The British Computer Society's Professional Development Scheme (PDS) is a tool to evaluate, track and encourage career development for IT Professionals. It is based on the Industry Structure Model, a comprehensive set of roles, tasks, duties and descriptions covering the majority of facets of the IT Industry. Further information from BCS.
A Participant in the PDS would use the Industry Structure Model (ISM) with a Supervisor to determine their own personal job description. It would include two or three of the most pertinent roles and their associated duties, tasks and responsibilities from the ISM and customised tasks as appropriate. The roles are organised in levels depending on education, experience, training, responsibility, etc. Setting the current level for each role is part of creating the job description. The ISM also includes training suggestions which would enable the Participant to progress to a higher level on a particular role.
Once a job description has been created, this will highlight any gaps in education, training, experience, etc. and routes for progression. It is effectively a training needs analysis. With the Supervisor, a plan is worked out as to which areas the Participant will work to improve and progress over the next six month and what goals they aim to achieve. The method for achieving these goals may be on the job training, further experience and practice, personal development, training courses, activities external to the work situation such as taking an active part in a sports club of society, etc.
At the end of the six month period, another meeting is arranged with the Participant and Supervisor to review the goals and achievements, adjust the job description and set new aims for the next 6 month period.
IT Professionals interested in career progression
More experienced IT Professionals willing to assist participants to set and achieve their goals. A Supervisor can also be a participant.
To run the scheme and look after the administration. A Co-ordinator can also be a Supervisor and/or a Participant depending on their level of IT expertise.
Participants, Supervisors and Co-ordinators do not have to be BCS members. Supervisors do not need to be the Participant's line managers, however, the line manager needs to agree to the Participant's involvement in the Scheme and assist the Supervisor to determine realistic goals and measure whether they have been achieved.
BCS provide training for all three levels to assist with running the scheme. They also offer consultation to solve problems.
For the scheme to be successful, it is essential that support comes from both the management arena and from current and potential participants.
There is a cost to join the scheme, plus a cost per participant and a cost for training and consultation.
|Registration Fee||First Year||Subsequent Years|
|25+ eligible staff||£ 4500 (includes 2 days consultation)||£ 4000|
|6 24 eligible staff||£ 3400 (includes one day consultation)||£ 3400|
|1-5 eligible staff||£ 1700||£ 1700|
In addition to this, there is a Participants fee of £ 44 per person for the first year, £15 subsequently. The first year's fee includes BCS membership.
Supervisor and Co-ordinator training are both one day courses and cost £ 305 per person on a public course or between £ 725, for up to 3 delegates, and £ 1650, for up to 12 delegates if run in- house. Participants half day courses are £ 560, in-house, up to 12 people.
These prices do not include VAT.
Other costs are the time for initial set up of the job descriptions and for the regular Supervisor/Participant meetings and administration of the scheme.
There are three other institutions, similar to Oxford University, which are running the BCS PDS. They are the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust, Manchester Metropolitan University and Glasgow University. Comments from Manchester and Glasgow can be found on the [http://www.ulst.ac.uk/compservices/prodev.htm#he-fe] UCISA SDG site
From conversations with Participants, Supervisors and the Co-ordinator of the Hospitals scheme, they are very pleased with the scheme. Participants are enthusiastic and more motivated. They feel it has helped them to attract a greater number and a higher quality of candidates for vacancies and improved morale and awareness of career prospects.
It is proposed that a pilot project should be run to test the enthusiasm, time and other commitments and advantages of the BCS Professional Development Scheme.
The pilot would run for one year and include 10 Participants, 2 Supervisors and 1 Co-ordinator. The Supervisors would also be Participants giving a total of 11 individuals. To assist with the organisation, it would be preferable if the Supervisors were the line managers of the Participants. This restricts the number of people eligible to take part in the pilot scheme. It should not restrict it to OUCS staff only; others should be allowed to participate, as long as they have an appropriate Supervisor, to give a greater diversity of experience.
Costs would be
|£ 4500||first year fee|
|11 * £ 44||assuming the Co-ordinator is also a participant|
|3 * £ 305||for training on public courses for Supervisor and Co-ordinator|
|£ 560||for in house participant training|
|£ 6459||excluding VAT|