digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:


Applied sciences






















British Computer Society
Founded 1957
Type Professional Organisation
Focus Information Technology
Origins London Computer Group, The British Computer Society
Area served
UK and worldwide
Method Chartered status, Industry standards, Conferences, Publications and regulation of ICT education
Key people
HRH The Duke of Kent, KG (Patron)
Slogan Enabling the information society
Website www.bcs.org

The British Computer Society is a professional body and a learned society that represents those working in Information Technology both in the United Kingdom and internationally. Established in 1957, in 2009 it rebranded as BCS — The Chartered Institute for IT, although this has not been reflected in a legal name change.[1]


With a worldwide membership of over 82,000 members in over 100 countries, BCS is a registered charity and was incorporated by Royal Charter in 1984. Its objectives are to promote the study and application of communications technology and computing technology and to advance knowledge of education in ICT for the benefit of professional practitioners and the general public.

BCS is a member institution of Engineering Council UK, and therefore is responsible for regulation of ICT and computer science fields within the UK. The BCS is also a member of the Council of European Professional Informatics Societies (CEPIS) and the Seoul Accord for international tertiary degree recognition. BCS is also a member organisation of the Science Council through which it is licensed to award the designation of Chartered Scientist.

BCS has offices off the Strand in Southampton Street, south of Covent Garden in central London. The main administrative offices are in Swindon, Wiltshire, west of London. It also has an office in Sri Lanka.

Members are sent the quarterly IT professional magazine ITNOW (formerly The Computer Bulletin).

BCS is a member organization of the Federation of Enterprise Architecture Professional Organizations (FEAPO), a worldwide association of professional organizations which have come together to provide a forum to standardize, professionalize, and otherwise advance the discipline of Enterprise Architecture.


The Coat of Arms of the British Computer Society.
The former logo of The British Computer Society.

The forerunner of BCS was the "London Computer Group" (LCG), founded in 1956. BCS was formed a year later from the merger of the LCG and an unincorporated association of scientists into an unincorporated club. In October 1957, BCS was incorporated, by Articles of Association, as "The British Computer Society Ltd": the first President of BCS was Sir Maurice Wilkes (1913–2010), FRS.

In 1966, the BCS was granted charitable status and in 1970, the BCS was given Armorial Bearings including the shield and crest. The major ethical responsibilities of BCS are emphasized by the leopard's face, surmounting the whole crest and depicting eternal vigilance over the integrity of the Society and its members.

The BCS patron is HRH The Duke of Kent, KG. He became patron in December 1976 and has been actively involved in BCS activities, particularly having been President in the Silver Jubilee Year in 1982–1983.

In 2007, BCS launched BCSrecruit.com — a job site specifically aimed at IT professionals.[2] In 2008 the BCS was labelled "irrelevant" by an IT training company, in connection with claims it made that nine out of ten IT professionals were "unaware" of the BCS's Chartered accreditation scheme.[3]

On 21 September 2009, the British Computer Society went through a transformation and re-branded itself as "BCS — The Chartered Institute for IT".[1] In 2010, an Extraordinary General Meeting was called to discuss the direction of the BCS.[4][5] The debate has been covered by the computing press.[6][7][8][9]


BCS is governed by a Trustee Board comprising the President, the Deputy President, the immediate past President, up to nine Vice Presidents (including Vice-President Finance), and five Professional Members elected by the advisory Council.[10]

The BCS advisory Council elects the Honorary Officers — the President, the Deputy President and up to nine Vice-Presidents, together with the immediate past President and five members of Council.[11] Lists of Trust Board and Advisory Council members are maintained online.[10]

The advisory Council provides advice to the Trustee Board on the direction and operation of BCS; in particular it is consulted on strategic plans and the annual budget. The Council is a representative body of the membership, with members elected directly by the professional membership, and by the Branches, Groups and Forums.[11]

Chartered IT Professional[edit]

The BCS is the only professional body in the United Kingdom with the ability to grant chartered status to IT professionals under its Royal Charter, granted to them by the Privy Council.[12] Thus having the ability to grant Chartered (Professional) status to both its Fellows and Professional members. Known as Chartered IT Professional, they are entitled to use the suffix CITP. The BCS keeps a register of current Chartered Members and Fellows.[13]


BCS has different grades of membership:

Honorary grades

Honorary Fellowship (Hon FBCS)[15] (Only 104 awarded to date)

Professional grades
  • Fellow (FBCS)
  • Member (MBCS)
Ordinary grades
  • Associate Member (AMBCS)
  • Student Member
Group, corporate and other membership categories
  • Affiliate: for those with an interest in IT but not yet employed in an IT role.
  • Group membership: nearly 200 organisations now encourage their IT professionals to join the Society through its Group Membership Scheme.[16]
  • Education affiliates: education intuitions can also be accredited by BCS.[17]
Other Chartered designations
Designatory (post-nominal) letters

Members are encouraged to display the designatory letters to which they are entitled whenever appropriate. The order of designatory (post-nominal) letters is complex and open to a certain amount of interpretation. The accepted authority on this subject is Debrett’s Correct Form. Normally these should appear after decorations, degrees and chartered letters. Members holding CEng should also display the designatory letters of the institution through which they are registered immediately after the CEng. Conventionally, members holding Chartered status (CITP) display this immediately after their membership letters (e.g., FBCS CITP or MBCS CITP). However, as CITP may now be awarded by other organisations it may also be displayed separately.

Some examples of BCS-related post-nominals:

  • Mr Frank James MBE, FBCS.
  • Mr Frank James MBE, MSc, CEng, MBCS, MIET.
  • Mr Frank James MBE, BSc (Hons), MBCS CITP.
  • Mr Frank James MBE, MSc, CSci, CITP, MIET.


BCS provides a range of qualifications both for users of computers and IT professionals.

BCS IT user qualifications[edit]

BCS offers qualifications that cover all areas of IT, including understanding Spreadsheets and Presentation Software, Animation, Video Editing and Social Networking safety.[18]

The current IT user qualifications are:

ECDL ft rgb2.jpg
European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL)

BCS is licensed to offer the ECDL qualification in the UK.

Advanced ECDL

The advanced course of ECDL ("Advanced ECDL") has four sections, each a qualification in its own right. Upon achieving all four advanced qualifications, the individual will receive a qualification as an "ECDL Expert" — in the UK, this confers upon the person Associate Membership of The British Computer Society, should that person wish to sign up to a code of conduct and join BCS.


e-type is a qualification that allows individuals to improve and certify their typing skills. The average user can save up to 21 days a year by improving their typing speed as well as preventing repetitive strain injury (RSI). e-type comes with full support materials and computer-based courseware before allowing the user to assess their skills using a simple online test.[19]

Digital Creator

Digital Creator is a set of engaging qualifications that teach digital media skills through creative projects. They are designed for all types and ages of learners - in schools from Key Stage 2 to Key Stage 4 and in all areas of adult learning.

ITQ - The Flexible IT qualification

The BCS ITQ is a range of IT user qualifications made up of a combination of units available on the ITQ framework.

The framework consists of a wide range of units covering all aspects of IT user application including word processing, spreadsheets, the internet, multimedia software and design software.

Retired qualifications

The e-Citizen qualification allows beginners to get online and start using the Internet. The qualification has been designed to provide a basic understanding of the Internet and to start using the web safely, from reading email to shopping online.[20]

BCS higher education qualifications[edit]

BCS conducts its own BCS Higher Education Qualifications in many countries. It was formerly known as BCS Professional Examinations which consisted of Parts 1 and 2 of which passing of Part 2 with the professional project was equivalent to a British honours degree. The level of current qualifications are:[citation needed]

Other certifications[edit]


BCS also offers professional qualifications via its Professional Certifications board, formerly known as ISEB (Information Systems Examination Board).

Professional Certifications (ISEB) provides a wide range of qualifications for IT professionals covering major areas including Management, Development, Service Delivery and Quality.[21]


In common with many professional institutions, BCS has a number of regional branches and specialist groups. Currently there are 45 regional branches in the UK, 16 international sections and 50 specialist groups.

Regional branches[edit]

International sections[edit]

Specialist Groups[edit]


In September 2010, BCS sponsored the one-off 'Digital Revolutions Film Workshop' for amateurs and professionals to "hone their skills", and in October 2010, in conjunction with Sheffield Doc/Fest, sponsored the 'Digital Revolutions Film Competition'.[22]

Their magazines include:

Their journals are mostly published by Oxford University Press and include:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Bailey, Dave (21 September 2009). "BCS becomes The Chartered Institute for IT". Computing (British Computer Society). Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  2. ^ "British Computer Society launches BCSrecruit.com jobs board". PublicTechnology.net. Retrieved 20 December 2013. 
  3. ^ Williams, Ian (28 March 2008). "BCS slammed as 'outdated' and 'irrelevant'". v3.co.uk. Retrieved 18 October 2012. 
  4. ^ "BCS Reform". British Computer Society. 2010. [dead link]
  5. ^ "BCS — Building for your Future". British Computer Society. 2010. [dead link]
  6. ^ Goodwin, Bill (14 April 2010). "The EGM debate: BCS v Len Keighley". Computer Weekly. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  7. ^ Cooter, Maxwell (4 June 2010). "BCS membership fights over direction". Network World. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  8. ^ Phipps, Simon (18 June 2010). "BCS EGM: It's Time To Vote For Transparency". Computerworld UK. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  9. ^ Oates, John (21 June 2010). "BCS trustee threatens rebels with libel action". The Register. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  10. ^ a b "Boards and Committees". British Computer Society. Retrieved 20 December 2013. 
  11. ^ a b "About BCS Council". British Computer Society. Retrieved 20 December 2013. 
  12. ^ "Chartered IT Professional (CITP)". British Computer Society. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  13. ^ Burgess, Fiona (18 May 2008). "Chartered IT Professional (CITP)". Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  14. ^ "BCS Distinguished Fellow awarded to Scott McNealy" (Press release). British Computer Society. 15 November 2007. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  15. ^ "Honorary Fellowship of BCS". http://www.bcs.org/category/6040. BCS. 
  16. ^ "Join the industry body for IT professionals". British Computer Society. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  17. ^ "Education Affiliates". British Computer Society. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  18. ^ IT User Qualifications: http://www.bcs.org/category/14405
  19. ^ "unknown". British Computer Society. [dead link]
  20. ^ "unknown". British Computer Society. [dead link]
  21. ^ "ISEB Qualifications". British Computer Society. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  22. ^ Waldram, Hannah (25 August 2010). "Film-makers workshop held in Cardiff". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 June 2012. 

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Computer_Society — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
174985 videos foundNext > 

About the BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT

The YPG is part of the BCS, who promotes wider social and economic progress through the advancement of information technology science and practice and serve ...

British Computer Society IT Awards - Connect

Connect Support Services was a finalist for it's Business Continuity Services.

Kyocera talks to the British Computer Society

Kyocera talks to the British Computer Society about the specific impacts of office printing and copying and Kyocera's unique design-led approach to the issue...

LLKD14 - Kanban: Choose Your Own Adventure - Chris Young

Synopsis: Kanban gives you the means to understand work systemically and take individual responsibility to act on it. Methods such as limiting WIP, minimisin...

My Associate Member of British Computer Society (AMBCS) Certificate

My Associate Member of the British Computer Society (AMBCS) Certificate was awarded to me in June 2011. I was previously an affiliate member of the British C...

British Computer Society ITQ

British Computer Society ITQ.

British Computer Society IT Industry Awards 2008

The BCS IT Industry Awards were held at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London on 4 December.

Michael Dell's Talk with the British Computer Society Elite

Michael Dell does a video interview about Dell's executive vision, and new business and technology trends and the global economy. http://content.dell.com/us/...

Mike Burrows - Kanban the Hard Way - LLKD13

Mike Burrows keynote presentation at the London Lean Kanban Day (LLKD13): Kanban, the Hard Way.

Presentation to Oxfordshire's British Computer Society

This is a (silent) video version of the slide deck I presented to the Oxfordshire branch of the British Computer Society in November 2010 on the state of UK ...

174985 videos foundNext > 

788 news items

BBC News

BBC News
Tue, 20 Jan 2015 19:52:00 -0800

Technology giants such as Google and O2 are to support a £3.6m drive to teach computing skills in primary schools in England, Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has announced. Experts from the firms will help with training and providing resources to ...

The Guardian

Telecompaper (subscription)
Thu, 22 Jan 2015 00:26:15 -0800

The latest funding includes over GBP 2 million for the British Computer Society to set up a network of 400 'master teachers' to train teachers in other schools and provide classroom resources. Another GBP 1.1 million will be provided for Computing at ...
Tue, 13 Jan 2015 13:01:55 -0800

Apart from a good number of scholarly publications to his credit, Eze is a member of many professional bodies such as British Computer Society, Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers, Nigeria Computer Society, etc. According to the MD/CEO, ...


Mon, 05 Jan 2015 10:48:55 -0800

"While there is no doubt that the CIO-CMO relationship is key to success in the digital age, the same applies to relationships across the C-suite," said Ian Cox, a London-based author who was a finalist for the British Computer Society's CIO of the ...
Tue, 06 Jan 2015 03:48:45 -0800

... you'll undertake up to four separate placements and gain experience in all five Royal Mail Technology Disciplines. Plus we'll support you in achieving qualifications in your chosen field, including the British Computer Society Professional ...
Colombo Page
Wed, 21 Jan 2015 00:15:00 -0800

He is a Fellow of the Chartered Management institute (FCMI) UK, and a Fellow of the British Computer Society (FBCS). He has over a decade of extensive senior level experience obtained in the United Kingdom and. Belgium. He returned to Sri Lanka in 1983 ...
Mon, 02 Jun 2014 03:30:00 -0700

At their highest level, they provide successful candidates with a route to postgraduate IT-related study at many UK universities. The modular course structure allows you to mix and match modules to suit your chosen career path, and with approved ...
Thu, 15 May 2014 02:22:30 -0700

BCS (British Computer Society) is now The Chartered Institute for IT, and the NZCS (New Zealand Computer Society) is now the Institute of IT Professionals New Zealand. It's all part of a move towards the international professionalism of the IT industry.

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!

Searchlight Group

Digplanet also receives support from Searchlight Group. Visit Searchlight