All activities by which BCS establishes that you fulfil specified competence requirements including application, evaluation, decision on certification, surveillance and re certification, and use of logos.
Accredited Training Provider (ATP)
An organisation that has been assessed and approved by BCS or another Examination Institute which meets the defined requirements and is accredited to deliver training programmes in specified subject areas using their own or licensed material.
A training organisation that enters into a commercial arrangement with an ATP, to enable the ATP to work in different countries or in different regions of the country, through a third party agreement. The normal process would be that you make the certified material and approved trainers available to run training courses in the certification area for which you are certified. You may also train individuals working for the Affiliate to the appropriate standard to become approved trainers.
All Affiliates need to be registered with BCS and it is the ATPs responsibility to inform BCS when they sign up a new Affiliate. This should be done by completing the Affiliate / Broker Form (available on request). Once the completed form has been received and checked, BCS will notify the relevant Awarding Organisation that an Affiliate has been approved and they will issue a licence agreement.
It is the ATPs responsibility to ensure the Affiliate operates in accordance with the BCS and other Awarding Body scheme requirements. Affiliates will be subject to audits to ensure that they are compliant. There are additional fees for all Affiliates registered with BCS.
Process that assesses an organisation’s or individual’s fulfilment of the requirements leading to a decision on certification.
A request by the ATP for reconsideration of any adverse decision made by BCS relating to their certification status.
Auditor / Reviewer / Assessor
Person with relevant technical and personal competence to conduct accreditation audits and/or reviews.
A Broker is an organisation that enters into a commercial agreement with an ATP to advertise, sell and / or schedule courses on the behalf of the ATP. Brokers need to be registered with BCS and it is the ATPs responsibility to inform BCS when they sign up a new Broker. This should be done by completing the Affiliate / Broker Form (available on request).
It is the ATPs responsibility to ensure the Broker operates in accordance with the BCS and other Awarding Body scheme requirements.
An individual who wishes to be entered for a specific examination and or/ someone who will attend an accredited training course or examination.
It is expected that candidates are provided with material to be used during the course which contains as a minimum a lesson plan, necessary content as described in the relevant syllabus or a preparation guide, assignments (combination of theory and practice) and material to prepare the candidate for an examination such as a mock exam or sample paper.
A request by the candidate for reconsideration of any adverse decision made by BCS relating to their examination result.
Candidate notes / Hand-outs
These are the notes which are handed out to candidates to support what they will learn during the course. It can contain the slides used by the trainer with additional explanatory notes (copies of the slides are not considered as sufficient). It may also contain space for the candidate to make their own notes. There should be no more than 4 slides per page – greyscale is acceptable and all slides and notes should be legible.
Demonstrated ability to apply knowledge and / or skills and where relevant demonstrated personal attributes as defined.
A request that is not an appeal by an organisation or BCS for corrective action.
This is the person who deals with course administration for both candidates and trainers and is the main point of contact for BCS on routine administrative matters. The Training Provider must ensure that there is cover for the Course Administrator in cases of both planned and unplanned absence. This role does not need to be approved by BCS.
This is the person with overall accountability for the content of the course and the necessary authority to remedy deficiencies on the course, the trainers; the facilities made available for the course and examinations or any aspect of the administration surrounding the candidates, course or the examinations. The Course Director is also responsible for ensuring that all trainers have been approved by BCS prior to the delivery of courses and vouches for the information provided on the trainer forms. Specific requirements for the role include:
- A full time permanent senior member of staff (although exceptions will be considered) who is responsible for ensuring that the course materials conforms to the format approved by BCS
- Does not necessarily have to train on the relevant course
- Who can be contacted within a 48 hours to consult with BCS as necessary on any issues which the delegates, trainers or BCS wish to raise
- Is responsible for all contributors to the courses
- Should have two years’ experience either as a Course Director on other BCS accredited courses or as a Course Trainer on relevant course leading to the qualification that he/she has applied for, or can demonstrate equivalent experience
- Is formally approved by BCS
This is the person that is approved by BCS to deliver one or more training courses and is accountable to the Course Director. Approval must be given before any training is delivered and is linked to a specific ATP so if the trainer is delivering courses for multiple ATPs then they are required to submit individual application forms for each ATP.
Each certification has an associated set of competence criteria which is defined in the course trainer manual but it typically requires the applicant to hold the relevant certification (or above), have a minimum of 10 days training experience (or hold a train the trainer certification) and have 3 years’ practical experience.
Document control procedure
In accordance with ISO9001.
A body which accredits organisations against a defined scheme.
This is the exercises and answers which will also include the outcomes and learning objectives. These shall help to consolidate the material. BCS would expect to see the exercises together with suggested solutions including rationales or a clear description of what the candidates are expected to deliver. Practical Group or Individual exercises are expected to be included in all courses.
Where a course is delivered as an e-learning course, you must provide BCS with a log-in which can be accessed by a maximum of three people (two assessors and a BCS representative). There are specific guidelines available on request to cover courses to be delivered by e-learning.
ISO9001 is a standard related to business management systems which is designed to help organisations meet the needs of customers and other stakeholders as well as meeting statrainery and regulatory requirements and encouraging business improvement. The standard is due to be updated by the end of 2015 but there is a draft currently available. The decision whether to align to the 2008 or 2015 version is a matter of personal choice.
The standard specifies that the organisation shall, as a minimum, create and maintain seven documented procedures:
- Control of Documents
- Control of Records
- Internal Audits
- Control of Non-Conforming Products
- Corrective Action
- Quality Manual
- Quality Policy
ISO27001 is a standard for information security management and details the requirements for a robust information security management system (ISMS). An ISMS is a framework of policies and procedures that includes all legal, physical and technical controls involved in an organisation's information risk management processes. ISO 27001 uses a top-down, risk-based approach and is technology-neutral. The specification defines a six-part planning process:
- Define a security policy
- Define the scope of the ISMS
- Conduct a risk assessment
- Manage identified risks
- Select control objectives and controls to be implemented
- Prepare a statement of applicability
The specification includes details for documentation, management responsibility, internal audits, continual improvement, and corrective and preventive action. The 27001 standard does not mandate specific information security controls, but it does provide a checklist of controls that should be considered in the accompanying code of practice, ISO 27002:2013. This second standard describes a comprehensive set of information security control objectives and a set of generally accepted good practice security controls.
ISO22301 is a standard for managing business continuity in an organisation. The standard specifies requirements to plan, establish, implement, operate, monitor, review, maintain and continually improve a documented management system to protect against, reduce the likelihood of occurrence, prepare for, respond to, and recover from disruptive incidents when they arise. The requirements are generic and intended to be applicable to all organisations regardless of type, size and nature of the organisation. The extent of application of these requirements depends on an organisation's operating environment and complexity.
This is a document which states management expectations and intentions. They should be used to direct decisions, ensure consistent and appropriate implementation of procedures, roles and activities.
Practical / Working Experience
This is a vital part of the application form and you should provide a full detailed description of the experience you have. Bullet points and high level generic references to your experiences in this area is not enough, it has to be sound and quantifiable experience.
This is a document which provides a high level summary of how to carry out an activity or process. It includes a specified series of actions or operations which have to be executed in the same manner in order to always obtain the same result under the same circumstances (for example, emergency procedures). Less precisely speaking, this word can indicate a sequence of activities, tasks, steps, decisions, calculations and processes, that when undertaken in the sequence laid down produces the described result, product or outcome.
These can be provided free of charge but you can also create your own sample questions and answers (in the live exam paper format) which must be reviewed and approved by BCS.
This is a list of timings for the course including breaks and scheduling for any mock examinations. This is one of the most important documents for review and must be cross referenced to the syllabus timings detailing how much time is spent on each subject area. It should, as a minimum, include the hour by hour schedule. Any exercises, practice examinations and breaks must also be shown on the timetable. The timetable must allow for reasonable morning and afternoon breaks as well as lunch periods. Breaks cannot be included in the number of training hours you are required to meet.
A copy of all of the slides that the trainers will follow during the training course. There should be no more than two slides per page and all text must be legible. Double sided printing is acceptable. The slides must add value to the course and not just repeat the syllabus. We would expect to see a maximum of 20 slides per hour as a guideline.
Trainer notes (Session plans)
These are the notes that the trainer will use to embellish the slides. These are normally a set of explanatory notes detailing the sequence and timing of topics, identifying the supporting material (slides, notes, exercises) for each topic (mandatory and optional), the key messages to be given, hints and tips about handling exercises, questions and digressions, etc. Organisations should ideally use more than one trainer for training their material and the purpose of the session plans is to convey to the trainer the message that the ATP is intending to get over with each slide. It is not expected that there will be a lot of text, short bullet points are fine. Straight repetition of the slides or syllabus does not constitute trainer notes. Good practice in course development would suggest that trainer notes / session plans should be an automatic starting point for the design of the course. They are not expected to be scripts, but shall have sufficient detail to enable BCS to see the intent of the designer and to enable a trainer to deliver the course according to the “house standard” of the Training Organisation. BCS can provide a sample session plan upon request.
This section should be completed as fully as the section on practical / working experience. Please note that delivering presentations at seminars/conferences and internal briefings do not constitute as training experience and should not be included.
This is a document providing detailed instructions that specify exactly what steps you need to follow to carry out an activity. This should contain much more detail than a Procedure and is only created if very detailed instructions are needed.