BCS reports record income boosted by IT qualification demand

15 September 2003

A continuing demand for IT qualifications has pushed BCS's income to a record £13.3m for the 2002-2003 financial year, enabling major investment in services to members and in new products.

This emerges from the BCSs annual report, just published, which shows 15% growth in income from the BCS Professional Examinations, the Information Systems Examinations Board (ISEB) certificates and diplomas, and the European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) core IT skills qualification.

Over 15,000 people a year are now working for IS Examinations Board qualifications in topics ranging from IT service management to security and system development. Extra sittings for the BCS Professional Examinations were introduced after 30% growth in candidate numbers. And the number of people registered for the European Computer Driving Licence is approaching 1m in the UK alone.

This growth enabled further major development of BCS web facilities, the introduction of extra qualifications from the IS Examinations Board, the launch of advanced modules in databases and presentation in ECDL, and investment in a joint venture to take ECDL into the Far East market. More staff were appointed to support these and other initiatives - including heightened activity to increase BCS influence in government, industry and the media.

All this planned activity brought an expected reduction in surplus - which nonetheless exceeded £1.1m.

According to BCS treasurer Mike Allen, "Strong financial position and operating performance would maintain stability and support continuing planned changes."

BCS started 2002-2003 by expanding its web services. "A wealth of information and discussion groups is now online," the report says. "Research aimed at gathering members' views to respond to government documents or to improve information systems practice is carried out online. Some groups, including the governing council, now hold meetings via the web, enabling busy senior professionals to contribute without having to attend meetings.

"A new chief executive, David Clarke, has brought IT marketing, online media and leadership experience from the likes of Compaq and Virgin.net. He campaigned forcefully for organisations to recognise that project success demands professionally qualified people."

The report praises the involvement of many of BCS's 40,000 members. This has led to the formation of new BCS specialist groups and other organisations. The IT Strategy Forum was set up after BCS meetings with senior civil servants, who wanted a way to gather industry views on key issues. A professional registration body for people in IT in health care was formed by the BCS and two health organisations. IT 4 Communities was formed by the BCS and others to encourage IT staff and employers to volunteer their skills in their local communities.

For further information please contact the BCS Press Office.