Jamaica's digital community has been bolstered by the forging of a new partnership between the Jamaica Technology and Digital Alliance (JTDA) and the London-based BCS, The Chartered Institute for Information Technology (IT).

Through this partnership, BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, which promotes wider social and economic progress through the advancement of information technology science and practice, would promote and advance the education and practice of IT in Jamaica. The partnership agreement provides JTDA members with global perspectives from their profession, as well as opportunities for continuous professional development.

In addition, Jamaican IT professionals will also have access to internationally recognised qualifications and professional registrations in IT. In fact, the partnership has a Caribbean spin-off, in that it will provide existing BCS members in the region with stronger links to their profession locally through networks, groups and events.

The partnership will also enable BCS' UK and international members to get a better understanding of the opportunities in the Caribbean's technology sector. Joining requires members to sign a code of conduct, which signals a commitment to professionalism and ethical behaviour to employers.

As such, JTDA members can build their profile through the addition of BCS post-nominals and evidence competency by joining BCS professional registers. There is strong alignment between the visions of BCS and JTDA, which forms a solid foundation for the partnership.

As the UK's professional body for IT and the digital industries, BCS's charitable objectives are to promote and advance the education and practice of computing for the benefit of society. This means building a competent and ethical profession that is diverse, inclusive and plentiful in talent at all levels, and developing a society that is resilient and thriving in the digital world with access to the technology knowledge and skills needed.

Establishing a partnership with JTDA supports these charitable objectives by helping to build the professional community in a fast-growing and dynamic digital economy, which is increasingly becoming a source of international talent and inward investment.

John Higgins, president of BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT explained that “this latest agreement between BCS and Jamaica Technology and Digital Alliance demonstrates a commitment to a common definition of professionalism. This is a significant step in promoting the value and importance of the profession and further enhances the industry's reputation. Bodies like ours are ideally placed to make the case that society must demand the highest standards of professionalism from its digital practitioners; it's a cornerstone in helping to build public trust in digital”.

BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, formerly known as the British Computer Society until 2009, is a professional body and a learned society that represents those working in IT and computer science, both in the United Kingdom and internationally.

Founded in 1956, BCS has played an important role in educating and nurturing IT professionals, computer scientists, computer engineers, upholding the profession, accrediting chartered IT professional status, and creating a global community active in promoting and furthering the field and practice of computing.

BCS supports IT professionals throughout their careers, helping them to demonstrate, maintain and develop their competencies and knowledge. BCS membership provides practical tools to support the individual, soft skills development and access to a wealth of resources.

BY DURRANT PATE Observer business writer

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