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British Computer Society - Extraordinary General Meeting 10 Explanatory Note

British Computer Society - Extraordinary General Meeting 10 Explanatory Note

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Published by James Barlow
British Computer Society - Extraordinary General Meeting 10 Explanatory Note
British Computer Society - Extraordinary General Meeting 10 Explanatory Note

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Published by: James Barlow on Jun 14, 2010
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BCS, The Chartered Institute for ITExtraordinary General Meeting of The British Computer SocietyRegistered Charity No. 292786Thursday 1 July 2010 at 13.00 hrs BSTEGM EXPLANATORY NOTE
Response from the Trustee BoardincludingFull text of the current wording of Bye-law 29 and the proposed amendment, together with anexplanation of the proposed amendmentandFull text of the written requisition signed by 52 Professional Members and received by the ChiefExecutive on 7 April 2010
 A marked-up copy of the Bye-laws showing the proposed amendment is available on the BCSwebsite at www.bcs.org/egm/byelaws
Response from the Trustee Board
You may well have seen media coverage regarding the EGM in Computer Weekly and socialmedia sites. Much of this has been inaccurate or misguided. BCS has felt that as a professionalinstitute it really cannot engage in media debates on topics that should be discussed within theBCS professional membership, and therefore has resisted the temptation to correct theinaccuracies. This is our considered and accurate response.BCS is a professional institute serving the IT, Computing and related professions. BCS operatesunder its Royal Charter, granted in 1984, and under the Charities Act 2006. Both of these legaldocuments make it very clear that the principal responsibilities of BCS must be for the publicbenefit and the public good.The responsibility of BCS Trustees is to make sure that BCS delivers on its charter and charityresponsibilities within UK law.There are a number of incorrect assertions and a number of genuine misunderstandings in thedocuments supporting the request for an EGM that show that the signatories are neither clear onthe role and legal status of BCS nor of the legal requirements of the BCS Trustees.It is clear that most BCS professional members and many IT professionals, who are not (yet) inBCS want the profession to be regarded as the equal of other professions such as medicine, law,engineering and accountancy. For over five years now, the BCS Trustees have been developinga number of programmes that enable BCS to deliver on its charter goals especially in this criticalarea of developing the IT profession. The transformation programme has been entirely aimed atfulfilling these goals and doing so in a relatively short timescale that meets the increasingly urgentneeds of the profession and its employers. Every activity the BCS Trustees and senior staff haveundertaken in the last five years has been in support of these objectives. The transformationprogramme is a series of additional investments in the last two years to enable a step change inBCS ability to deliver these goals.BCS has very successfully developed a number of areas that both support these objectives andprovide welcome additional funding to support other important work that BCS undertakes. Inrecent years, BCS has become one of the world’s leading examination and certification institutes,managing over 30,000 IT related examinations every month. Although BCS’ primary responsibilities cannot by law be
for the benefit of its members,BCS has always recognised that our members were a critical part in being able to deliver all of our goals and felt that BCS members would also recognise that there would be many benefits for members in being part of the professional institute. It is, though, important to understand thatBCS would never have been granted either a Royal Charter or charitable status if its primarygoals were restricted to benefits to its members rather than the public good. If BCS ceased towork principally for the public good, then one or other, or both of these, could be removed.BCS has evolved its own chartered standard, Chartered IT Professional ( CITP ), to give ITprofessionals the external verification and recognition of their high standards of competence andachievements to compare with other professions, and this has been updated and strengthenedthrough the transformation programme. Another very important part of being a professional institute is that all of our members, byhonouring the BCS Code of Conduct both in letter and in spirit, form the basis for building a realprofession.Looking at the present standing of the profession in the public eye, there is a huge amount to beachieved in developing the IT profession, integrating all levels of education, bringing academiaand industry closer together, changing the public perception of IT as a profession and a career,and much more.
BCS Trustees have developed their strategy over the last five years to try to improve all of these,and recently invested some of BCS’ hard earned reserves to give these programmes a muchneeded investment boost. Trustees believed that a step change was essential to achieving BCS’objectives in a way that was relevant to the 21st century. It is important to note that more thanhalf of the investments in the various transformation programme activities have been investmentsin directly improving the benefits and services to our members, and creating much greater capability for our members to participate in BCS in general and therefore help deliver our goalsmuch more effectively in future. This development work continues and nearly all of the remaininginvestment in the programme is in areas that will directly assist our members.Those BCS members who have called the EGM don’t feel that this is an appropriate strategy andargue that BCS should go back to the pre1984 model. Although not stated explicitly in the motions,this means that their strategy could result in having to give up both our Royal Charter status andour charitable status. This has in fact been stated as something that should be considered by atleast one of the signatories.BCS Trustees totally reject this regressive option, and ask BCS members to fully endorse their strategy and the investment needed to carry forward the changes in the transformation programmein a timely manner. The majority of BCS members, those involved in the study and practice of computing, IT professionals and employers have all asked us to make these changes which theybelieve are required for the modern world.The choice for BCS professional members with regards to these resolutions is very clear.
Tosupport the BCS Trustees and keep the momentum going to develop the IT profession and tohelp those who study and practise computing or stop all of this progress in its tracks and takeBCS back thirty years.
The Trustees totally reject the claims that they have not performed their duties to BCS to a veryhigh standard and request the professional membership of BCS to support their work, vision andstrategy. The Trustees urge the professional membership to show their support by rejecting(DISAGREE) resolutions 1, 2, 3 and supporting (AGREE) resolutions 4, 5, 6 and ‘special’ asfollows:
Resolution 4.That the BCS professional members endorse the strategy adopted by the Trustee Board ofdeveloping BCS into one of the world’s leading professional institutes for IT
 As part of this strategy, BCS Trustees developed a new vision, mission and five strategicobjectives. These are as follows:
Our Vision:
To be a world-class organisation for IT
Our Mission:
To enable the information society
To address the challenges of the 21st century the Institute has five strategic objectives:1.Bridging the gap between education practice and research2.Giving practitioners the professional development and career support they deserve3.Informing public policy on how IT can contribute to society4.Ensuring everyone benefits from IT5.Championing the global IT profession

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