Given the global impact and uncertainty regarding COVID-19 (novel coronavirus), the BCS leadership, staff and volunteers continuously monitor and review different areas of impact within BCS and plan for any disruption or change in service that may result.
We continue to monitor advice from the World Health Organisation and Government in all the regions we operate. Our top priority is the health and safety of those attending any physical gathering of people organised by BCS and our partners. We have a responsibility to safeguard those most likely to become seriously ill from the virus by doing everything we can to prevent its spread.
This page serves as an update on our policy and position around the different aspects of our activity that are being impacted by this global issue.
We have cancelled or postponed all physical events that are scheduled to take place in the UK until further notice. In many cases we are changing events to a virtual format (e.g. a Webinar), but this may be on a different date to previously advertised.
Where we have assessed the need to cancel or postpone a previously advertised event, we are issuing direct communications to delegates and speakers to advise.
In line with government guidance a great number of our examination centres remain closed at this time.
We encourage all candidates expecting to attend a BCS examination at a physical location at any time in the near future to regularly check email communications and notices on our website and to check for emails sent directly from your examination centre, training provider, school or college.
A number of examinations can be taken by candidates in a location of their choosing using our Remote Proctoring solutions - please see the specific section on Remote Proctored Examinations for details.
Professional Certifications and Apprenticeship Knowledge Modules
A number of examinations in our Professional Certifications and Apprenticeships portfolio can be taken by candidates in a location of their choice using our Remote Proctoring solutions. This is where an examination sitting is invigilated remotely via the camera on a candidate’s computer. This is an established process that our training providers successfully use on a daily basis.
We have also issued guidance to our training providers on how they can invigilate their own candidates using video conferencing software such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom.
ECDL and Digital Skills
Approved centres are now able to invigilate their own candidates using video conferencing software such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom.
Guidance has been issued via the Approved Centre Forum.
All required approval and audit visits are being completed virtually during this time.
As we are required by Ofqual to complete an onsite visit, we will schedule an appropriate visit date with you during the virtual call. We will regularly monitor government guidelines and adjust dates if necessary.
Our normal processes for the booking of audits still apply.
We appreciate that Higher Education Institutions are making plans to adjust programme delivery and assessment due to the current situation. We will support the adjustments needed to maintain delivery of the programme and understand that this would likely mean changes in delivery format, order of module delivery, assessment methodologies, re-scheduling of delivery and assessment and potentially extension of end dates to enable work to be completed and assessed.
Accreditation criteria are normally covered by multiple modules / units, including projects. Therefore, changes to part of a programme will not necessarily affect the overall achievement of the accreditation criteria. The key consideration for accreditation is that all graduates of the programme achieve all of the criteria at the specified level.
We ask that institutions notify us of any changes so that we can satisfy ourselves that the accreditation criteria can still be achieved by all graduates. In addition to changes to programme delivery and assessment, this may also include, for example, substitution or discontinuation of modules, changes to compensation regulations, or loss of critical resources. It is also important to notify us should interruption to programme delivery lead to a reduced number of credits or award of the degree without completing a project.
We appreciate that the measures you put in place may evolve due to the uncertainty of the situation and would encourage open, transparent communication.
Many CAS community meetings are taking place remotely, online.
CAS Conferences are also taking placing online this year. Please check CAS events for more details.
CAS Outreach Team
For staff at BCS, including those who support Computing at School, we have established flexible home working. So, if you’re due to meet one of our team they’ll be in touch with you to agree plans to scheduled a virtual meeting.
Applications for the BCS Scholarship Programme are open until 24 July. We’ll continue to process applications as quickly as possible, and will schedule an online assessment once you have submitted your online application.
All assessment days have been moved online. We’re holding online assessments throughout July and August for those successful at the initial application stage.
We are working with chairs of all Boards and Committees to review plans for upcoming meetings and, where appropriate, rearrange to run virtually. If you are involved in any BCS-led Board or Committee your secretariat will be in touch with relevant information.
All BCS staff continue to work. Our staff are working in accordance with Government instruction for social distancing and working from home. Members, customers and partners can continue to communicate with us through our advertised communication channels.
As with events, several activities we might normally have conducted face-to-face may now be organised as a virtual collaboration.
We are currently operating a reduced service on our HQ telephone switchboard, but there are other ways you can reach us outlined on this page.
Some of our physical offices now have a different operational status.
- Swindon HQ, UK
Our headquarters in Swindon, UK remains open, but only a very small number of staff in a key worker role will occasionally be on site for essential purposes as a result of social distancing measures in the UK.
- Bedford, UK
Our staff office in Bedford has closed until further notice. Staff will continue to work from home.
- London Office, 25 Copthall Avenue, London, UK
We have closed our office in London until further notice.
- Sri Lanka Office, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Our office in Sri Lanka is running a skeleton staff on a rota basis. Our team continues to predominantly work from home. We would encourage our learners, members, partners and customers to conduct as much business as possible virtually to reduce face to face contact. However, if you need to visit the office please call first to make an appointment and ensure the member of staff you need to see will be available.
- Mauritius Office, Castel, Eau Coulee, Mauritius
Our office in Mauritius continues to function as normal.
Our Chief Executive, Paul Fletcher, issued a letter to all BCS members early in the crisis, updating our members on what BCS has been doing in response to the crisis and many of the great initiatives and examples of ways members are contributing their expertise and time during this period.
We have also launched a new campaign, vITal workers, to highlight, recognise and celebrate the incredible contribution that IT professionals are making during these unprecedented times. We’d like to encourage everybody (not just members) to learn more about the campaign and get involved.