IITPSA marks diamond anniversary with new initiatives, gala awards
SA's IT industry professional body has stepped up its membership, accreditations, skills development programmes and ambitions.
The Institute of Information Technology Professionals South Africa (IITPSA) this year marks 60 years since its founding as the Computer Society of South Africa, and the professional body has never been stronger. Now with over 8 000 members, SAQA and international IP3 accreditation, as well as a range of well-established industry initiatives to its credit, the IITPSA is entering its 61st year with several new highlights and programmes planned.
IITPSA President Ulandi Exner says a key highlight for the Institute's 60th anniversary celebrations will be the IITPSA Annual President's Awards; this year to be staged as a diamond-themed gala banquet. In recent years, the awards ceremony has been a breakfast event, but the diamond awards in November promise to be a truly celebratory, 'glitzy' dinner affair, says Exner.
But the awards are just one of several new highlights as the IITPSA enters a new era of ICT, she says.
"During the past few years, we have significantly strengthened our membership and financial position, as well as achieving SAQA and international IP3 accreditation, one of the benefits of which is we are now able to carry out critical skills assessments for visa applicants."
A major milestone for IITPSA was the awarding of a comprehensive new bursary for IT students. "With skills development and encouraging more women to enter the IT field as key focus areas for the Institute, we achieved a real milestone this year when we awarded our first bursary to a young woman studying ICT at Wits University. This bursary covers absolutely everything from tuition and accommodation to a laptop. Going forward, we will continue to award a bursary each year to a deserving first year student," Exner says.
IITPSA also awards a Women in IT bursary to third year students, and has stepped up its efforts to raise awareness of IT careers at schools and tertiary institutions. The Institute has also become more active in its computer programming scholarships, in addition to sponsoring the Applications Olympiad for the past two years. The IITPSA Foundation, a new CSI investment arm for promoting and sponsoring skills development initiatives, is also set to become a great deal more active in the year to come, she says.
"But of course, our raison d'^etre is to ensure the professionalism of the ICT sector and its practitioners, and in this regard, we are involved anywhere and everywhere," says Exner.
"The Institute is a member of the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS), International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP), International Professional Practice Partnership (IP3), National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) and is recognised by SAQA, the MICT SETA and SACNASP, and has agreements and MOUs with the American Association of Computing Machinery (ACM), the Australian Computer Society (ACS), the British Computer Society (BCS), ISACA SA Chapter, the SACF, SABPP, SAIEE, and (ISC)2 - Gauteng Chapter, among many others. Membership of IITPSA gives professionals access to international IT professionals' communities and offers credibility to both IT professionals and the companies they work for. IITPSA membership gives the assurance that the practitioner subscribes to our stringent codes of conduct and ethics, which is why we are seeing an increase in the number of enterprises seeking membership for their employees."
The upcoming IT Personality of the Year Award 2017 recognises a person who has made an outstanding impact on the SA ICT industry over the past year and a significant contribution to the IT profession. The Visionary CIO of the Year Award recognises an executive in the corporate IT environment who has demonstrated visionary leadership in applying technology to grow and transform business. The Distinguished Service in ICT Award recognises a significant, career length contribution to the ICT profession or the ICT industry, and the Fellowship of the Institute Award is given in recognition of an individual who has made an extraordinary contribution to the institute or the profession as a whole. Nominations can be submitted here by 20 August 2017.
Companies interested in sponsoring these prestigious awards can e-mail: email@example.com