John (pictured below), who is a BCS Chartered Fellow, runs the BCS Organisational Membership Scheme for our parent body, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), and is responsible for promoting BCS membership within the organisation. He has inspired and helped a great many UKRI staff to join the scheme as Members or Associate Members, and a good number of those have gained Chartered status or become BCS Fellows.
John said, "It has been a pleasure working with UKRI as the support from senior managers and their commitment to enabling staff to progress professionally is excellent."
While many of the staff in the BCS Scheme work within STFC's Scientific Computing Department, there are also staff from across other STFC departments and facilities including ISIS Neutron and Muon Source, RAL Space, and Digital Infrastructure, as well as a number of staff from other parts of UKRI.
The UKRI scheme started with just 40 members in 2018. Over the past four years John's efforts have more than quadrupled that number and there are currently 176 BCS members across UKRI.
The advancement of computing technologies heavily relies on experts within the industry working as part of a collaborative community. BCS is one of the organisations that provides recognised professional accreditation to this community. The members need to keep up with industry practices and standards, share knowledge and connect with other specialists, and help raise awareness of the huge role IT plays in everyday life. UKRI BCS members have helped gain the gold status by actively organising events and engaging with members of the public.
For instance, earlier this year John's colleague Ian Johnson, a member of the BCS Oxfordshire Branch committee, organised a public talk by Dr Mark Basham from the Rosalind Franklin Institute. Mark showed how relatively simple technology like Raspberry Pi and Lego can be used to create some amazing demonstrations – such as how the Diamond Light Source beamline works.
Adam Thilthorpe, BCS Director for Professionalism, said, “I'm delighted to award UKRI with Gold Approved Organisation status to recognise the work that they have put into developing their digital and technical team. We want to continue to build our communities of practice in partnership with organisations like them, dedicated to professionalism and registration of skill."
Director of Scientific Computing, Tom Griffin, himself a BCS Fellow, said, “It is great to see that UKRI's commitment to professional development, encouraging staff to apply for and meet industry standards as set out by BCS, has resulted in this Gold Partner status. This further demonstrates that our staff are competent, skilled and dedicated to the continual development of the computing industry. To have this independently validated by BCS is something we can be proud of."
As a BCS Gold partner, UKRI is able to create new connections in a nationwide network of specialists. It helps to broaden our affiliations and allows us to continue the reciprocal sharing of passion, knowledge, and ideas with other researchers. The partnership also helps to cement our position as industry leaders and allows us to stay ahead of the curve, with members having access to exclusive industry reports, newsletters, and commissioned research.
Other benefits of being a Gold partner include:
- Increased recognition and public awareness as part of the BCS public register.
- Increased opportunity to influence policy, especially as a member of a new policy group.
- Obtaining more speaking opportunities, to promote our work and share our ideas.
- Opportunities to attend additional standards and engagement workshops, to aid our pursuit of continual development
More information: BCS website
Watch Mark Basham's talk on Youtube.