Report on the IEA, CREE and FEES workshop held in Zadar, Croatia

On the 15th of June 2018 the Croatian Ergonomics Society hosted a collaborative workshop on “building towards sustainable Human Factors and Ergonomics Societies in Europe”, during the 7th International Ergonomic Conference ERGONOMICS 2018 - Emphasis on Wellbeing. 

This year more than 70 papers had been submitted, and after the review process, 50 papers were presented at the Conference in oral or poster sessions, and the presented papers have been published in the Conference Book of Proceedings. The participants came from the following countries: Austria, Canada, Croatia, Brazil, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Nigeria, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Slovenia, South Africa, Switzerland, Taiwan ROC and the USA.

The workshop was a collaboration between the International Ergonomics Association (IEA), Federation of European Ergonomics Societies (FEES) and Centre for Registration of European Ergonomists (CREE). The purpose of the workshop was to provide an introduction to systems tools and methods that can be used to develop an understanding of the current constraints and flows on the development of human factors and ergonomics in Eastern Europe and then secondly to propose a way forward using the IEA general framework model for development. IEA

The workshop was a landmark event for the international ergonomics community as it was the first effort at collaboration between the IEA, FEES and CREE to support international development. As such it was an important occasion for building a common understanding of the needs and constraints within Europe and more specifically Eastern Europe.

The workshop was formulated and presented by members from all three participating organisations:

  • IEA: Jose Orlando Gomes (Vice-president treasurer); Andrew Todd (International development standing committee chair)
  • FEES: Gyula Szabó (Communications and promotion committee chair)
  • CREE: Maggie Graf (Development Officer)

There was a good participation at the workshop with the members of the Croatian Ergonomics Society executive board all attending the workshop. Further there were participants from Austria, Hungry, Poland, Slovenia, and Russia at the workshop.

The workshop involved contextualization from the IEA and FEES before CREE provided very useful insights into a) the importance of certification and b) the process of building certification boards. This was followed by a session addressing the purpose of ergonomics societies and how to align society activities with the aforementioned purposes. This was facilitated through the use of cognitive work analysis to emphasise the importance of using ergonomics systemic tools for supporting our own development. This resulted in robust discussions on how to build sustainable relationships in the region. An important outcome of which was a shared vision for building towards a region conference in 2020.

There were some important lessons learnt during the workshop and ideas on how to ensure that the workshop can add even more value in the future shared. It was clear that such workshops with networks and federated societies can be of tremendous value in the future and should be part of the IEA development strategy going beyond the IEA triennial congress in Florence in August 2018.

attendees at Zadar 2018

Some of the attendees at the workshop