New scheme launched to assess IT professional skills

A new scheme for assessing the skills and experience of IT professionals has been published by learning and skills council E-Skills UK.


A new scheme for assessing the skills and experience of IT professionals has been published by learning and skills council E-Skills UK.

The IT Professional Competency Model is designed to help employers, managers and educators find a common language and framework to describe individuals’ skills, knowledge and experience.

The model categorises IT professionals’ competencies into subject-based disciplines and different levels. It also includes transferable skills, such as business and personal skills, that apply across disciplines.

The model is based on extensive consultation with employers of IT professionals from all sectors of the economy and is now being adopted by employers and by the Professionalism in IT Alliance as the basis for IT professional standards and development programmes.

Karen Price, chief executive of E-skills UK, said: “Professionalism in IT is linked inextricably to skills and competence. We need a common framework to define this which everyone can use and build on.

“The IT Professional Competency Model will enable employers to understand clearly what someone should be able to do and the standard of performance they can expect - supporting recruitment, performance management and staff development, among other things.”

She added: “Individual IT professionals will be able to use the model to better clarify development needs, career paths and aspirations. Moving forward, the model will also inform the content of qualifications, education and training courses.”

The model was also welcomed by the Confederation of British Industry. Jeremy Beale, head of the CBI’s e-business group, said: “This model, and the development programmes that will underpin it, constitute a vital step in helping companies of all sizes and sectors to recruit and develop the IT professionals they need to build value in today's challenging and exciting global business environment.”

The model offers a view of staff capabilities that is linked to the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA) and the British Computer Society’s chartered professional programme.

BCS chief executive David Clark said: “There is a growing need for structured development programmes for IT professionals, particularly in the light of offshoring and its impact on the UK’s IT skills ladder. BCS is working in partnership with E-Skills on qualification reform, and the IT Professional Competency Model will help organisations to plan and align development programmes and qualifications to an agreed common framework, ensuring they are fit for purpose and meet employer and individual needs.”

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