your IT skills A guide to BCS Qualifications

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1 your IT skills A guide to BCS Qualifications

2 Who are BCS? Formed in 1957, the British Computer Society (BCS) is an international awarding body for qualifications. BCS is also recognised as a leading professional body for IT and Communications. The BCS offers a variety of interesting and popular qualifications which appeal to a wide variety of audiences, ranging from beginners to IT professionals. Our qualifications offer the opportunity to develop vital skills. This includes learning the basics, building on prior knowledge, or to start or further a career in IT. As a Chartered Engineering Institution BCS has over 65,000 members in over 100 countries around the world. Through our membership BCS is also leading the development and implementation of world class standards for the IT profession through innovative products, services and support. CONTENTS equalskills 03 e-citizen 04 e-type 05 Digital Creator 06 ECDL 07 ECDL Advanced 08 ECDL CAD 09 Personal Finance 10 ITQ 11 BCS Professional Examinations 12 ISEB 13 A guide to BCS Qualifications

3 T: +44 (0) E: equalskills is an ideal user certification for IT beginners. equalskills is the perfect introduction for people that have never used a computer. It helps candidates learn the basic skills needed to operate a computer. Candidates are shown the basics and then progress on to an introduction to the internet. The course is done at an easy pace which is ideal for absolute beginners. The equalskills course covers the following areas: Computer Basics; Introduction to the Desktop; The World Wide Web and . Entry Level equivalent. People with no experience of using a computer. equalskills is not currently on the regulatory qualification frameworks. Funding may be available via local funding organisations. The candidate works through a paper-based workbook consisting of simple and straightforward exercises. They will have a tutor, who will help them work through their workbook and assist them throughout the course hours depending on previous experience. 03

4 T: +44 (0) E: e-citizen is a course aimed at both IT beginners and those who want to learn more about using the internet. e-citizen is a qualification that enables candidates to master different online activities such as banking, shopping and searching for information. e-citizen is a great way for candidates to learn practical skills for everyday activities. Candidates can gain computer confidence in a secure and interactive environment. NQF Entry Level. People with no or very little experience of using computers. e-citizen is on the National Qualifications Framework and has the Learning Aim reference It is eligible for funding via the relevant agencies. Classroom-based activities can be supported by courseware such as textbooks, e-learning and blended learning materials. 30 hours (3.5 school performance points). 04

5 T: +44 (0) E: The e-type qualification is aimed at those who can use a computer at any level. Touch-typing is a great skill to posses as it enables candidates to use their keyboard faster and in a more accurate manner. The e-type course is designed to be a flexible and fun way to gain touch-typing skills. There is no pressure for candidates to keep up with others, as they can learn at their own pace adding to the enjoyment. This skill can be practiced outside of the class to increase candidate s words per minute. So why not steer candidates away from two finger typing and allow them to achieve this valuable qualification. Candidates can achieve 3 different grades: Bronze Silver Gold 20 words per minute at 98% accuracy 40 words per minute at 98% accuracy 60 words per minute at 98% accuracy NQF Level 2. Anyone who uses a computer. e-type has been approved by Regulatory Authorities and is eligible for funding. The LSC reference number is: At home or within a teaching environment, learning materials are available online, on USB memory sticks, intranet, LAN/WAN and CD-ROMs. 40 hours. Bronze 10 school performance points, Silver 12.3 school performance points, Gold 13.8 school performance points. 05

6 T: +44 (0) E: This exciting qualification is a great way for candidates to learn about digital media. Digital Creator is an enjoyable way of achieving a GCSE equivalent qualification and at the same time allowing candidates to express their creativity. This can be achieved via 8 engaging units. Candidates will experience exciting digital media such as digital audio, still images, video, storytelling with animation, optical media and much more. The course is structured in to five creative aspects of digital media, with the remaining three involving sharing work via optical media, presentations and the internet. NQF Level 1: Is currently in development. NQF Level 2: Currently available as both a 4 unit and an 8 unit certificate. From Key Stage 3 onwards. The 4 unit Digital Creator Award is eligible for funding in England and Wales and has the Learning Aim reference number: The 8 unit Digital Creator Award is also eligible for funding in England and Wales and has the Learning Aim reference number: A mixture of class study and projects carried out by the candidates using a variety of digital media. 12 hours per unit (48 hours for 4 units or 96 hours for 8 units). 23 school performance points for 4 unit certificate. 46 school performance points for 8 unit certificate. 06

7 T: +44 (0) E: The standard for candidates who desire to improve on their IT skills. ECDL improves candidate s understanding of computers and helps to develop the efficient use of computers. The course opens up a variety of opportunities through the broad range of skills it provides. The qualification is widely recognised by employers as a proof of ability and competence when working with computers. ECDL offers 7 topic areas, with units that include: Basic concepts of IT Databases Information and Communication Presentations Spreadsheets Using the computer and managing files Word Processing NQF Level 1 (ECDL units 1, 2 and 7). NQF Level 2 (ECDL units 3, 4, 5, 6 and Unit E). ECDL is on the SCQF at Level 5. Anyone who uses a computer and/or requires an internationally recognised computer qualification to include on their CV. BCS IT User Level 1 and Level 2 (which include the ECDL Qualification) are eligible for funding. BCS IT User Level 1 has the following Learning Aim reference number: X. BCS IT User Level 2 has the following Learning Aim reference number: Self-study or within a teaching environment. Learning materials available in the format of books, CD-ROMs, direct from a centre or any good bookshop. BCS IT User Level 1, 40 hours, 6.3 school performance points. BCS IT User Level 2, 90 hours, 46 school performance points. COMING SOON A more flexible ECDL with syllabus version 5. For more information please visit: Presentation Word Processing Database Spreadsheets Information and Communication Basic Concepts of IT Using the Computer and Managing Files Using the Computer and Managing Files 07

8 T: +44 (0) E: An opportunity for candidates to enhance their IT skills and to become experts. The ECDL Advanced qualification gives candidates the opportunity to take their IT skills to the next level. This course will allow candidates to experience the following four valuable modules at an advanced level: Word Processing Spreadsheets Databases Presentations To add to candidates achievements, ECDL Expert certification can be claimed when all four modules are completed. The ECDL Advanced qualification is a rewarding way for candidates to progress and reach their career aspirations. NQF Level 3. ECDL Advanced is on the SCQF at Level 7. Anyone with a good understanding of how to use a computer and wants to progress their skills to a higher level. Funding is available for the BCS Level 3 Certificate in using ICT. This comprises any 3 of the 4 Advanced units plus Unit E from the BCS Level 2 qualification. The Learning Aim reference number for this qualification is: Self-study or within a teaching environment. Learning materials available in the format of books, CD-ROMs, direct from a centre or any good bookshop. 40 hours for each Advanced module, plus 20 hours for BCS Unit E. 08

9 T: +44 (0) E: Students and professionals seeking to certify their current 2D computer-aided design skills. ECDL CAD provides candidates with core skills in 2D Computer Aided Design. ECDL CAD is an internationally recognised qualification to certify CAD skills. ECDL CAD certifies that candidates have the skills and knowledge to use standard software and features of most CAD applications. Level 2 equivalent. Aimed at engineering, architectural students or individuals requiring a general understanding of Computer Aided Design. ECDL CAD is not currently on the regulatory qualification frameworks. Funding may be available via local funding organisations. At home or within a teaching environment. Learning materials are available in the format of books from a centre. AutoCAD software is strongly recommended. 50 hours. 9

10 T: +44 (0) E: Candidates who require a level of financial understanding in managing money and planning for a more secure financial future. Personal Finance has been created to teach candidates how to manage their money for now and the future. Candidates can identify existing debts such as credit cards, loans and mortgages to help prioritise their payments and avoid unnecessary charges. It also shows candidates how to effectively plan for the future with a better understanding of pensions and investment opportunities. The flexibility of the unit selection allows the course to be tailored to suit personal requirements. Personal Finance provides 2 levels of qualification: Level 1 includes 3 mandatory units. Level 2 offers 3 options: The Award (including 4 mandatory units) The Certificate (including 4 mandatory + 2 optional units) The Diploma (including 4 mandatory + 4 optional units) NQF Level 1 and Level 2. Anyone aged 14 or over. A very useful and insightful course for both teenagers and adults. All levels may qualify for funding. Level 1 - Learning Aim reference: (6.3 school performance points). Level 2 Award Learning Aim reference: (23 school performance points). Level 2 Certificate Learning Aim reference: x (46 school performance points). Level 2 Diploma Learning Aim reference: (46 school performance points). Mainly within a teaching environment, home study can be achieved using the syllabus, the teachers manual and a variety of downloadable materials. Level 1 3 units totalling 30 learning hours. Level 2 Award 4 units totalling 70 learning hours. Level 2 Certificate 6 units totalling 90 learning hours. Level 2 Diploma 8 units totalling 110 learning hours. 10

11 T: +44 (0) E: A progression route for candidates to develop or enhance their previously acquired IT skills. BCS ITQ is a flexible qualification which enables candidates to enhance and build on their previously acquired IT skills. ITQ provides candidates with a broad range of IT skills for the workplace, all with a life long record of achievement. The choice of units for ITQ is extensive and includes: Artwork and imaging software Internets and intranets IT maintenance for users Presentation software Specialist or bespoke software Spreadsheet software Website software Word Processing Candidates are able to tailor their unit choices to suit personal or employer s needs. NQF Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3. Anyone who uses a computer. ITQ is accredited by the Regulatory Authorities and is therefore eligible for funding. Levels have the following Learning Aim reference numbers: Level 1: (140 school performance points). Level 2: (245 school performance points). Level 3: (480 school performance points). At home, work or within a teaching environment. This will depend on the method of assessment and the units undertaken. COMING SOON ITQ with ECDL syllabus version 5 will map to the QCF and will have reduced administration. For more information please visit: 11

12 ProfessionalExaminations T: +44 (0) E: The BCS Professional Examinations are a degree equivalent qualification for any individual looking to develop or advance their career in IT. There is the opportunity to take three levels of examination which cover a wide range of IT topics acknowledging practical experience and academic ability. The three levels of examination: Certificate in IT: This is the foundation level of BCS Professional Examinations and is the academic equivalent to Year 1 of a UK university honours degree. It is recognised by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) as NQF Level 4. BCS recommends a minimum of 200 hours study per module. Diploma in IT: The Diploma in IT level (incorporating Diploma project) of BCS Professional Examinations is the academic equivalent to Year 2 of a UK university honours degree and is recognised by the QCA as Level 5. BCS recommends a minimum of 225 hours study per module. For candidates to qualify for the NQF Level 5, a professional project must be completed with a recommended minimum study time of 200 hours. If advancing to the Professional Graduate Diploma in IT level, candidates are not required to complete a Professional Project at this level. Professional Graduate Diploma (PGD) in IT: This qualification incorporates a PGD project and is the academic equivalent to a UK university honours degree and is recognised by the QCA as NQF Level 6. BCS recommends a minimum of 250 hours of study per module. In order to finish the PGD in IT level, candidates must complete a project with a recommended minimum study time of 300 hours. For candidates to qualify for the NQF Level 6, a professional project must be completed with a recommended minimum study time of 300 hours. Successful completion of the highest level of BCS Professional Examinations gives you a route to postgraduate study at a number of UK Universities. Examination sittings are held twice a year in October and April. This applies to all modules, unless otherwise stated. 12

13 T: +44 (0) E: For IT professionals at all levels ISEB qualifications come in Foundation, Practitioner and Higher level to suit each individual candidate. ISEB qualifications allow candidates to learn new skills in specific business and IT areas which measure competence, ability and performance. This helps to promote career development and provide a competitive edge for employees. ISEB offers IT professionals a variety of internationally recognised qualifications, with 8 major subject areas in: Business Analysis A range of qualifications at all ISEB levels covering the subject of business analysis, change management and consultancy. The qualifications can allow IT professionals to gain an understanding of the business context for IT, by studying one of the individual certificate modules or the Foundation qualifications. The Business Systems Development (BSD) qualification scheme provides a range of qualifications in two subject areas: Business Analysis and Systems Development. For more information please visit: Project Management This subject area provides a range of qualifications at various ISEB levels covering the subjects of Project Management and Project Support Office. ISEB qualifications in this area provide techniques to support best practice taking into account the particular needs of IS. The foundation level qualification covers the area of Project Management, Programme Management, Risk and Project Support. Some of the features offered by the ISEB qualifications in this area are below: The only Project Management qualifications dedicated to IS and for those working in or managing Project Support Offices. Qualifications for new entrants, experienced employees and short courses embedded into post graduate courses. The Project Management qualifications are complementary to PRINCE2 specific qualifications as well as accounting for other approaches. ISEB Professional Award Is an award that recognises individuals who have achieved qualifications outside their specialism in addition to those within their own specialism. For more information please visit: 13

14 T: +44 (0) E: Law ISEB qualifications in this area are aimed both at IT legal practitioners and those who require a general understanding to support them in their core discipline. The legal aspects of IT and IS are becoming increasingly more important to all organisations. This is therefore a subject area that candidates can get a more in depth understanding to aid them with important legal IT requirements. This ever expanding range of qualifications is unique to the IT industry and has been implemented by organisations such as the MOD, NHS and HMRC. Information and Security ISEB qualifications in this area cover a range of aspects of Information Security with a particular emphasis on managing risk. Information Security affects the whole of an organisation and its ability to function effectively. A qualification in this area of IT can be very beneficial in today s security conscious world. ISEB qualifications are internationally recognised and have been developed in line with widely accepted and proven best practices. They are aligned to the ISO/IEC series standards. The ISEB Information Security qualifications cover the whole range of skills necessary for an organisation to implement information security effectively. The security principles course covers confidentiality, integrity and availability providing a grounding in information security management. ITIL / IT Service Management ITIL (IT Infrastructure Library) is a framework of best practice approaches intended to facilitate the delivery of high quality information technology (IT) services. It has been practised successfully around the world for more than 20 years and ISEB has been at the forefront of its growth delivering over 200,000 certifications around the world since Although we do not offer ITIL training, our network of global training providers offer the highest quality training available in the market. ISEB offer a full portfolio of ITIL V3, ITIL V2 and other service management qualifications. ACCREDITED BY 14

15 T: +44 (0) E: IT Assets and Infrastructure ISEB qualifications in this area consider the relationship between the acquisition and management of IT assets and their use via IT services to the business. Practitioner qualifications cover the full range of IT assets including data, software, applications, IT infrastructure and the competencies of staff needed to use these. The Foundation certificate considers the acquisition and management of a range of IT assets including Applications, Data, Infrastructure and Software. The ISEB approach pays particular attention to the relationship between this area and that of IT Service Management. Systems Development This subject area includes analysis, modelling, design, implementation and architecture, in addition to areas such as configuration and release management. Some features of ISEB Systems Development qualifications are: Modular approach to certification Full Diploma for specialists Incorporates Agile, object-oriented (UML) and structured approaches Links to Business Analysis, Software Testing and Service Management Examination approach designed for flexibility Based on vendor independent best practice The Business Systems Development (BSD) qualification scheme provides a range of qualifications in two subject areas: Business Analysis and Systems Development. For more information please visit: Software Testing Software Testing is available at the ISEB levels of Foundation, Intermediate and Practitioner covering the subjects of testing at each stage of the lifecycle ensuring improved quality of deliverables. ISEB qualifications in this area provide an insight in to the different types of testing and the techniques and tools which can be used to carry out and manage this testing. The ISEB Software Testing qualifications offer an international benchmark of skills and experience for Software Testers. The exams offer a stepping stone from foundation through intermediate and onto practitioner. This assists testers with their career development every step of the way. The Foundation Software Testing Certificate is awarded as a dual certificate with ISTQB. 15

16 This booklet can be ordered in large print, audio and Braille. For further details, please contact: BCS FIRST FLOOR, BLOCK D, NORTH STAR HOUSE, NORTH STAR AVENUE, SWINDON WILTSHIRE SN2 1FA Tel: +44 (0) Fax: +44 (0) Website: BCS (The British Computer Society) is the industry body for IT Professionals and a Chartered Engineering Institution for Information Technology (IT). Registered Charity Number MTG/PROM/492/1208

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