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CIPS publishes the Guide to the Common Body of Knowledge

Following the adoption of the CIPS Initial Body of Knowledge (iBOK) in 2005, CIPS embarked in 2010 on a project to define a more comprehensive document.  The reasons for updating the 2005 CBOK were that:

  • The ICT market had changed; and
  • The CBOK was viewed as not specifying any ICT knowledge as mandatory components.

Under the leadership of Dr. Tim Lethbridge, I.S.P., ITCP, the Common Body of Knowledge (CBOK) Committee was formed, with representation from across Canada and a variety of stakeholder group communities.  The aims of the CBOK Committee were to undertake a review that would:

  • Provide for a common understanding of the nature and boundaries of the ICT profession;
  • Establish a shared knowledge base from which a unified and consistent version of IT related terminology can be derived;
  • Provide a framework of ICT “building blocks” that indicates how the requisite skills/knowledge for an ICT professional can be shaped and developed through programs of study and personal development;
  • Present a framework which is accessible and useful to all stakeholders; and
  • Provide a means of strengthening and promoting the profession

Achieving consensus by the profession on a common body of knowledge is a key milestone in all disciplines and consultation on the draft Guide, which was completed in the spring of 2011, took place through an outreach campaign involving the broader ICT community.  The consultation involved over 175 IT practitioners from various ICT sectors.

The CBOK has now been finalized and applies to a wide variety of professionals, including IT managers, software developers, computer scientists, business analysts, and many others. It is divided into 8 knowledge areas, each with a list of topics and an expected knowledge level.

To ensure wide distribution, the CIPS Guide to the Common Body of Knowledge for Computing and IT (CBOK) is publicly available via the CIPS website at:

For more information on the CBOK project contact Gina van Dalen, CAE, Manager Professional Standards at




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