IITPSA - ramping up professionalism in ICT in SA
The IITPSA (Institute of IT Professionals SA) has, over the past 18 months, been on a transformation process aimed at "upping the ante" of professionalism in IT in South Africa. To date, the IITPSA's "three big things" are:
1. Renaming and re-branding from CSSA (Computer Society of SA) to IITPSA;
2. Gaining recognition as the professional body for IT in South Africa by SAQA, and registering the professional designation PMIITPSA, on SAQA; and
3. Starting the process towards IP3 accreditation - the international standard for professionalism in IT.
These "three big things" have launched IITPSA on an irreversible path along the Professional Maturity Model, first derived by Paul Matthews - IITPNZ Chief Executive, from the Carnegie Mellon University Capability Maturity Model.
Professional Maturity Model
The suggested Professional Maturity Model is based on the CMMI Capability Maturity Model which defines five levels. For professional maturity, these are defined as:
Where are we now?
In terms of this Maturity Model, the old CSSA was clearly at level one.
The registration of the PMIITPSA professional designation is designed to get the ICT profession in South Africa, and, through IP3 registration, around the world, to the second level of the maturity model, and from there, on the way up through the other levels.
At this level, IITPSA, as an independent body, has a uniform method of assessing the education, experience and ethical competencies of candidates. Employers of PMIITPSA professionals can be confident of a defined minimum capability.
But IITPSA is not stopping there. There are a number of projects under way to start the move up the Maturity Model.
The SACAB project seeks to establish a single body, under the auspices of IITPSA, for the accreditation of university-level ICT qualifications. A number of the top universities in South Africa are participating in the project with a pilot implementation being planned to establish and test processes and outcomes.
IT Career Development Framework
IITPSA is in the process of licensing the IT Career Development Framework to drive workplace development and recognition of this development. The South African ICT industry has been experiencing skills shortages for a number of years. There are no specific skills relating to this shortage, except that the scarce skills are generally in the high-level experience range of ICT jobs. Comparing the skills shortage at the higher levels with the current oversupply of ICT skills at the entry level, the IT Career Development Framework is intended to bridge this gap and create career paths for the development, and, where necessary, the fast-tracking of ICT employees through the organisation.
IITPSA is investigating the possibility of becoming a statutory body. Over the past years there have been a number of very public ICT system failures that have brought the industry as a whole into disrepute. IITPSA believes there are key sets of roles and responsibilities in ICT that need to be held wholly and exclusively within the profession. That is, they should be carried out only by persons with the requisite training, standards, and disciplines for the protection of the public.
Invitation to ICT stakeholders
IITPSA would like to invite interested stakeholders, particularly employers of ICT people, to engage on the route to professionalism of ICT in South Africa and participate in these important projects. The benefits to employer organisations include:
* Attraction of high-calibre staff and reduction of staff turnover;
* Focused and cost-effective training;
* Better-informed analysis of IT training needs;
* Improved forward planning and staff development;
* A ready-made career development structure; and
* Assisting in fulfilling the requirements for ISO 9000 and other quality standards.
To find out how you can engage, please contact us - see the contact details below.