BCS announces IT Technician Register and Standard

6 March 2014 — BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, is developing a new standard which provides a recognised vendor-neutral certification for those employed in the IT profession. It will be at a level equivalent to Technician standards in other professions, and aligned to SFIA Level 3. Once individuals have gained this standard they will be eligible to join the Register of IT Technicians, which the Institute is also establishing.

Richard Lester, Director of the IT Technician Programme at BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, explains: "Research indicates a significant need by industry for the IT Technician designation and for the Register." He continues: "The Register will recognise the industry �doers' - the technicians. In UK IT, however, this title currently means different things to different people, and therefore we've consulted with stakeholders to develop a definition for IT Technician." 

The Institute describes an IT Technician as an individual working in a field of information technology who is proficient in associated skills and techniques, and competent in practical application of the relevant theoretical principles.

Individuals reaching the Registered IT Technician standard may choose to join the IT Technician Register, which BCS will launch in 2015. The Register is another step in establishing IT as a profession in the same way that law, medicine and accountancy are - regardless of what specialist skill may be applied within them as an individual career develops.

A Registered IT Technician:

  • Uses IT knowledge and understanding to apply technical and practical skills, demonstrated and accredited at SFIA Level 3 or above
  • Contributes to the design, development, manufacture, construction, commissioning, operation or maintenance of IT products, equipment, processes, systems or services
  • Accepts and exercises personal responsibility
  • Uses effective communication and interpersonal skills
  • Makes a personal commitment to an appropriate code of professional conduct, recognising obligations to society, the profession and the environment

Richard Lester adds: "There are many routes into a career in IT. We need to ensure that the IT profession continues to attract talent irrespective of the pathway people tread to reach it. It is vitally important that we nurture, encourage and develop talent and critically recognise it."

Being on the Register will mean that individuals can demonstrate a core knowledge of IT plus at least one specialist skill with assured competence, and that they are committed to a professional code of conduct. 

Richard continues: "Someone on the Register can demonstrate competence in the workplace, adoption of professional behaviours, approval of their peers, and they can be proud of it. This is not a qualification. It is professional recognition of being able to do a job well - they can say they have joined the IT profession."

Digital Industry Trailblazer standards published by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills this week for successful completion of IT Apprenticeships have been purposely aligned with the new Registered IT Technician standard. An individual awarded an IT Trailblazer apprenticeship will be eligible to apply for a place on the new professional Register of IT Technicians. 

Richard concludes: "It became clear from early discussions that there was an exciting opportunity to dovetail work on this professional Register with UK government's Trailblazer programme for apprenticeships, initiated by the Richard Review. Each complements and augments the other; together we are recognising apprenticeships as a valuable and meaningful route into the profession."  

Further information can be found at: www.bcs.org/it-technician-register

BCS is being supported to develop the IT Technician Register by the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, a Foundation set up by David Sainsbury to realise his charitable objectives.

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