The award, for employers committed to best practice in IT staff development, was presented to the first organisations, Ford Motor Company and PA Consulting, at its recent launch event. Employers achieve the IS Quality at Work standard by getting their IT career development procedures accredited by the BCS according to best practice.
Organisations without formal career development can get consultancy and other support from the BCS to put these practices in place through the BCS Career Development Framework. This computer-based package includes structure, procedures and the BCS Industry Structure Model - a set of IT role definitions and related performance, training and development standards.
Ford project manager Sandra Bastow says the scheme has benefits for both employers and individuals. "Our objectives with the scheme are improved quality control, raising and maintaining standards, assurance that training and development meet the needs of the business and employees, competitive advantage, and good practice in staff development," she says.
"We get a structured tool for mapping training benefits and providing a focus when writing annual career development plans. We get career histories and personal training data. And we get greater staff recruitment and retention.
"The award and the Career Development Framework are a really good advert for Ford and a good message to give to current and future staff.
"Individuals benefit from help with putting together their training and development needs; easier justification of training, because it can be mapped to objectives; personal marketability; and documented training, experience and achievements."
Ron Forster, a managing consultant at PA Consulting, says, "The BCS accreditation of PA's training and development programme means it is recognised by the IT industry's leading professional body as meeting the needs of the business and trainees, and achieving professional standards set by the industry.
"We can encourage potential staff to join us and assure clients that we have the right people to do the job - this is a primary selling point for consultancies.
"The BCS has done a great job in putting together the IS Quality at Work scheme and the Career Development Framework. We, as employers, must now leverage them for the benefit of our organisations."
Employers achieving full accreditation receive the IS Quality at Work award. They can then display this on stationery, brochures etc. Those achieving interim accreditation qualify for an accreditation certificate, which can also be used as a promotional aid.
Further details of the scheme and BCS consultancy and other support are available via www.bcs.org/isqw or 01793-417541