BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT: We are investing for the nation's future

Roger Marshall, immediate past president of BCS, explains how the Institute for IT is investing its cash reserves

As any organisation knows, there’s nothing like an annual general meeting (AGM) to stimulate discussion. BCS's recent AGM gave me the opportunity to reflect on all that we’ve achieved in recent years.

As a charity, BCS cannot make a profit nor distribute any surplus to its members. Nor does it make sense to simply accumulate reserves well in excess of operational needs. Our Royal Charter requires us to champion the IT profession for the benefit of society.

Investing reserves

In the years before the global recession, BCS, like many charities, did indeed accumulate large reserves. At that point, the trustee board decided to use some of the excess reserves to invest in the future. We were not short of ideas on what to invest in; from product and service development, to campaigning for computing to be introduced to the school curriculum. 

This has been, and continues to be, vital work; ensuring that future generations are attracted to IT careers and extending the support for those in the early stage of their careers.

We have, I’m delighted to say, invested in all these areas and more, and seen real change as a result.

Computing in schools

Today, computing is recognised as the fourth science subject in our schools, with the adoption of a new computing curriculum which starts in September. 

Working together with the Department for Education, Computing At School and private sector partners, BCS is running several projects to support its adoption, including working with teachers, universities and businesses.

Thousands of teachers are already developing and sharing the teaching resources needed to make it a success. The UK has become the most advanced country in the G20 for computing at school in a very short space of time.

Continued professional development

We have also updated and improved how we view continuing professional development for IT professionals, as evidenced by our CPD recording platform and the resources alongside it. This tool is available to members and non-members and is already the envy of other professional bodies. Take a look at the BCS Personal Development Plan app and you will see what I mean.

I’m proud that BCS has invested in the nation's future, as well as helping to support IT professionals in their jobs and careers. This has required a lot of hard work by our staff and volunteers working in partnership, achieving together far more than either could do on their own. 

Meanwhile, our membership has grown to more than 75,000 members, 70% of whom are under the age of 50. This demonstrates the appeal we have to the generations who are coming through the profession and who want help to gain the skills that will gain recognition as true professionals by their employers and the general public.

Roger Marshall (pictured) is immediate past president of BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT

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