IT governance accreditation in 2007

Governance skills will pay the bills

The IT Governance Institute (ITGI) in conjunction with ISACA (Information Systems Audit and Control Association) is developing an IT governance accreditation framework to be released late next year.

ISACA, a global body encompassing some 50,000 IT professionals worldwide, administers globally recognized accreditation for the CISA (Certified Information Systems Auditor) and CISM (Certified Information Security Manager) certification through online testing.

The IT Governance Institute developed the COBIT framework. The IT Governance Institute was established by ISACA to aid in IT supporting business missions and goals and push the use of standards in enterprise technology.

The eventual accreditation will be offered at two levels, an IT governance practitioner certification and an IT governance manager certification

Both of the accreditations will be based on the existing COBIT foundation certificate currently available but oriented towards aligning IT with the business framework. The IT governance manager certification will be geared around people at the chief information officer (CIO) level or those with aspirations of moving into such a role.

Howard Nicholson, vice president of ISACA, said the organization is moving towards developing the pool of questions to test knowledge by the first half of 2007 and may even use the same framework for testing and accrediting both CISAs and CISMs .

Nicholson said ISACA is conscious such an accreditation program needs to hit the market as soon as possible, adding they set the 18-month timetable for release in September 2006 due to the new breed of information technology workers and CIOs not having come from an IT background.

"ISACA facilitates the systems auditor and security manager qualifications which are accepted worldwide as the certification for people in IT assurance, but we have found a lot of members have not come through the traditional IT audit stream and are neither security professionals in terms of managers but responsible for IT governance and these people are charged by organizations to look at where the company sits in terms of governance," Nicholson said.

"Basically it will cover all basic questions a governance framework would look to answer as people need to understand in a wider context of the enterprise that IT governance has a critical role to play and this accreditation would not only give some assistance in governance frameworks but recognition for new skills and experiences.

"We have charged a taskforce with looking at possible credential frameworks and we had a face-to-face meeting in October regarding the need for businesses to try and distil what exactly is needed and how to address that need. Whilst we think COBIT will provide the basis for this we realize the problem is larger than COBIT, but we believe at the strategy level, COBIT is excellent for managing IT."

At this stage the courses may run over four non-consecutive days. ISACA currently has a taskforce looking into developing the framework.

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