CIPS Connections – June 27th 2008

CIPS is pleased to announce that the association has taken a leadership role globally and is now offering a new, internationally-recognized professional Information Technology (IT) designation. The new CIPS professional designation will be called the Canadian IT Professional (pending final trademark approval). This new Canadian professional designation will allow CIPS members to qualify for the first-ever International Information Technology Professional (IITP) designation* to be launched world-wide in 2009, and thus enjoy international professional recognition.

About the new Canadian IT Professional designation

Holders of the new Canadian IT Professional designation will be recognized as IT leaders and professionals in the global community (in Canada and abroad) through their demonstrated excellence in organizational leadership, professional experience, senior-level activity and broad responsibility in their organizations.

The Canadian IT Professional designation is directed specifically to senior IT practitioners and academics who want to demonstrate to their employer, their clients, their students and their partners that in addition to their IT knowledge they understand how to effectively utilize and apply their organizational experience to achieving goals and expectations. This includes understanding of the CIPS Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice, governance issues, the environment within they operate, organizational culture and climate and how decisions are made within their organization. The reality today is that the success of the IT industry and profession is being measured by the impact on organizational outcomes. The Canadian IT Professional designation is a way to measure this success and to achieve international recognition.

Canadian IT Professional designation holders will have:

Demonstrated organizational leadership and professional experience that includes senior-level activities and broad responsibility;
Demonstrated understanding of how IT fits within the organization model;
Demonstrated competence in one or more specialist areas of IT; and
Demonstrated capability to operate at SFIA – Level 5** (or equivalent).
Canadian IT Professional designation holders will be seen as an essential foundation for driving their organization’s success through demonstration of their autonomy, influence, enterprise skills and ability to deal with complex issues.

As part of the new CIPS professional designation, CIPS has adopted the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA). CIPS is also updating the CIPS Body of Knowledge (BOK) to make it more appropriate for the new professional designation.

What is the difference between the Canadian IT Professional Designation and the Information System Professional Designation?

The Canadian IT Professional will not replace the current Information Systems Professional (I.S.P.) designation, and CIPS members may hold both designations. The Canadian IT Professional designation is directed specifically to senior IT practitioners who possess both organizational and IT knowledge and experience whereas the I.S.P. designation is focused on IT practitioners who possess specific IT knowledge and experience. IT knowledge and experience, such as those proven by I.S.P. designation holders, remain very important. But, the ability to exploit IT to also deliver organizational and public benefits will become increasingly important. There will be an increased need for IT practitioners to possess the following:

industry-validated competence in one or more specialist areas of IT;
a broad technical understanding of IT;
an understanding of how IT fits within the organizational model;
a grasp of how to effectively exploit IT to the benefit of their organization;
demonstrated ability to work at a senior level;
ability to communicate effectively at the senior level; and
demonstrated integrity and public obligation by belonging to a professional society.
The IT industry in Canada and around the world is constantly changing and evolving. The ability to exploit IT to deliver organizational and public benefits will create the most successful organizations and even national economies in the future.

Opportunity to Receive the New Canadian IT Professional Designation

There is a one-time limited opportunity for certified members (i.e. I.S.P. designation holders) to receive the Canadian IT Professional designation automatically through a “grandparenting” process that will commence late August 2008. Non-certified members who apply for the I.S.P. designation by August 1, 2008 will also have this opportunity. CIPS will contact all active I.S.P. designation holders prior to August 31, 2008 to provide information about the “grandparenting” process and to confirm the holder’s wish to receive the Canadian IT Professional designation. After August 31, 2008, IT practitioners who apply for the Canadian IT Professional designation follow the normal application process, and their application will be assessed by a CIPS council.

An administrative fee will apply to all Canadian IT Professional designation applications.

If you have any questions about the new Canadian IT Professional designation, feel free to email us at info@cips.ca. More information as well as brochures and applications on the new Canadian IT Professional designation will be available soon.

These are extraordinary times for Canada. CIPS hopes that you take advantage of the significant changes happening. We are excited about introducing the new Canadian IT Professional designation to the rest of the IT community in the coming months. The new designation gives us another option to demonstrate to companies, clients and partners that we value IT professionalism. CIPS, as our IT professional association, is giving us the opportunity to leverage our IT profession not just in Canada but also around the world.

*International Information Technology Professional (IITP) Designation –

The first-ever IITP designation will be offered by CIPS in partnership with the International Federation of Information Processing Society – IFIP (a United Nations/UNESCO consultative body), and its global association partners when the IITP designation is launched world-wide in 2009. (CIPS is Canada’s representative in IFIP.) The IITP designation will be offered to more than 30 million IT practitioners around the world.

** Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA) –

Level 5 : ensure, advise

Works under broad direction. Full accountability for own technical work or project/supervisory responsibilities. Receives assignments in the form of objectives. Establishes own milestones, team objectives and delegates assignments. Work is often self-initiated.

Influences organization, customers, suppliers and peers within industry on contribution of specialization. Significant responsibility for the work of others and for the allocation of resources. Decisions impact on success of assigned projects i.e. results, deadlines and budget. Develops business relationships with customers.

Challenging range – variety of complex technical or professional work activities. Work requires application of fundamental principles in a wide and often unpredictable range of contexts. Understands relationship between specialization and wider customer/organizational requirements.

Business Skills
Advises on the available standards, methods, tools and applications in own area of specialization and can make correct choices from alternatives. Can analyze, diagnose, design, plan, execute and evaluate work to time, cost and quality targets. Communicates effectively, formally and informally, with colleagues, subordinates and customers. Demonstrates leadership. Clear understanding of the relationship between own area of responsibility/specialization to the employing organization and takes customer requirements into account when making proposals. Takes initiative to keep skills up to date. Maintains awareness of developments in the industry. Can analyze user requirements and advise users on scope and options for operational improvement. Demonstrates creativity and innovation in applying IT solutions for the benefit of the user.