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 level 4 you have a good level of operational business skills and can work on a broad range of complex activities.

What your role could look like

As a Software Tester, you will be proficient in testing and have a good understanding of the development lifecycle and the role of software testing. You’ll take a logical and analytical approach to problem solving and pay close attention to detail, but there is always more for a Software Tester to learn.

Work activities
  • Accepts responsibility for creation of test cases using own in-depth technical analysis of both functional and non-functional specifications (such as reliability, availability, throughput, security, recoverability, continuity, maintainability, efficiency, usability, performance and portability), to determine test requirements. Specifies requirements for environment, data, resources and tools.
  • Conducts early life cycle validation and verification. Plans, estimates and schedules phase tests.
  • Designs and produces re-usable test scripts (including simple automated test scripts and packages), procedures and regression test packs (with expected results) to test new and amended software or services. Produces plans to test the effect of new and changed software on existing systems.
  • Interprets, executes and documents complex test scripts using agreed methods and standards.
  • Monitors progress, and documents test failures and successes compared with pre-defined criteria, creating traceability records, from test cases back to requirements, in accordance with agreed standards. Provides reports on progress, anomalies, risks and issues associated with the overall project.
  • Reviews test results and modifies tests if necessary. Reports on system quality and metrics on test cases. Records and analyses actions and results and maintains a defect register.
  • Uses normal operating facilities, diagnostic tools, technical manuals, test scripts and systems documentation to identify, diagnose and report on system errors.
  • Provides specialist advice, guidance and assistance to colleagues on any aspect of test planning and execution.
  • Reviews and tests non-functional aspects of systems at a high-level.
  • Guides team members on the practices of testing and prioritises their tasks to achieve results ready for milestones.
Technical skills

Software Testing

You’ll be expert in testing techniques used to plan and execute software tests of all application components (functional and non-functional) to verify that the software satisfies specified requirements and to detect errors. Examples, but not limited to: dynamic testing techniques and test automation techniques.

Test Management Techniques

You’ll be familiar with 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.

Software Testing Tools

You’ll be familiar with software tools which automate or assist any part of the testing process across all or part of the testing lifecycle. Examples, but not limited to: debugging tools and load test tools.

Development Approach

You’ll have an understanding and application of different development approaches e.g. iterative/ incremental methodologies (Agile, XP, TDD, SCRUM) or traditional sequential methodologies (Waterfall or V-Model) and their energy and resource footprints. Irrespective of development methodology a DevOps approach may also be taken where development and operational staff work collaboratively.

Risk Management

You’ll be aware of 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.

Written expression and emails

You will be effective at communicating with stakeholders in writing, such as through report writing and via email.

Interacting with people

Establishing relationships, contributing to an open culture and maintaining contacts with people from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines. Effective, approachable and sensitive communicator in different communities and cultures. Ability to adapt style and approach to meet the needs of different audiences.


Being proactive, anticipating opportunities for systems, service or product improvement or development and taking appropriate action(s).

Planning and organisation

You can determine a course of action by breaking it down into smaller steps and by planning and resourcing each of these, making allowance for potential problems and escalating if necessary.

Learning and standards

BCS Intermediate Certificate in Software Testing
Take a practical approach to developing your core software testing skills - including testing types, management and analysis.

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Demonstrate to employers your professional competence by joining the UK register of IT Technicians.

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BCS Membership AMBCS
As an Associate member of BCS, you’ll become part of a large professional community in the UK and beyond. You’ll get access to career support tools, latest BA industry news and exclusive BCS research.

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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