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British Computer Society Professional Issues Les NealWolverhampton Jan 2003.

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Presentation on theme: "British Computer Society Professional Issues Les NealWolverhampton Jan 2003."— Presentation transcript:

1 British Computer Society Professional Issues Les NealWolverhampton Jan 2003

2 The Charter The British Computer Society, under its Royal Charter, is required to establish and maintain standards of professional competence, conduct and ethical practice for information systems practitioners. This duty includes the responsibility to develop and maintain standards for the educational foundation appropriate to people wishing to follow a career in information systems.

3 BCS Code of Conduct In your professional role you shall have regard for the public health, safety and environment. This is a general responsibility, which may be governed by legislation, convention or protocol.

4 You shall ensure that within your professional field/s you have knowledge and understanding of relevant legislation, regulations and standards, and that you comply with such requirements. Examples, include the UK Public Disclosure Act, Data Protection or Privacy legislation, Computer Misuse law, legislation concerned with the export or import of technology, or law relating to intellectual property. You should be aware of, and understand, any relevant supranational legislation such as EU law and regulation.

5 You shall conduct your professional activities without discrimination against clients or colleagues Grounds of discrimination include race, colour, ethnic origin, sexual orientation. You should adhere to relevant law within the jurisdiction where you are working and, if appropriate, the European Convention on Human Rights. You are encouraged to promote equal access to the benefits of IS by all groups in society.

6 QAA subject benchmark Computing-related cognitive abilities Professional considerations: recognise the professional, moral and ethical issues involved in the exploitation of computer technology and be guided by the adoption of appropriate professional, ethical and legal practices.

7 Computing-related practical abilities The ability to recognise any risks or safety aspects that may be involved in the operation of computing equipment within a given context.

8 Benchmarking standards 5.1 Threshold identify appropriate practices within a professional and ethical framework and understand the need for continuing professional development; 5.2 Modal apply appropriate practices within a professional and ethical framework and identify mechanisms for continuing professional development and life long learning;

9 Body of knowledge Professionalism Ethics: consideration of the individual, organisational and societal context in which computing systems are planned, developed and used; deployment of technical knowledge and skills with a concern for the public good. Law: awareness of relevant law and processes of law e.g. data protection, computer misuse, copyright, intellectual property rights, basic company and contract law.

10 Systems: development and operational costs; safety/mission criticality; consequences and liability issues of failure; risk analysis; security; recovery. Professional Bodies: structure, function, restriction of title, licence to practice, codes of ethics/conduct/practice.

11 BCS examinations The Society initially established the BCS Examination to provide an educational foundation for people wishing to undertake a career in computing or information systems and become members of the professional body. As the number and range of programmes increased, a system of exemptions for appropriate courses was put in place to provide alternative routes to membership.

12 Engineering Council The Society became a Nominated Body of the Engineering Council in 1990 and this system was extended to include accreditation at Chartered Engineer or Incorporated Engineer level. All exempt and accredited courses are expected to prepare students to become Corporate Members of the Society. In addition, accredited courses are expected to prepare students to become Chartered or Incorporated Engineers (CEng/IEng).

13 The Society believes that preparation for a role as an information systems practitioner requires not only sound theoretical understanding and practical experience, but also full appreciation of the wider issues of ethical standards, legislative compliance and the social and economic implications of information systems practice. Therefore, in considering courses for exemption or accreditation, the Society looks for course content which specifically aims to give students an understanding of the professional issues relevant to their future working lives, as well as a sound academic grounding in the discipline.

14 SARTOR requirements The current benchmark for CEng is an MEng degree – a four year undergraduate programme that is broader than an honours degree programme, providing some multi-disciplinary education whilst retaining depth in traditional subject areas in order to provide an educational foundation for leadership. (The degree must include) social and business awareness and a wider appreciation of risk, environmental, health and safety, and political issues.

15 BCSLegal, Social, Ethical and Professional Issues All courses must cover the legal obligations and regulations relating to the information systems professional, social and ethical implications of information systems development and the importance of professional bodies, including the role of codes of conduct and practice.

16 Students should understand the implications of the relevant statute laws which impact on the work of the information systems professional. It should be noted that as new laws are introduced at national and European level and acts are updated, such changes should be reflected in the curriculum.

17 Examples of such laws are given below: Copyright and Patent Trade Secrets and Registered Design Computer Generated Evidence Data Protection Computer Misuse Data Transmission and Security Obscene Publications Health and Safety

18 The course should give students an awareness of external factors which may affect the work of the computer professional. These may vary according to the orientation of the course and the likely destination of students, but examples could include: acceptance of responsibility for work which affects the public well-being computer security principles of management industrial relations risk health and safety

19 Assessment Students should not perceive legal, social and professional issues as peripheral to, or less significant than, technical skills detailed in the syllabus. Topics which are not examined may be seen by students as unnecessary. The Society considers that adequate coverage of legal, social and professional issues is important in the assessment and examination of exempt or accredited courses and accepts that the requirements may be met in many ways.

20 Integration of material Awareness of professional standards, codes of conduct and relevant legislation must not be separated from the practice of designing and implementing systems. Whilst it is appropriate for some of these issues to be addressed in separate modules, it is essential that these topics are integrated into the course. Legal, social and professional issues should pervade the course. They must be addressed in core areas of the course rather than in options.

21 Specification The relevant legal, social and professional issues should be specifically detailed in the syllabus, mentioned in directions to students on practical assignments and sandwich placements, and not left to the discretion of individual teachers.

22 Issues 1.What is an appropriate professional and ethical framework as stated in the benchmark? 2.Acting ethically/professionally as a student plagiarism contribution to group activities 3.Acting ethically/professionally as lecturers professional response to students widening scope of BCS membership

23 Issues 4.What content is it essential to include in every course? ethics, law professional issues as defined by the BCS? professionalism as defined by the QAA? 5.Should discriminatory issues be built into courses? 6.and if so how?

24 Issues 7.What learning experiences should we design for the students so that these areas of the curriculum are fully covered? lectures - seminar work (presentations) - group activity through scenarios 8.In what framework should be the learning be set? separate modules - fully integrated - mixture 9.How can all staff in a Department be encouraged to take this area of the curriculum seriously?

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