Developing and using standards help build a more competitive and innovative Canadian economy. Studies show a clear link between standardization, labour productivity and economic growth. To ensure we meet the needs of all Canadians and under-represented groups, we must recruit and retain diverse experts to represent Canada’s interests. One of the main challenges in this is advancing diversity in Canadian mirror committees. We’re committed to engaging and recruiting more women, young professionals and new members from new and emerging technologies in standardization work.
Another challenge ties in with the pandemic’s effect on the global economy and participation in standardization. Its negative impact on businesses, especially SMEs, may result in fewer Canadian experts participating in national and international standardization activities. Organizations may face challenges in their supply chain, have limited financial and/or human resources, and have difficulty maintaining or rebuilding their business. This has the potential to limit their capacity to participate in standardization activities to represent Canada’s interests at IEC.
We also need to ensure that our members account for sustainability and environmental considerations when developing, amending or revising standards – not only in Canada, but internationally as well.
Lastly, this era of digital transformation will impact the nature of standards development, which is traditionally grounded in text-based documents. The shift towards digital content and virtual work has the potential to change text-based documents beyond recognition. The role of open-source software in standards will expand and could alter the very definition of a standard. It may affect the nature and scope of IEC standardization. Some of our members will welcome and master this transition, and others will not.