this week took place in Brussels StandarDays 2014. The main objective of the event was to give a clear and structured overview of the European Standardization System, so that questions like the following could be answered:
– What is a standard? Who are CEN, CENELEC, ISO, etc.?
– How can standards support global trade?
– What is a Keymark? What is CE Marking?
– Which are the differences between standards and legislations?
– How can standards help companies to innovate?
The rest of presentations can be accessed through the following link.
From AFTA, we would like to stress the importance of such an event, which is able to change the current negative perception of standards and help companies to admit their importance and to introduce them as a key part of their strategic planning.