Global IT Profession Comes Nearer

The British Computer Societys Professionalism in IT programme, which is endeavouring to place chartered status at the core of the IT profession, has now adopted a global dimension.

This follows BCS chairing a unique gathering of leading IT professionals from around the world in South Africa and which concluded that global recognition for IT professionals will provide major advantages to individual practitioners and for IT systems users and suppliers.

The conference, called by the International Federation for Information Processing, IFIP, involved senior representatives from the worlds leading professional societies including Australia (ACS), Canada (CIPS), South Africa (CSSA) and UK (BCS) and was chaired by Charles Hughes, Immediate Past President of the BCS.  The meeting addressed key challenges facing the global IT industry today including lack of clarity of international professional skills and qualifications and worldwide mobility of IT professionals.

ACS, CIPS and BCS have national schemes to provide public recognition to qualified members.  This provides a sound base for the planning of a global IT profession, work on which commenced in Cape Town.

Speaking for BCS, Charles Hughes said, Global industries need global professions to promote high standards worldwide and to give public recognition to qualified practitioners.

In the modern world the IT industry is a global business with many international organisations requiring growing mobility among individual members of the IT workforce. Employers face growing uncertainty when recruiting staff from outside their own countries.

To achieve recognition, IT professionals will require an accredited combination of education and experience, undertake continuing professional development and commit themselves to a Code of Ethics.

The meeting agreed to report its findings to the IFIP Council in March and seek agreement to develop more detailed proposals to establish the scheme as well as agreeing a governance structure.

Charles Hughes concluded: Repositioning the IT profession is an essential part of the BCS IT Professionalism programme and it was gratifying to be party to a concerted global campaign that will work in tandem with our own endeavours.  The IT profession has to extend its traditional role of technical solution provider to become a more proactive business transformation partner. Chartered status, similar to that of other professions such as accountancy, surveying and engineering is an important feature of the new profession and over 17,000 IT practitioners have already achieved the BCS Chartered IT Professional qualification (CITP).

About IFIP

IFIP (International Federation for Information Processing) has around 50 member societies with an aggregate membership of over 500,000 individuals.

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About The British Computer Society

The British Computer Society (BCS) is the Chartered industry body for IT professionals, the Chartered Engineering Institution for Information Technology and a Chartered Science Institution.  With our rapidly growing membership, BCS is playing an increasingly pivotal role in leading the development and implementation of world class standards for the IT profession through innovative products, services and support.

Through our specific Professionalism in IT programme, BCS is leading and building IT professionalism to levels which are currently only seen in more traditional long standing professions such law, medicine, and accountancy but which will increasingly become the de facto standards for IT professionals.

Prof IT is an alliance of the four key bodies that support the IT sector - the British Computer Society (BCS), Intellect, e-skills UK and the National Computing Centre (NCC) - and seeks to push the IT profession into a new realm of qualified excellence on par with established chartered professions.

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