Below you'll find examples of the skills you need and the day to day activities you'll be involved in, as well as our recommendations for what to do next.


Years' experience


Average salary



* source ITJobsWatch
** SFIAplus is a best practice benchmark, giving IT related professionals an internationally recognised framework to align their knowledge, skills, experience and career development. At SFIAplus Level 6 you initiate and lead technical and business change, and are an authority for an area of work in your business.

What your role could look like

As a Lead Software Tester, you will have a comprehensive knowledge of testing activities and techniques and are able to manage the testing within complex IT projects. BCS offers members expert level career support and endorses expert level certification that has industry wide recognition.

Work activities
  • Takes responsibility for the management of all testing activities within complex development or integration projects or programmes, combining effort as appropriate with IT staff, suppliers and clients/users. Monitors and controls the testing effort and records and publishes testing metrics required to manage the testing activities.
  • Assesses and advises on the practicality of testing process alternatives, including automated testing. Gives advice to both client/user and management to determine the most appropriate testing approaches for complex projects or programmes within the constraints and operational requirements of the organisation. Manages overall client relationships and sets expectations with respect to all testing matters.
  • Initiates improvements to test processes. Reports on the effectiveness of testing for the whole organisation and identifies improvements to the testing process. Presents improvement proposals to colleagues and senior client/user management. Directs their implementation.
  • Gives direction and leadership to other testers. Identifies and oversees the development for all levels of testers. Audits other test programmes. Assesses suppliers' development and testing capabilities. Organises specialist resources (e.g. non-functional, integration and service testing) where the skills are not available in-house.
  • Defines strategies to ensure the most effective and efficient testing is carried out, including the use of specialised testing tools and techniques. Helps to set priorities which balance desirable versus practical testing strategies.
  • Determines project-testing standards for all phases, influencing all parties to conform to those standards. Liaises with project managers to manage the expectations for the testing stages of projects. Agrees "quality gate" criteria and corrective action.
  • Manages all risks associated with testing and takes preventative action when any risks become unacceptable. Evaluates risk potential based on the results of the testing during any / all stages of the project.
  • Advises resource managers on the development and training issues for testing staff.
  • Controls acceptance of software from external suppliers.
  • Works with project management office (PMO) to integrate testing and quality into delivery lifecycles.
  • Attends corrective action reviews (CARs) and post-implementation reviews (PIRs) to represent testing after major implementations and/or when key systems or services are found to fail in operation.
Technical skills

Test Management Techniques

You’ll be expert in the principles, methods, techniques and tools for the effective management of the testing process and the execution of tests throughout the lifecycle of development or integration projects. Examples, but not limited to: test efficiency and effectiveness measurement.

Business Process Improvement Techniques

You’ll be familiar with techniques for analysing and re-designing business processes which have been modelled. Examples, but not limited to: Lean Six-Sigma and process cycle time reduction.

Programme Management

You’ll be familiar with the principles, methods, techniques and tools for the effective management of a programme of projects and related activities through to the successful achievement of planned business benefits. Examples, but not limited to: MSP and Praxis.

Risk Management

You’ll be proficient in methods and techniques for the assessment and management of business risk including safety-related risk. Example, but not limited to: CRAMM and ISO/IEC31010 - risk management and assessment techniques.

Soft skills

Soft skills are a key component of your continued professional development and success as a software tester. BCS offers a comprehensive suite of materials to members to support professionals in the development of their soft skills.

Strategic perspective

You keep organisational objectives and strategies in mind, and ensure courses of action are aligned with the strategic context.

Commercial orientation

You understand commercial considerations and ensure alignment with them when making decisions or recommending actions.

Customer focus

You understand the needs of the internal or external customer and keep these in mind when taking actions or making decisions.

Learning and standards

ITQSB Certified Tester Advanced Level - Test Manager
Demonstrate your software testing management skills with this internationally-recognised certification.

Find out more and book

ITQSB Certified Tester Advanced Level - Test Automation Engineer
Understand more about the complexities of test automation and take your software testing skills to the next level.

Find out more and book

Chartered IT Professional
Demonstrate your expertise in the field of Business Analysis with the BCS Chartered IT Professional award, the independent standard of competence and professionalism in the technology industry.

Get Chartered

BCS Fellowship (FBCS)
As an expert in your field, you will be eligible to take your place among the most experienced professionals and academics in the industry, to inspire others and shape the software testing profession.

Become a fellow


Pathway to professionalism

Attain a leading software testing certification and demonstrate that you’ve met the high standards set by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT. Over 100,000 professionals worldwide are certified with BCS.

Discover the pathway to professionalism with BCS