Since the establishment of the predecessor of WP.6, education on standardization has been a fundamental objective. Traditional educational approaches consider standards to be a highly technical topic, of interest only to engineers. However, standards touch nearly every aspect of our daily life through all of the products we use and consume each day (mobile phone, vehicle, cleaning products, personal protection equipment, toys, …). These standards are verified for conformity when entering a market or when being conceived. This is becoming more and more an essential link in the global supply chain, but unfortunately, the majority of actors in the supply chain are still ignorant of this importance.
In 2012, the initiative on education on standardization (START-Ed) was established, bringing together experts from academia to promote good practices and to share national experiences. The objective is to encourage universities, tertiary-level institutes, vocational training schools and other education and research institutions to integrate standardization and standards-related issues in their curricula. These experts have elaborated a model programme on education on standardization and relevant teaching materials.
In 2022, several of these modules were used as the basis for the WP.6 e-learning platform, https://learnQI.unece.org
The START-Ed Focal Point Network was endorsed by the WP.6 32nd annual session as a means to promote education on trade-related standardization. The main aims are to encourage the implementation of the START-Ed modules for education on standardization within teaching programmes, participate in START-Ed meetings to help develop best practices, and assist in enhancing the START-Ed modules.