Broad agreement on NZCS certification a surprise

Certification could be in place by September

At the end of the consultation period for proposed professional certification, the NZ ICT Computer Society is reporting better agreement than it expected among its members, says CEO Paul Matthews.

The period for comment was extended last month to April 3, owing to the volume of responses.

Those in charge of the canvassing thought various sub-groups would develop, wanting to take the initiative in markedly different directions. However, there has been a consensus that the proposals are broadly on the right track, Matthews says.

The model provides for seven routes to certification with, for example, credit for an academic qualification, industry experience, established position in the industry, along with examination or cross-crediting of qualifications obtained in other countries.

Some members had reservations about the subjective nature of the experience assessment. This has been tackled by an undertaking to have both a subject-matter expert and a professional assessor conduct this process, Matthews says.

The requirement to re-certify professional status every three years was thought a little too onerous, says Matthews, and this is likely to be extended to four years.

Interestingly, CIOs from government departments and larger companies favoured keeping the three-year limit.

The draft model aimed to spread the cost of the certification process to the individual over time, but there was a marked vote in favour of paying predominantly up-front, Matthews says.

The architects of the model are going through the results of nationwide meetings, as well as written submissions, and will report to the Society’s National Council at the end of this month.

If the council approves, then the first step, fast-tracking the certification of existing members of the society, could be in place by late May or June, Matthews says.

The full programme might be launched about two months on from that.

NZICT founder signals more collaboration

Microsoft NZ managing director Kevin Ackhurst says the NZCS certification plan will be good for the local industry.

It is appropriate the people who have worked hard and productively in this industry should be recognised with formal professional status, he says, adding that Matthews and his team have also worked hard and creditably to put the initiative in place.

In improving the recognition of skills, certification targets similar objectives to the programme of the NZICT Group, the industry body that Ackhurst was instrumental in founding, he says.

He sees collaboration developing between NZCS and NZICT, enabling both, and hence the industry, to benefit from exchange of information and removal of duplicate effort.

The society’s efforts to improve the availability and recognition of skilled staff through the certification initiative, and their role in improving the educational ICT syllabus, fit well with NZICT’s perspective, and mean there’s scope for collaboration, Ackhurst says. “We know where the gaps are.”

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Tags careerscertificationkevin ackhurstNZCSpaul matthewsictnz

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