The Australian Computer Society (ACS) has launched its Computer Professional program which will offer postgraduate students with 18 months ICT industry experience an accreditation similar to a Certified Practising Accountant (CPA).
The program, which received its first students on July 24 this year, is expected to produce graduates by early to mid 2008 and will hold intakes on July, November and March each year.
ACS CEO Dennis Furini said the program is unique to the ICT industry and will complement similar standards being introduced by the CIO Executive Council.
The Asia Pacific's top 20 CIOs will be awarded the title CPIO (Certified Practising Information Officer) at a CIO Executive Council awards dinner in November.
"The CIO Executive Council is an accreditation for CIOs, while the Computer Professional program is aimed at postgraduates with 18 months of industry experience behind them," Furini said.
"Both programs follow the same path as the CPA certification."
The ACS and the Professional Standards Council have been working together with Furini claiming accreditation will lower insurance premiums.
The program is offered online in a semester format through mandatory discussion forums and will offer three core subjects (business legal and ethical issues, technology trends and business strategy and IT) and one elective (project management or managing technology and operations).
Each semester will be about 13 weeks and will receive about 20 students to support relevant discussion.
ACS program registrar Pam Barnes said each subject in the not-for-profit program (formerly Cmax) will demand eight to 10 study hours each week and will have two assignments.
"While it is possible to complete the program rapidly, students will need to balance work and other commitments with study," Barnes said.
While non-ACS members can undertake single subjects within the program, certification will cost $625 per subject including textbook expenses for ACS members and $1250 for non ACS members.
Qualified graduates can use the titles Practising Computer Professional (PCP) for those undertaking annual 'professional development' and Certified Computer Professional (CCP) for graduates registered under the Professional Standards Scheme.