How the next government can transform society with ethics, education and equity in technology.

In its manifesto, BCS has outlined three key tech priorities for Sir Keir Starmer’s government:

  • Anyone with a significant role in IT should prove their accountability by being professionally registered. This includes leaders who use technology in critical national infrastructure like health, defence and other public services.

In practice that means becoming Chartered, just as we expect for other professionals such as doctors

  • Every child and adult must have access to a world class computing and digital literacy education; we need qualifications that reflect this.
  • Closing the diversity gap in information technology can solve many of its issues around trust, bias and safety – over 500,000 women are ‘missing’ from the profession.

The BCS manifesto was reviewed and is supported by the BCS President, the BCS Fellows Technical Advisory Group (F-TAG), and the BCS Influence Board.

Build public trust in tech

Rashik Parmar, CEO of BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT said: “The new Prime Minister has a unique opportunity to take a positive view of AI and high stakes technologies, making sure they transform the lives of everyone in the UK.

“By setting high standards for those who direct and develop computing in areas like health, security and other vital public services, the UK can be an example to the world.

“That’s why this government should back Chartered status for technology professionals, setting the same expectations of competence and ethics as regulated fields like accountancy and medicine.

“Then to secure the future, we need to prioritise digital literacy and computing education in schools and to make tech careers appeal to a far broader group of people.”

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BCS President Alastair Revell added: “I would like to see the new government make Chartered status a licence to practice in key areas of computing, like AI. This effectively turns removal from the register into an act of being ‘struck off’ for good.

"Unlike a driving licence, we also need that registration to be renewed regularly to ensure competence in a rapidly evolving profession.”

While these are core recommendations, our focus on policy priorities in specialisms such as cyber security, Green IT, software testing, law, digital health and other areas remains stronger than ever. We are working with our subject experts ready to engage with new ministers in departments including DSIT, DfE, Health and DEFRA.

Read BCS’ full manifesto