The British Computer Society is revamping the assessment process for Chartered IT Professional certifications, with the aim of fitting the qualification to specific business technology needs.
Applicants for CITP status will, from Wednesday, be able to choose from a variety of specialisms, such as project management. Those senior IT professionals who succeed in gaining certification will be issued with a Certificate of Current Competence that is valid for five years. Once that period has passed, candidates must undergo assessment again.
The BCS announced the move on Monday as part of a major strategy update. As part of the effort, the organisation plans to create an Academy of Computing, and to launch new Green IT qualifications.
"Our clear aspiration for Chartered IT Professional status is that it should be of a similar status to other chartered designations, such as accountancy," BCS chief executive David Clarke said in a statement. "The process of accreditation should therefore be rigorous and there must be mechanisms for periodic revalidation. Holders must have a breadth of knowledge across the whole of IT as well as competence in their own specialism."
The CITP specialisms on offer are: information management and security; strategy and architecture; portfolio, programme and project management; business change; solution development and implementation; service management; supply, quality and resource management; learning and development; and sales and marketing.
Clarke said at a London press briefing that the revamped CITP certification was the result of discussions between the BCS and employers, who wanted to know the specific competencies of applicants for senior roles in IT.
"You will start seeing CITP on senior job ads pretty quickly," Clarke said.
According to the BCS, IT professionals who apply for the new certification will need to have "eight to 10 years' experience, with at least three of the last five years in a complex IT role requiring business insight".
Adam Thilthorpe, the BCS's director for professionalism in IT, said the introduction of five-year Current Competence certification does not invalidate the qualifications of existing CITP holders. "CITP won't be taken away from you, but you wouldn't have a Certificate of Current Competence [without re-certifying]," he said. "It's still the route of how you got to where you are."
The BCS will work with partners from the fields of education, research and business to create the new Academy of Computing. Its aim is to develop a coherent path for IT education "all the way through from primary school to high education", Clarke said at the briefing.
Also on Monday, the organisation showed off its new branding as 'BCS: The Chartered Institute for IT', and introduced a revamped website with integrated member-networking functionality.