BCS, the chartered institute for IT, is to fast-track qualified system architects towards recognition as chartered IT professionals.
BCS is working with The Open Group, an independent organisation for IT users and suppliers, on a programme to recognise accredited IT architects as BCS chartered IT professionals.
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The Open Group runs the ITAC certification scheme for IT architects, which is widely recognised, particularly outside the UK. Under the proposals, BCS plans to accept architects with ITAC for fast-track certification for chartered status.
The BCS believes the move will raise the profile of ITAC certification in the UK and boost its drive to raise the professional status of IT.
ITAC-certified architects have to go through a rigorous assessment programme to demonstrate their industry skills, experience, and professionalism. Their programme maps closely with the skills and experience needed for BCS chartered IT professional (CITP) status, said the BCS.
"Open Group certified architects have to go through an assessment of their education and three peer reviews. Its quite tough," said Adam Thilthorpe, director of professionalism at the BCS.
The BCS, which is mapping ITAC on to the CITP, said the project has won support from employers, including IBM and Capgemini, which are large employers of ITAC-qualified architects.
Steve Philp, marketing director for ITAC said that the collaboration would raise the profile of ITAC-certified architects in the UK.
"The BCS is well recognised in the UK," he said. "We want to raise the profile of ITAC and other certifications because they rely on skills and experience, not just a common body of knowledge, which is quite rare. People who complete our programmes can do what they say they can do."
The groups aim to award the first cohort of ITAC qualified architects CITP status by spring next year.
The Open Group offers three levels of ITAC qualification for architects. Level 1 is for architects who assist on projects, level 2 is for architects who run their own projects. Level 3 is for architects who have had a significant impact on their profession.
There are some 3,000 ITAC-qualified architects worldwide, with only 300 certified at level 3.
"We believe the Open Group qualification has a lot of value in the market. And it recognises and values not only educational experience, but experience in the work place," said Thilthorpe.