The Standards Map team conducts capacity building activities to reinforce the knowledge on voluntary standards for participants to participate in more sustainable production and trade. Making use of case study scenarios and hands-on exercises, participants are exposed and trained on all facets of trade related voluntary standards. For further information, contact us.
By the end of the course, participants will understand and have experience in using Standards Map, and will be exposed and comprehend all facets of standards systems, such as their contextual background, product and geographic scope, provisions and requirements (economic, social, and environmental, quality…), governance structure, stakeholders’ engagement, implementation mechanisms and verification systems, monitoring and evaluation activities, as well as their potential market outreach.
The team can also arrange online-tutorials via webinars. We invite participants who have attended a Standards Map seminar to complete this online survey to help us improve our training curricula.
Voluntary standards have become an important element to be considered in exporting activities and a key factor for exporters’ competitiveness. Target groups for the joint training program include policy makers, trade support institutions and the private sector in developing and transitioning countries.
Exporters: ITC training on Standards Map will allow exporters to use Standards Map in designing export strategies. Incorporating voluntary standards in export strategies will enhance exporters’ competitiveness in two ways: (i) voluntary standards do not become barriers to market entry; and (ii) exporters are in a position to select the most appropriate voluntary standard for their situation and use standards to differentiate from competitors. Our training also provides examples for such strategies creating competitive advantages.
Trade support institutions (TSIs): given the relevance of voluntary standards in international trade, supporting institutions need to take into consideration these standards in their work. Standards Map allows TSIs to create awareness of voluntary standards among producers and exporters. TSIs will also be able to help its clients understand if compliance with a standard makes sense as a business decision. For example, TSIs will be able to respond to questions such as: what are the standards relevant for coffee in the Dutch market? What potential destination markets buy & retail certified/verified products? What standards operate in Brazil? Which sectors/products can be certified/verified by these standards? Voluntary standards must be a key element when identifying target markets for exports.
Policy makers: training on Standards Map will enhance awareness of the role that voluntary standards play in international trade. Policy makers will be able to use Standards Map to analyze the applicability of standards for different products and countries. Standards Map also provides information on the main differences of the standards and thematic focuses. Some of the questions addresses are: What is the mission and goal of the standards that operate in Brazil? What support and capacity building do they offer to Brazilian companies? What potential developmental benefits will these standards bring to the country?
To ensure adequate quality of training and individual attention, the number of participants is limited to an absolute maximum of 25.
The Standards Map course is modular and composed of 3 workshops all based on the Standards Map web-based tool. Workshops may either be delivered sequentially or customized to suit participants’ needs, interest and understanding of voluntary standards.
The introduction workshop sets the basis to understand voluntary sustainability standards and other voluntary standards and codes of conduct together with Standards Map’s main functionalities,
1. Introduction to standards impacting international trade a. Mandatory standards versus voluntary ones b. Main market trends 2. Overview of the impact of voluntary standards a. Do voluntary standards facilitate market access or represent a market barrier? b. Can participation in voluntary standards be profitable for producers and exporters? c. Can voluntary standards have positive social and environmental impacts? d. Can voluntary standards provide upgrading opportunities?
3. Product & Country Analysis – identify opportunities for product diversification and new niche markets a. Comparative assessment of voluntary standards: coverage and scope, cost and price estimates, support and assistance, governance and environmental, social, economic, ethical, traceability and quality requirements.
4. Standard Analysis – complementary analysis with research material a. Browse and access recent and fully referenced publications and resources on voluntary standards’ impact, operational assessments and selected market data
5. Standard Mapping – Visualize standards requirements and scope a. Generate maps to view standards’ actual and potential geographical scope
6. Selecting applicable/relevant standards a. Analyse and compare voluntary standards to assess: Whether voluntary certification / verification would be an approriate move, which potential voluntary standard could be implemented?
A case study approach involving an indepent review of selected voluntary standards operating in a pre-defined product/economic sector. Two to four specific issues need to be identified prior to the workshop and case studies drawing appropriate data and information from Standards Map are prepared and delivered to groups.
1. Introduction to voluntary standards operating in the product/economic sector under review: a. Overview of main standards operating in the market and product/economic sector under review b. Review of key market and economic trends for the certification and verification of the product/economic sector under review c. Assessment of findings found in the litterature relating to the potential costs, benefis and implementation of standards within the product/economic sector under review 2. Introduction to case study material a. Presentation of rational behind the selection of the different (2-3) scenarios developed for the target audience’s specific needs. b. Discussion about the main leassons to be learned from this exercise: What differentiates one standard system from another, parameters to take into consideration when targeting different markets or contemplating different standards.
3. Presentation of case studies by ITC trainers a. Review and discustion of each case study with the group through a participatory process b. Identification of main aspects to be analysed c. Q&A throughout case study presentations d. Repetition of steps i, ii and iii for the other case studies.
4. Review and summary of different scenarios for different decision takers a. Group work session on the identificaiton on voluntary standards most appropriate for each case study b. Presentation of initial findings by each group and rational for the selection of potential standards
A complementary workshop may be organized to enable participants having already been trained on both workshops to undertake a training-of-trainers course.
1. Provision of skills enabling a clear understanding of the differences and similarities between public and voluntary standards: a. Overview of main public and voluntary standards trends (growth rates, impact of non-compliance…) b. Overview of public and voluntary standards: i. Public standards: Introduction to SPS & TBT norms ii. Voluntary Standards: Emergence, rational and evolution.
2. Presentation of data collection methodologies, processes and updates a. Review of data collection processing under the Standards Database – the 5 step approach – and the Data Protocol up-date proceedures. b. Review of research selection methodology under the Research Database.
3. Analysis of Standards Map taxonomy a. Presentation of Standards Map database architecture highlighting areas where participants seem to encounter the most issues. b. Assessment of the inter-connectivity between specific criteria points, enabling the benchamarking and in-depth review of standards
4. Exploration of Standards Map navigation functionalites a. Review of common mistakes or mis-understandings of workshop participants i. What to do when a product cannot be identified in the product list? ii. What to do when standard systems do not operate in a given country? iii. How to make the most of the filtering functionalities under Step 1 and 2? iv. How to identify relevant research material in a few seconds under Step 2? v. How to interpret results of Steps 3 and 4?
5. Brief overview of presentation skills necessary to be a good trainer
6. Presentation and assessment of future training-of-trainers to ITC’s staff a. Following the presentation of each future training-of-trainers presentation, 5mn Q&A session ensuring that all key database, website functionalities and standards knowledge are properly understood.