IT staff who are members of the Professional Contractors Group (PCG) are being offered a fast track to recognised professional status following a deal with the BCS.
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PCG members will get fast processing of their applications to join the BCS in a professional membership grade or with chartered status, for example taking the Chartered IT Professional title introduced by the BCS in 2004.
The joint initiative has been launched to support the professional development of both organisations' members. The two bodies said they were dedicated to championing professionalism, and that both provided a range of products and services aimed at supporting and enhancing their members' careers.
"The professional status of freelancers, consultants and contractors is becoming an important differentiator and we encourage all PCG members to invest in building their technical and business credentials," said PCG chairman Simon Juden.
"Demand from clients and employers for BCS professional and chartered membership as proof of professionalism is clearly increasing."
The scheme is targeting PCG members wishing to join the BCS at the professional level, and is also open to PCG members already in the BCS who wish to upgrade their membership. The scheme will offer a fast track into BCS professional membership, with a specially trained assessment panel committed to processing applications for chartered membership within four weeks.
BCS chief executive David Clarke said, "We are delighted to be working with the PCG to continue to develop professionalism in the IT industry, making BCS membership more accessible to the PCG's members and thus enabling them to gain industry-recognised endorsement of their credentials. BCS membership supports your career development at every stage and offers access to an unrivalled network of IT professionals to help you get your next job or contract."
The PCG's annual survey of its 12,000 members found that about 25% of respondents were also BCS members.
PCG members may apply for BCS membership via www.bcs.org/pcg/