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Home > News > March 2007 > 30 March 2007

e-skills UK publishes IT Professional Competency Model

A new competency model published by e-skills UK is aiming to provide a new, sector-wide approach to expressing IT professional capabilities.

According to e-skills UK, the IT Professional Competency Model allocates the competencies IT professionals have into subject-based 'disciplines' and levels. It also includes transferable skills, such as business and personal skills, which apply to all disciplines.

Karen Price, CEO of e-skills UK, said: "Professionalism in IT is linked inextricably to skills and competence. We need a common framework to define this which everyone can use and build on.

"The IT Professional Competency model will enable employers to understand clearly what someone should be able to do and the standard of performance they can expect - supporting recruitment, performance management and staff development, among other things.

"Individual IT professionals will be able to use the model to better clarify development needs, career paths and aspirations. Moving forward, the model will also inform the content of qualifications, education and training courses."

The Cabinet Office's Katie Davis, director of the Government IT Profession, said: "There are nearly 50,000 IT professionals working across central government and the public sector in a wide variety of roles. They need and want a government-wide programme that sets high standards of performance and career development. The IT Professional Competency Model will help us deliver this. A common language for skills and experience is efficient, practical and of use to us all."

Jeremy Beale, head of eBusiness group at the CBI, said: "e-skills UK is to be commended for developing the IT Professional Competency Model. Effective use of technology is key to competing in today's global economy, and companies need to take every opportunity offered by IT to enhance their productivity, efficiency and customer service.

"This model, and the development programmes that will underpin it, constitute a vital step in helping companies of all sizes and sectors to recruit and develop the IT professionals they need to build value in today's challenging and exciting global business environment."

e-skills UK, the sector skills council for IT and telecoms, says the IT Professional Competency Model is a 'top layer' view of capabilities that links through to skills and development structures including the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA) and the British Computer Society's Chartered Professional programme. e-skills UK expects that the model will also provide the framework for the creation of new development programmes and form the basis for qualifications reform and simplification.

David Clark, CEO of the British Computer Society, a member of the Professionalism in IT Alliance, said: "There is a growing need for structured development programmes for IT professionals, particularly in the light of offshoring and its impact on the UK 's IT skills ladder.

"BCS is working in partnership with e-skills on qualification reform and the IT Professional Competency Model will help organisations to plan and align development programmes and qualifications to an agreed common framework, ensuring they are fit-for-purpose and meet employer and individual needs."

John Higgins, chief executive of Intellect, a member of the Professionalism in IT Alliance, said: "The IT Professional Competency Model is designed to meet employer needs for a user-friendly external recognition of skills and experience. We are particularly encouraged that the model recognises that for today's IT professionals business and interpersonal skills are often at least as important as subject matter expertise and technical skills. Employers need assessment of capability across all these areas."

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