British Computer Society (BCS), the Chartered Institute for IT, is focused on the agenda of leading the IT industry through various ethical challenges, supporting people who work in the industry, and ultimately make IT good for society. Thus, BCS is on a mission to ensure that everyone has a positive experience with technology.
This is something that the professional body has been committed to since the British Computer Society was founded in 1957. BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, is a 68,000-member strong community spread across 150 countries and members include business leaders, educators, practitioners and policymakers who are all committed to strive towards that mission.
BCS is the leading professional membership and examination body for IT which supports professionals across the industry, from apprentices and students to specialists and thought leaders.
Amongst the many offerings that BCS showcases, BCS International Higher Education Qualifications (HEQ) helps to progress the own pace in degree-level IT study that is tailored to the chosen path, with its global qualification programme.
While the BCS HEQ comes with international recognition, the following are excerpts from an interview with Deepashika Gunasekara, Regional Manager of the Sri Lanka Regional Office, with regards to their higher education programs:
Q: What is the BCS Higher Education Qualification?
A: BCS Higher Education Qualifications provide you with the skills and knowledge required to succeed at a career in IT. Simultaneously, the Higher Education Qualifications put you on the path to obtain Chartered IT Professional status; a global benchmark for IT that enhances your career prospects and recognizes you as an IT professional belonging to an international chartered body.
Q: How can one obtain HEQs?
A: Candidates, who follow the path of BCS Higher Education Qualifications, start with the Certificate in IT, which is a prerequisite for the Diploma in IT. The Diploma in IT is recognized at academic level 5 by The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual), under the Regulated Qualifications Framework of UK.
Upon completion, students can continue to the BCS Professional Graduate Diploma in IT (PGD); the top-most level of the BCS Higher Education Qualification hierarchy. PGD is recognized as academic level 6, which is equivalent to a degree offered in the UK.
Q: Are HEQs recognized internationally and locally?
A: The demand for IT qualification is now set at a global level. BCS has prioritized the review of its syllabi and course delivery mechanisms to ensure its ongoing fitness for purpose and currency
For decades, the BCS Higher Education Qualifications have provided career pathways to many young people entering the IT industry both locally and internationally. HEQs are reviewed, recognized and monitored by Ofqual providing you with a guarantee that they meet the highest quality standards. BCS HEQs provide students with a framework to gain an international certification built on a foundation of industry-relevant skills that are required for a career in IT.
BCS Diploma in IT (Software Engineering and Networking) has also been mapped to level 6 of the National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ). Thus, BCS Diploma holders have now been given an additional range of career pathways that open doors both locally and internationally. In addition to this, students who have completed NVQ level 6 are eligible to apply for exemptions when enlisting for BCS Higher Education Qualifications. BCS Professional Graduate Diploma provides direct entry to post graduate studies in many national and international Universities.
Q: What makes the BCS HEQ unique?
A: All these certifications are developed with the aim of providing fair, valid and reliable assessment so you can be confident that a candidate holding a BCS certificate is competent in a relevant level of the subject. To ensure this, we embed auditable quality assurance at every step of the development process; from the careful recruitment of the industry experts who create our syllabus to multi-level reviews for every single question item before it’s accepted into the exam bank.
Furthermore, items are written for every single learning objective, this means that candidates have the opportunity to demonstrate their breadth of knowledge in a particular subject area upon assessment. It also provides 3 exit and entry points (Certificate, Diploma and PGD) to support candidates with flexibility in their career journey.
Q: Can I obtain HEQs even if I have a degree from another institute or university?
A: You can follow HEQ while studying for another degree or can apply for exemptions if you are already qualified with another IT qualification.
Q: How are the exams held?
A: Exams are held at standard venues in Colombo, Kandy and Jaffna with the supervision and quality assurance of exam delivery by the British Council in March and September annually.
Q: How can I obtain certificates?
A: Certificates are distributed at the Graduation Ceremony held in Colombo annually. This grand event is graced by the President of BCS along with nationally and internationally recognized industry personalities. The Graduation Ceremony 2019 will be held at the BMICH on 15th October 2019.
Q: Does becoming a professional member of BCS give IT professionals an added advantage when seeking jobs overseas?
A: Professional membership provides access to a wide range of membership benefits designed to support you in your role and grow your potential. In addition, it makes your profile up to date with continuous career development, professional recognition, latest thinking and professional support increasing your value in any job market in the world.
There are more than 4,000 BCS members in Sri Lanka, well networked and working actively for the betterment of the industry in the country. They get together with sector leaders and organize Best Quality ICT Awards Ceremony (nbqsa.org) annually and contribute taking best quality ICT products to the global market.
Q: How do I get more information about BCS and HEQ?
A: Visit bcs.org/srilanka or the regional office in Colombo. Information about HEQs can be obtained from the BCS accredited training providers spread across several districts in Sri Lanka.