Already on track in its effort to achieve formal certification of ICT professionals, the NZ Computer Society has now been endorsed by the ICT Qualifications Steering Group.
The steering group, which includes members from both government and the ICT sector, was set up to look into devising an ICT “competency framework” that would provide objective measurement of ICT and related skills.
The ICT Qualifications Steering Group includes representatives from the Department of Labour, Tertiary Education Commission (TEC), the Ministry of Education, the NZ Qualifications Authority (NZQA), the National Advisory Committee on Computing Qualifications (NACCQ), ITP New Zealand, the Electro-technical Industry Training Organisation (ETITO), the Institution of Professional Engineers (IPENZ), and, previously, the now disbanded HiGrowth Project.
The steering group put out an RFI with the aim of constituting a “lead organisation” that would then issue a request for proposal and tender. However, because the NZCS had already started on its work, the steering group decided to let it use its own internal resources to pursue the project, says NZCS chief executive Paul Matthews.
The emergence of the Digital Development Council and Forum then further complicated matters, says IPENZ’s Brett Williams, representing the steering group. Because of these two, plus NZCS’s existing efforts, “we began to reconsider whether the group had a reason for being”. So, the steering group has now decided to endorse the NZCS proposal and simply “keep a watching brief” on its implementation.
Originally, the idea had been that the project would go beyond a competency framework and include, for example, a marketing plan and a resource centre. These have now been put on the back-burner as the competency framework is the main element, says Williams.
However, financial backing for the project is uncertain. “We were clear up-front that we had not yet identified a source of funding,” says Williams. The NZCS is now approaching individual members of the steering group for funding.
The Computer Society has already put a figure on the qualifications project as costing between $125,000 and $150,000, says Matthews.