After three years of consultation, BCS has decided it is more appropriate for it to endorse the Institute of IT Training (IITT)'s new national training standard, rather than continuing developing its own standard.

BCS had been running a pilot for a new trainers and tutors qualification, the Accredited Course for Tutors and Trainers (ACTT), but this has now been combined with other elements to help create the new IITT Trainer Performance Monitoring and Assessment (TPMA) service. The new trainer certificate - the Institute Certified Training Practitioner (ICTP) - is a joint award from the IITT and BCS. The trainers and tutors who took part in BCS’s ACTT pilot will be awarded an ICTP certificate at an award ceremony on 15 December.

Last September, the Lifelong Learning UK (LLUK) released new standards for training and tutors, which meant the ACTT qualification would have had to be updated to be in line with the new LLUK standards. Instead, BCS talked to the IITT about working together, which resulted in the new trainer standards launched under the title of TPMA.

Carol Hulm from the BCS said: ‘The TPMA provides a very strong benchmark of quality for IT trainers, it demonstrates that the BCS support IT trainers as a part of the IT profession and also shows that the ACTT standards created during the last three years are respected by the IT training professional body.

Leading educationalist with huge IT training industry experience, Dr Brian Sutton, has shown his total support for the TPMA service.

'I applaud the IITT for this bold move to shift emphasis from the acquisition of theoretical training techniques to the practical application of those techniques where it matters, at the sharp end with real learners grappling with real performance issues.  
'This new qualification applies a light touch approach to recognise and align trainer competencies against national standards. This in itself is a huge step forward for the industry. But what really excites me is the fresh new focus on excellence in delivery. 

The IITT announced the new programme in September and has already gained tremendous support from the IT training industry with more than 20 organisations in the process of signing up as approved IITT Authorised Qualification & Assessment Centres.

'We are delighted at the response from all sides of the industry,' explained Colin Steed, chief executive of the IITT. There are now over 20 organisations, including Matrix 42, IBM, Training Synergy, Happy Computers, Train & Certify and Verridian and who are in the process of being verified and authorised, and we have other global IT vendors, internal training departments, external training providers and freelance trainer agencies from throughout the UK and Europe in the wings.

'This extremely positive response proves that this is exactly what the industry has been waiting for - one national standard, one nationally-recognised Level 4 certificate on the Qualifications Credit Framework (which includes Europe), and the ability for organisations to assess and monitor the quality of their trainers on an ongoing basis.'