Providing no-cost training to the staff of federal, state, and local agencies who need to navigate or participate in standardization
Agencies need to be familiar with the laws, regulations and guidance that collectively direct federal agencies to participate in the development and use of standards. Understanding the standards development process and being prepared to effectively participate are essential. NIST’s Standards Coordination Office (SCO) offers interactive workshops and seminars for federal, state, and local government agencies on the fundamentals of standards, conformity assessment, and related topics. SCO hosts periodic workshops and training events open to government agency personnel and creates custom training events tailored to meet individual agency needs upon request.
Annual Events offered by SCO include:
Fundamentals of Standards and Conformity Assessment is a full day event designed for participants to learn the basics of standards and conformity assessment and the role of federal agencies in the standards community. This workshop is for staff from all agencies engaged in standards policy, participation, and use to learn from experts in the standards community on the basics of standards and the scope and implementation of the various policies and guidance documents that frame federal engagement in standards setting.
The agenda may include topics such as:
- a brief history of standardization, the basics of documentary standards and how standards are developed, the U.S. and international standards systems, and key players in the standards development community;
- the laws, regulations, and guidance that collectively direct Federal agency standards participation and use, including the Federal Government's roles and responsibilities under the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) and OMB Circular No. A-119, Federal Participation in the Development and Use of Voluntary Consensus Standards and in Conformity Assessment Activities;
- how knowledge of the attributes of a standards development process can enable agency decision making and use of standards; and
- the use of conformity assessment in voluntary and regulatory environments.
Setting Standards: A Simulation Exercise in Strategy and Cooperation in Standardization Processes is an exercise in which participants negotiate a standard for a fictional, next-generation technology. The simulation explores the challenges and opportunities in standards development, focusing on the politics as well as the analytical and practical skills needed to successfully engage in standards negotiations. Afterwards, participants evaluate and reflect on their experiences, focusing on lessons for real-life standards setting activities. It is an excellent skill-builder for newcomers, as well as standards development veterans at the national or international level. Although the simulation is a game, many describe it as “serious fun.” It is designed to be dynamic, demanding and even frustrating – just like real life!
Standards Boot Camp is a two-week program for Federal government agency personnel who are new to standards or expect to play a role or have responsibilities in standards and/or standardization for their agencies. The primary goal of the program is to provide an interactive forum in a small group setting for federal agency personnel to deepen and expand their knowledge of standards and standards development and to better understand the relationships between standards and conformity assessment, regulation, trade, manufacturing, innovation, etc. Participants are immersed in an interactive hands-on learning experience that includes presentations, discussions, lab tours, and a full-day standards development simulation exercise. Interesting topics and examples, tailored to the interests of the class, are also incorporated into each program. Lab tours and meetings with other agencies and standards developers add a practical element to the program. Each year 5-7 applicants are selected to participate.