Note: Succesful completion of the CIPS Ethics Exam is now required for applicants who have not graduated from a CIPS accredited program
Become a Certified IT Professional! CIPS Certification recognizes leaders within the IT Profession, both in Canada and abroad. Learn more about the I.S.P. and ITCP designations and see how they can add value to your professional career in IT!
Canada’s only legally recognized designation for IT professionals, I.S.P. status provides clients and employers with trusted assurance of an IT professional’s knowledge and technical background. I.S.P. standing has been granted in Canada since 1989, and is legislated as a self-regulating designation in six provinces*, with other provinces working toward similar legislation.
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Introduced in 2008, the ITCP (Information Technology Certified Professional) certification is intended for senior IT workers and academics who have demonstrated an ability to apply their organizational experience to tough problems and achieve ambitious goals. Accredited by the International Professional Practice Partnership (IP3, www.ipthree.org), ITCP certification is internationally recognized as a sign of professional excellence
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CIPS was formed in 1958. At the time, individuals who had an interest in IT could join CIPS as a Member. This type of general membership in CIPS is still available today and provides a number of benefits. Membership in CIPS is a requirement to hold CIPS' professional designations.
In the late 1980's, CIPS, along with many other global IT associations, recognized the need to establish a mature profession. The CIPS Certification Program was introduced in 1988 with the launch of the pre-professional Candidate Member and the professional Information Systems Professional (I.S.P.) designation.
As is common in most professions, there is a reasonably standard and generic route to the professional qualification and the Candidate Member is the first step en route to professional recognition. Candidate Members have completed a relevant education program, but have not yet accumulated the professional experience requirements. [more info]
The benchmark for the I.S.P. is a four-year bachelor degree in Computer Science plus two years of professional experience or equivalent. This benchmark is related to the CIPS Body of Knowledge (BOK) which defines the minimum acceptable professional level of knowledge and competence, incorporating both breadth and depth. Mastery of the BOK permits varying degrees of knowledge of and competency of the components of the BOK, provided overall mastery is maintained. This assumption is reflected in the various entry routes that are available to attain the I.S.P. status. [more info]
The IT industry as it is known today has been in existence for about 50 years. Over those 50 years the industry has changed along with the technology it produces. In the past, those employed in IT have been mainly involved in providing technical solutions and were not necessarily always seen as professionals such as those in existence in engineering or accounting. The reality today is IT does much more than just support business - IT powers business. The success of the IT industry is being measured by its impact on business. The profession has to move from its traditional role of technical solutions provider to become a full transformation partner with the business organization it serves.
Technical competencies, such as those captured in the I.S.P. remain important but the ability to exploit both Information and Technology to deliver business and public benefit, rather than technical excellence itself, will distinguish the most successful businesses and economies in the future.
In 2008, CIPS introduced the Information Technology Certified Professional (ITCP). The ITCP 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. The ITCP standard has been accredited by the International Professional Practice Partnership (IP3) and ITCP holders are internationally recognized under the IP3 umbrella. [more info]
The standard for the ITCP includes:
- Demonstrated breadth of IT knowledge; well developed and broad technical understanding of IT
- Demonstrated understanding of the strategic nature of IT and how it applies to the business model;
- Competence in one or more specialist areas of IT (technical or domain knowledge at SFIA Level 5 or equivalent or above)
- Capability to operate at the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA) Level 5 or equivalent or above).
Differences Between the CIPS Professional Certifications
*The I.S.P. is legislated as a self regulating designation in six provinces: British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Other provinces are working toward similar legislation through their provincial government. The I.S.P. designation is also recognized in the United Kingdom (by the British Computer Society), Australia (by the Australian Computer Society), New Zealand (by the New Zealand Computer Society), and in the USA, CIPS has a mutual recognition agreement with the ICCP (http://www.iccp.org/) to facilitate easier cross-border movement for professionals in IT.