Source: IEC Blog (

Connection to the outside world has become more important in 2020 than ever before. Millions of people are teleworking, while students of all ages have got used to distance learning, because of COVID-19.

Other services such as healthcare and fitness and leisure are available through online services in the home.

Smart devices and services used across many sectors would not exist without electronic components. They are at the core of all connectivity. Sensors especially.

These can be active or passive. Active sensors require an external source of power to operate while passive sensors simply detect and respond to some type of input from the physical environment. They come in many shapes and forms: vision, flow, fibre optic, gas, motion, image, colour, light, pressure, infrared, photoelectric and so on.

Sensors and sensor systems are a key underpinning technology for a wide range of applications. They can be used to improve quality control and productivity in manufacturing processes by monitoring variables such as temperature, pressure, flow and composition.

They help ensure the environment is clean and healthy by monitoring the levels of toxic chemicals and gases emitted in the air, both locally and – via satellites – globally. They monitor area and regional compliance with environmental standards.

They enhance health, safety and security in the home and workplace through their use in air-conditioning systems, fire and smoke detection and surveillance equipment. They play a major role in medical devices, transportation, entertainment equipment and everyday consumer products.

The importance of IEC Standards

IEC, through its technical committees, develops a huge number of international standards, which ensure that these new technologies are safe and reliable as well as interoperable.

For instance, IEC Technical Committee 47 prepares international standards for the design, manufacture, use and reuse of sensors and the IEC Systems Committee for active assisted living (IEC SyC AAL), develops standards which enable usability and accessibility of AAL systems and services, cross-vendor interoperability of AAL systems, services, products and components and address systems level aspects such as safety, security and privacy.

These allow all people to use services and products safely in their homes. (See: Active assisted living for everyone and IEC Systems committee for active assisted living expands scope)

Reliance on IECQ testing and certification

Electronic components must be accurate, reliable and high quality. Defective components can have serious consequences for humans and their environment.

They also have to meet the requirements of national or regional regulations concerning hazardous substances.

Manufacturers and suppliers of all types of electronic components throughout the world have a powerful tool at their disposal, enabling their products to meet the strictest requirements: IECQ testing and certification. IECQ is the IEC Quality Assessment System for Electronic Components.

As the worldwide approval and certification system covering the supply of electronic components, assemblies and associated materials and processes, IECQ tests and certifies components using quality assessment specifications based on IEC International Standards.

In addition, there is a multitude of related materials and processes that are covered by the IECQ schemes. IECQ certificates are used worldwide as a tool to monitor and control the manufacturing supply chain, thus helping to reduce costs and time to market, and eliminating the need for multiple re-assessments of suppliers.


Contact IEC

International Electrotechnical Commission
IEC Central Office
3, rue de Varembé, 1st floor
P.O. Box 131
CH - 1211 Geneva 20 - Switzerland
Phone: +41 22 919 02 11
Fax : +41 22 919 03 00

Contact BPS – The Philippines’ member to IEC

Bureau of Philippine Standards (BPS)
Department of Trade and Industry
3F Trade and Industry Bldg., 361 Sen. Gil Puyat Ave.,
Makati City, Philippines
T/ (632) 751.4736; 507.7307 F/ (632) 751.4748; E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.