The New Zealand Computer Society Inc (NZCS) launched the long awaited ITCP professional certification programme for New Zealand IT Professionals.
The programme, named ITCP or Information Technology Certified Professional and developed in conjunction with the international IT community, is a formal professional certification programme assessing all aspects of the skills, competence, knowledge, responsibility and character of senior IT professionals in New Zealand.
NZCS Chief Executive Paul Matthews said today “This marks the most fundamental change to the ICT sector in New Zealand for 50 years, since computers were first introduced in this country. From today forward, ICT is a true profession.”
“The concept of professional certification is that the professional standards for a sector are set by an independent body which also considers matters such as misconduct”, Matthews said. Other examples of professional certification in other professions include Chartered Accountants, Chartered Professional Engineers, Certified Builders, Master Plumbers, and others.
“Kiwi IT professionals now have the same opportunity as their international counterparts to gain formal independent recognition of their professional skills and competence, while also helping raise the overall standards and recognition of ICT as a true profession”, Matthews said.
ITCP has received significant support from all corners of the ICT sector including the industry (with all industry associations firmly supporting it, as well as many of IT's largest and smallest companies), Government (with support at both the official level and Ministerial level), and academia (with many academic organisations and institutions lending their support).
“All independently accredited IT Professionals are listed on a publicly searchable register available on the ITCP website at www.itcp.co.nz”, Matthews continued. “This is searchable by name, company, assessed skills and geographic area, and we encourage the public and client companies to refer to it when making decisions about who to employ or contract for IT services”.
“As well as CEOs, CIOs, Directors and Founders of some of New Zealand's most well known IT companies, the list includes a huge range of consultants, advisors, analysts, programmers, those providing IT in other sectors, and people from almost every walk of IT life”, Matthews said. “There are professionals certified from all camps - open source and commercial, importers and exports, technical and managerial.”
While stressing that ITCP is a certification for individuals and not companies, Matthews noted “The public can also search the register by company and see the high calibre and commitment to professionalism of the key staff in many of New Zealand’s top IT firms. Well respected companies such as Simpl, Codec and Equinox have already certified a number of their senior staff”.
“One of the strengths of ITCP is that it is operated and governed by NZCS, the professional body of the IT sector for 49 years and a constitutionally independent incorporated Society”, Matthews said. “This means that all IT professionals are assessed objectively and without influence or favour”.
“Already we have around 400 IT professionals working their way through the process with 150 gaining ITCP at launch”, Matthews said.
Matthews concluded “This is a massive achievement for both New Zealand and NZCS. New Zealand has had an identified need for professional IT certification for many years, and NZCS is proud to have delivered on the promise we made 18 months ago when this project began.”