The Canadian Information Processing Society
(CIPS) announced today the revamping of a professional designation for
Information Technology (IT) workers. The Information Systems Professional
(I.S.P.) of Canada designation is being strengthened and is now available to
academics, IT leaders and experienced IT professionals, three groups of IT
workers that were not eligible for the designation previously.

“The need for an IT designation that acknowledges senior executives and
educators as well as the broad range of IT experts in our profession is vital
in meeting today’s technology demands. Considering the potential technology
mishaps that can occur and may even endanger lives, these IT leaders need to
take a leadership role in ensuring that those they direct and mentor act
ethically and have the necessary education and experience to practise…and
that they themselves are continuously keeping their IT knowledge current,”
said CIPS President Dennis Hulme I.S.P.

CIPS will officially launch the new I.S.P. designation program during
I.S.P. Week in October 2006. While CIPS puts the finishing touches on the
program, the association is starting a campaign to educate the industry about
the benefits of the improved designation, starting today at the INFORMATICS IT
conference which runs from May 28 to May 30 at the Victoria Conference Centre.

Other key improvements to strengthen the I.S.P. designation include the
creation of a Body of Knowledge and the revision of the Code of Ethics:

– The CIPS Body of Knowledge is a tool to help employers to accurately
assess the technical skills of IT workers. This will help companies to
plan work assignments and help select the most appropriate employees
for their needs.

– The CIPS Code of Ethics is a newly revised guide to professional
conduct for today’s standards. The Code is designed to help guide IT
workers in maintaining the highest level of ethical conduct, standards
of practice and integrity with respect to their IT activities.

“I believe the new and improved I.S.P. designation, the Body of Knowledge
and Code of Ethics, will help address current compliance laws, encourage
ethical behaviour, help mitigate technology risk, and ensure that best
security practices are followed,” said Kerry Augustine I.S.P., a Director at
Great West Life in Winnipeg.

Under the enhanced I.S.P. designation, there will be three new
qualifications for IT workers:

– New Qualification No. 1: Established Academics – This qualification is
aimed at educators in Canadian universities or equivalent.

– New Qualification No. 2: IT Leaders – This qualification is directed
to senior IT leaders who are responsible for IT strategies, resources,
and operations at their organization.

– New Qualification No. 3: Established IT Professionals – This
qualification is aimed at established IT professionals who possess
professional IT experience but may not hold a traditional IT degree.

The new I.S.P. designation qualifications still maintain the high
standards of the designation.
“We strongly urge chief technology and information officers to become
I.S.P. holders under the new qualification No. 2: IT leaders. They need to
lead by example. The designation is a way for them to demonstrate to their
customers, clients and the public that their IT departments meet the highest
of standards,” added Hulme.
The I.S.P. is the only designation for IT professionals recognized by law
in Canada. It was introduced in 1989 by CIPS, Canada’s association of IT
professionals and is legislated as a self regulating designation in six
provinces: British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Nova Scotia and
New Brunswick. Other provinces are working towards similar legislation through
their provincial government. Holders of the I.S.P. designation possess the
education and experience to practice in the field of IT. Holders also abide by
a Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice and are required to keep their
professional knowledge current.