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NZCS ITCP - Information Technology Certified Professional

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Areas of Assessment

ITCP contains three key Areas of Assessment as well as a Good Character requirement. The areas are assessed in different ways depending on the selected Certification Route, however all Routes assess to the same standard.

This page outlines the core requirements for ITCP Certification across these Areas. The ITCP Application Process guides an applicant through this process.

Areas of Assessment

Requirements in Brief

ITCP is set at the level where an IT Professional has the appropriate level of skills, knowledge, experience and competence to be giving formal IT advice to organisations within their area of expertise.

This requires the following (shown in detail below):

  • Meet the ITCP Entry Requirements
  • A broad (but not necessarily detailed) knowledge of IT across-the-board
  • A very detailed (or "specialist") knowledge of IT within an area of expertise
  • Knowledge of non-technical areas that influence and impact upon IT (such as relevant ethical, legal, compliance, professional and organisational considerations)
  • A level of competence and responsibility that results in full accountability for advice and actions
  • Be of a suitable character to be regarded as a professional

Generally speaking, not all staff would be ITCP Certified; just those that "sign off" on IT projects and other work.


Requirements of Area 1: Skills and Knowledge

Applicants must demonstrably possess suitable Skills and Knowledge to competently and successfully carry on work as an ICT Professional.

This includes both:

  • A broad knowledge of the skills related to their ICT area of expertise; plus
  • A specialist knowledge in two or more defined specialist skill areas.

This requirement is similar to all other professions, where a broad knowledge of a wide subject area is necessary as well as a specialist knowledge in specialty areas.

1. Understanding of the core Body of Knowledge

  • Applicants must possess a core, or base level, understanding of relevant areas of the Core Body of Knowledge (CBoK). The Core Body of Knowledge outlines the base-level knowledge requirements for all ICT Professionals.
  • This is core knowledge only. Applicants do NOT need an in-depth knowledge of these areas to satisfy this requirement; they must simply show an understanding of the core concepts of the relevant sections.

NOTE: During the interim period until the further review of Core Bodies of Knowledge in early 2010, the CBoK component will rely on self-assessment only.

2. A high level of skill and knowledge in two or more specific IT skills

To demonstrate specialist skills and knowledge, applicants must:

  • Demonstrate a high level of knowledge and current understanding of two or more specific SFIA skills as outlined in the SFIA Framework;
  • Be currently operating at SFIA Level 5 or above in their chosen specialty and have been operated at Level 5 or above for at least 1000 hours (ie 6 months) of each of the previous 2 years; (Some exceptions, such as for maternity or redundancy, apply to those that don’t meet this requirement. Please refer to the notes in the Application Form).

Note that the subjective SFIA definitions for each skill paint a picture of the sorts of expectations of someone operating at Level 5 of the Framework. This should NOT be used as a checklist - applicants do NOT need to meet all of the requirements listed, just those relevant to their position.


Requirements of Area 2: Professional Knowledge

Professional Knowledge covers the non-technical aspects of being a professional which help define the fundamental difference between a professional and a non-professional.

The detailed Professional Knowledge Curriculum for this area is developed and maintained independently from the ITCP programme, however contains the professional knowledge requirements for the following areas:

  • Ethics and Code of Practice
  • Understanding of concepts of Security and Privacy
  • Knowledge of ICT Legal Issues
  • ICT Professionals in an Organisational Context

You can read the full details on the Professional Knowledge Curriculum page.


Requirements of Area 3: Competency and Responsibility

The applicant must be operating at SFIA Level 5 or above according to the generic "level" description (see SFIA Section), and have done so for at least 6 months (non-continuous) of each of the previous 2 years.

Note that the subjective SFIA definitions below paint a picture of the sorts of expectations of someone operating at Level 5 of the Framework. This should NOT be used as a checklist - applicants do NOT need to meet all of the requirements listed, just those relevant to their position.

The definition of Level 5 is as follows:


Works under broad direction. Is fully accountable for own technical work and/or project/supervisory responsibilities. Receives assignments in the form of objectives. Establishes own milestones and team objectives, and delegates responsibilities. Work is often self-initiated.


Influences organisation, customers, suppliers and peers within industry on the contribution of own specialism. Has significant responsibility for the work of others and for the allocation of resources. Makes decisions which impact on the success of assigned projects i.e. results, deadlines and budget. Develops business relationships with customers.


Performs a challenging range and variety of complex technical or professional work activities. Undertakes work which requires the application of fundamental principles in a wide and often unpredictable range of contexts. Understands the relationship between own specialism and wider customer/organisational requirements.

Business skills

Advises on the available standards, methods, tools and applications relevant to own specialism and can make correct choices from alternatives. Analyses, diagnoses, designs, plans, executes and evaluates work to time, cost and quality targets. Communicates effectively, formally and informally, with colleagues, subordinates and customers. Demonstrates leadership.

Facilitates collaboration between stakeholders who have diverse objectives. Understands the relevance of own area of responsibility/specialism to the employing organisation. Takes customer requirements into account when making proposals. Takes initiative to keep skills up to date. Mentors more junior colleagues. Maintains an awareness of developments in the industry. Analyses requirements and advises on scope and options for operational improvement. Demonstrates creativity and innovation in applying solutions for the benefit of the customer.

More details in the SFIA Section.


Requirement of Good and Sound Character

In addition to the entry requirements, applicants must be of Good and Sound Character.

The assessment of character is at the sole discretion of NZCS, however the assessor must be satisfied that there is nothing to indicate that the applicant is not of sound character and likely to bring themselves, their employer, the ICT profession or the Society into disrepute.

Interview of referees and others

An assessor will conduct a short and confidential telephone interview with the two referees provided by the applicant. The referees must also complete a brief written assessment of the applicant, confirming they are operating at Level 5 or above of the SFIA Framework.

The referee will be asked a number of questions related to how well they know the applicant and whether in their professional opinion the applicant is of a sound character, suitable for the awarding of NZCS Professional Certification.

The NZCS assessment team may also contact others who may know or have known the applicant to further assess their character, or whether they are operating at the required level.

Publication of applicant’s name to ICT community

The applicant’s name will be published to NZCS professional members and certified professionals, with a request that any member knowing of any reason the applicant should not advance to provide this in writing using the appropriate form.

In keeping with the principles of natural justice, the applicant will be advised of the challenge and have the opportunity to respond.

If an allegation of serious misconduct is defended by the Applicant, the Assessment Team may refer the matter to the Professional Conduct Board to investigate and make a confidential determination as to whether, in their view, serious misconduct has occurred.

Serious criminal convictions

The applicant must agree to disclose (or allow to be disclosed) prior criminal convictions for the purpose of attaining whether the applicant meets the “sound character” requirements, as well as disclose whether they are currently under investigation by the New Zealand Police, or have charges pending on any matter related to dishonesty or fraud.

It should be noted that criminal conviction(s) will NOT automatically exclude the applicant from successfully obtaining Professional Certification, however the conviction(s) will be considered if they amount to Professional Misconduct or raise serious concerns as to the honesty or respectability of the applicant.

Copies of criminal records will be destroyed 30 days following the application decision.

An applicant may be declined for Certification if convictions are of sufficient gravity to be termed "reprehensible" (or "inexcusable", "disgraceful", "deplorable" or "dishonourable")*.

This includes:

  • Repeated offences related to dishonesty, professional misconduct or fraud;
  • Recent offences, within the last 2 years, that relate to dishonesty, professional misconduct or fraud;
  • Serious convictions of crimes which have a maximum punishment in law of 2 years imprisonment or greater.

Should the assessor believe the applicant is not of good and sound character, NZCS will write to the applicant outlining the reasoning for this draft determination. The applicant may then respond in writing which will be considered in the final determination.

* Terminology provided in Auckland District Law Society v Atkinson (New Zealand Law Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal, 15 August 1990)