At BCS, our vision is:

  • A competent and ethical profession that is diverse, inclusive and plentiful in talent at all levels
  • A society that is resilient and thriving in a digital world with access to the technology, knowledge and skills needed

We want to inspire apprentices* to think about your role as a digital professional and come up with your own 'big digital idea' that utilises forward thinking in IT and digital technology considering:

  • Sustainability - focus on the use of technology for the benefit of society and be something that the individuals it is designed for can use to make an impact.
  • Accessibility and ethics - linking the idea to important areas such as diversity and social mobility.

The challenge is intrinsically linked and in keeping with the theme of our annual flagship conference, BCS Insights which discusses the way we use technology today and explore how we create a bright digital future for everyone in society. This is why we have chosen to award the winners with their prizes at BCS Insights which takes place at The Crystal in London on 4 June 2020.

Prizes

Overall challenge winner


£500 cash prize
and an opportunity to get mentoring support from a digital leader and member of the BCS membership community.**

Highly commended


£300 cash prize
will be awarded to one highly commended winner.

Shortlisted entries


Three prizes of £150 cash
will be awarded to commended entrants.

All shortlisted entrants will be invited to attend BCS Insights 2020 free of charge (including reasonable travel expenses) where the winner of the challenge will be announced.

We would like to thank our sponsors for their generous donations to the digital apprenticeship challenge allowing us to offer these fabulous prizes.

Why get involved?

Apprentices

This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase your digital skills and do something amazing for the good of others and the IT and digital profession. As well as having a chance to win a cash prize, it’s also a chance to network with other apprentices, make your mark on the IT and digital arena and whether you win or not, just taking part is great for your CV.

Employers

A great way to get your apprentices to expand their network, think out of the box, putting their skills and innovation towards a great idea that has a positive impact. As an employer you get to showcase your fantastic talent to key digital professionals and a variety of skills stakeholders. Most of all BCS wants to make this a fulfilling and motivating experience for apprentices and your staff.

Training providers and colleges

The challenge will demonstrate the hard work and commitment of providers that train and coach digital apprentices on a daily basis. Your efforts will shine through the innovation and skill that BCS expects to see from apprentice’s big ideas which will be judged by an independent panel of leading experts in their field.

Watch this short video from our challenge judge Matt Haworth from Reason Digital where he explains why the challenge is important.

What do entrants need to do?

We’re looking for big ideas that demonstrate forward thinking in IT and digital technology.

Combine your creativity with your digital know how and expertise to come up with a 'big digital idea' and present it in a short video (no more than 10 minutes) describing how it meets the criteria of sustainability and accessibility shown above.

Submit your entry in 1980x1080 resolution and an MP4 file format to BCSmarketing@bcs.uk by Friday 17 April 2020. All entries will receive an acknowledgement, if you do not receive one within three days please let us know.

In this short video, Challenge judge Matt Haworth gives his top tips for entering the challenge.


What happens next?

Our panel of judges will put together a shortlist of entries which will be announced on 15 May 2020. Shortlisted entries will be added here and put to the public vote between 16-31 May 2020.

The winners will be announced at BCS Insights 2020 on 4 June and the creators of all of the shortlisted entries will be invited to attend the Insights event (reasonable travel expenses will be paid).

Food for thought

In a recent article Michelle Shakesheff from Close Brothers points out:

“As IT professionals, we design and build great technology solutions, but we also need to be able to explain to the users of that solution what the technology does. The recent issues with data privacy show how organisations are increasingly - and rightly - being called upon to explain themselves.

The technology has to be viewed in conjunction with how it will be used; we all have a role to play to make sure that IT is good for society. Understanding the ethical issues around technology will become as important as understanding the technology itself, as the two go hand-in-hand. Understanding the tech isn’t going to be enough, you will also need to understand the people who use it.”

What are the judges looking for?

When reviewing the entries, the judges will be particularly interested in:

  1. What is the digital innovation or idea and why will it make a difference?
  2. How clearly the idea is explained including clarity around who the idea is designed to help and how exactly it will help them.
  3. An explanation of how it works and how can other people get access to and benefit from the idea.
  4. A demonstration of how the idea makes a difference to the themes of sustainability and accessibility that is addresses.
  5. If appropriate, information on what the entrant is doing or has already done using their own skill sets and networks to make this idea come to life.

What's the judging criteria?

Additionally, the judging criteria will be based upon:

  • The application of creativity shown
  • Digital skills and know how applied
  • Details given of how the idea can be applied in the real world
  • Ease of understanding and use so that individuals who may want to use the idea can find it easily accessible

View the terms and conditions

For further information, please email BCSMarketing@bcs.uk.

Ready to enter?

Enter by Friday 17 April 2020 to be in with a chance to win. 

Our sponsors

*Open to all current and past digital and IT apprentices at all levels including degree apprenticeships (regardless of whether BCS is their end-point assessment organisation). Entrants must have either completed or be currently on an IT or digital apprenticeship.

** Details to be arranged depending on the winner's specific requirements.