Industry model updated to define new roles in IT

The set of skills definitions and standards that the BCScreated to help companies structure their IT departments and plan career...

The set of skills definitions and standards that the BCScreated to help companies structure their IT departments and plan career development has had a major update to reflect the changing industry, writes John Kavanagh.

Nine new IT roles have been added to the BCS Industry Structure Model (ISM) in the second serious update since the electronic version was launched in 1996.

The ISM defines more than 200 IT roles, each with up to 10 levels of responsibility and competence. At each level for each role the model lays out mandatory and optional tasks and suggested skills, education, experience and training.

The new definitions added to the latest release cover data protection, Web design, creation, testing, implementation and support and software engineering, covering the entire activity of defining, designing, building, testing, installing and modifying systems to meet agreed business needs.

Also included are: software process improvement, involving the definition and management of processes in software development; systems architecture, describing the parts and interfaces of a system and specifying and choosing components; software testing; systems programming; telecommunications management; and technical specialism, or expert knowledge of a specific field.

In addition, the existing areas of database administration, contract monitoring, emerging technology monitoring, operations, IT management, and support have been extended to extra levels.

"The ISM is unmatched in authority and scope as the definitive set of performance, training and development standards for the industry," says BCS professional director Malcolm Sillars.

"It is used to assess staff, highlight skills gaps, plan training, plan individual career development, and classify job vacancies and applicants," he explains.

The new version is available on CD-Rom and on three floppy discs. Licences cost £450 for a PC or £600 for a server. Corporate licences are also available. Organisations get a refund if they commit to a BCS Professional Development Scheme within six months.

Users are encouraged to take part in the continuing development of the ISM. People identifying a new role can draft a description and send it to the professional development department at BCS headquarters or at [email protected]

The ISM, originally launched on paper in 1986, has been adopted by IT bodies around the world and is the basis of the IT National Training Organisation's Information Systems Skills Framework and the European Informatics Skills Structure, devised by the Council of European Professional Informatics Societies.

Details, demonstrations and online order forms are available

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