A standard chartered qualification structure across the IT profession is being proposed by the BCS Professionalism in IT programme.
"The competitiveness of the UK will come down to our ability to apply the use of technology better than our competitors," said BCS president Charles Hughes.
"Only an IT profession supported by widely recognised and endorsed qualified skill sets, allied to chartered professional status, will enable the UK to achieve this. We are determined to see that professional practitioners are fully equipped to take this pivotal role."
The programme's steering board is chaired by John Leighfield, chairman of IT company RM, and includes senior executives from IBM, Fujitsu, Microsoft, Oracle, Intel and CSC, as well as user representatives from pharmaceuticals group AstraZeneca, the E-Government Unit, the Institute of Directors and the National Computing Centre.
"The board's role is to shape the vision and lead the creation of the new IT profession," said Leighfield.
Its first meeting approved a six-month work plan to define the scope of this new profession and the key ingredients of professionalism as they relate to IT work.
"This programme is of fundamental importance to both the development of the IT profession and the more successful exploitation of the full benefits of IT," said Leighfield.
"Ownership by the industry, on the basis of the widest possible alliance, is an essential part of the approach and the very high-level membership of the steering board is a key part of obtaining the required involvement and input of the key stakeholders."
As part of the work plan the programme will produce clear definitions and requirements for relevant competencies, professional development and qualifications, plus standards for all aspects of performance and professional conduct.
A project to clearly establish the responsibilities, competencies, development needs and qualifications for the role of chief information officer was also approved. This project will be led by the National Computing Centre and will include the possibility of a separate chartered CIO title.
The results of this first stage of the programme will be presented at a conference next May, with a development plan to establish the new IT profession.
Also represented on the board are the Institute for the Management of Information Systems, the Institution of Electrical Engineers and engineering professional body EC UK.
Other organisations involved with the initiative include the Office of Government Commerce, local government IT managers group Socitm , sector skills council E-Skills UK and LogicaCMG.