Colin Thompson

We would like to submit the following citation in support of our joint proposal that Colin Thompson be awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the British Computer Society in light of his outstanding contribution to the BCS over the last fourteen years.

His contribution in terms of leadership, intellectual thought and real expertise in key areas of the BCS’s business has been extremely important to the BCS throughout his time with us.

His service to the BCS is shown in the following brief summary:

He joined the BCS on secondment from the Inland Revenue in October 1992, when the BCS’s membership systems and processes were in disarray. Although only originally intended to stay six months, his secondment was extended twice until he became Membership Director of the BCS in November 1993.

His role was extended firstly in 1996 when he took on several additional responsibilities as Marketing Director, and finally in January 1999 was appointed Deputy CEO.

During Colin’s time with the BCS he has been instrumental in many pieces of really critical work for the Society. In the late 90’s the BCS commissioned a piece of work to look at what it should become in the future. The report was named the Pollard Report, after Alan Pollard who was chairman of the team who developed the work. This was a blueprint for the BCS which are implementing today. Colin was instrumental in this project, and Alan Pollard often refers to it internally as the Thompson report.

In 2001, we embarked on the first major changes to the Society in decades with a whole new governance and membership structure, much of it based on the Pollard report. Alastair Macdonald as immediate Past President led the team, but again Colin was the project manager, and the huge success of this project and its very complex implementation was very much down to Colin’s management of it.

In 2002 we embarked on the now well known Professionalism in IT programme, which was very important to Colin, something he passionately believed in. At the beginning of 2005, Colin assumed full time programme director responsibilities for the programme, and its very successful first stage completion in May 2006 has relied very heavily on Colin’s knowledge, skills, tenacity and energy.

It is unusual to award an Honorary Fellowship to an (ex) staff member, although there have been precedents. We believe though that there has been no greater contribution to the BCS than Colin’s, and that no other form of appreciation would match the contribution that Colin has made.