What is the challenge?

To inspire apprentices* to think about your role as a digital professional and share a ‘big digital idea’ that demonstrates forward thinking in IT and digital technology. We are looking for ideas that consider:

  • Sustainability - the use of technology for the benefit of society - meaning that the idea should be something that others can easily adopt or use to make a positive impact on society.
  • Accessibility and ethics - ensuring that the idea is accessible to everyone, for example thinking about diversity and social mobility.

As our challenge judge Matt Haworth, Director of Reason Digital, talks about in his top tips video below, these are big concepts but the main thing to remember is that the challenge is about technology for good so keep your idea realistic and simple to understand, sometimes the smallest ideas bring the biggest benefits!

Why get involved

Watch this short video of challenge judge Matt Haworth, where he explains why the challenge is important.
View Matt's full video

Matt Haworth explains why the challenge is important
  • A fantastic opportunity to showcase your IT and digital skills
  • A chance to win a cash prize and mentoring support from an experienced IT professional
  • Do something amazing for your profession and society as a whole
  • Enhance your career, knowledge and make your mark on the IT and digital sector

As an employer this is a great way to encourage your apprentices to think out of the box, putting their skills for innovation towards a great idea with a positive impact. You will be in with a chance to showcase your talent to key digital professionals and a variety of skills stakeholders at the next BCS Insights as your apprentices take part in a fulfilling and motivating experience.

For training providers, the challenge will highlight the hard work and commitment of providers that train and coach digital apprentices. Your efforts will shine through the innovation and skill that we will see from apprentice’s big ideas judged by an independent panel of leading experts in their field.

What you can win

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.

How to enter

Step 1 - consider any of the challenges you may have previously discussed with your friends or colleagues, the sort of conversations that start with “Wouldn’t it be great if…?”

Step 2 - Combine your creativity, digital know how and expertise to come up with a ‘big digital idea’ that might solve the issue you have previously discussed.

Step 3 - Outline and shape your idea and how IT and digital technology can be used to solve the issue it addresses.

Step 4 - Visit the Digital Apprenticeship Challenge page to register and get more information.

Step 5 - Create a short video (no more than 10 minutes) describing the issue, the idea you have come up with to solve it and an overview of how it might work. The video can be a multimedia format, a presentation or footage of yourself talking us through. Remember to include an explanation of how the idea meets the criteria of sustainability and accessibility shown above.

Step 6 - Ensure your video is 1980 x 1080 resolution and an MP4 file format.

Step 7 - Send the video to bcsmarketing@bcs.uk by 18 December 2020. All entries will receive an acknowledgement, if you do not receive one, please email us separately to check your entry has been received.

What are the judges looking for?

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

  • What is the digital innovation or idea and why will it make a difference?
  • How clearly the idea is explained including clarity around who the idea is designed to help and how exactly it will help them.
  • An explanation of how it works and how can other people get access to and benefit from the idea.
  • A demonstration of how the idea makes a difference to the themes of sustainability and accessibility that is addresses.
  • 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 is 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

In this short video, challenge judge Matt Haworth gives his top tips for entering the challenge. View Matt's full video

Matt Haworth gives his top tips for entering the challenge

Ready to enter?

Register for the challenge, get an exclusive Guide for Entrants and advice from our Judging Panel Chair and Director of External Affairs at BCS, Adam Thilthorpe.

What happens next?

When you register for the challenge we will keep you up to date of any new developments and help and advice available. The closing date for entries is 18 December 2020 and we need to receive your entry by that date.

When your video is ready please submit to bcsmarketing@bcs.uk and we will keep you informed during the judging and voting stages of the challenge.

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.”

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.