BCS campaigns for broader ICT membership

12 June 2003

BCS has undertaken a major communications push towards its 40,000 plus membership as part of a bid to change its structure and governance.

BCS has determined that it must broaden its membership appeal, especially towards younger ICT professionals and graduates, and become more accessible to a larger cross section of the profession.

BCS elected Council will aim to persuade BCS members that it is in their interest and that of the Society to become more inclusive; that only a stronger professional body can help achieve greater influence within the ICT community and build greater credibility in the eyes of society, government and industry.

The implications of these proposed changes affect everyone in the ICT profession; certainly everyone in BCS whether they are entitled to vote or not. And these proposals are as important to current corporate voting members (i.e. holders of MBCS and FBCS) as they are to all other members and also to the majority of professional ICT practitioners from all private and public sectors.

Of particular significance is the proposal that membership could become more inclusive by expanding membership criteria from two to three groups:

  • Chartered professional members
  • Non-chartered professional members
  • Non-professional members

This means that if and when the new regulations come into force, anyone who is currently an MBCS or FBCS will automatically be transferred to the new class of Chartered Professional member. However, BCS is adamant that such changes will not affect the value and status of its "gold standard" chartered membership.

According to BCS Chief Executive David Clarke, "BCS professional membership currently represents less than 5% of the UK ICT community. It is our intent to increase our effectiveness as the industry body for all ICT professionals by representing the majority. Although an important part of our message is to motivate wavering members into action, we are also keen to trumpet the exciting new opportunity that presents itself to the Society to be a truly embracing and inclusive body.

"We believe that ICT is THE profession of the 21st century and that BCS is the champion of the nation's computer literacy programme; likewise it is the leading ICT skills and examination provider and a catalyst for ICT professionalism in all strata of business and the public services sector."

For further information please contact the BCS Press Office.