Certification criteria

Certification criteria

by Academy Admin

This certification is primarily aimed at computing students completing either final year projects as part of an undergraduate degree programme or a project taken as part of a Masters degree.

To qualify for certification a student project must clearly demonstrate that it meets all of the following criteria:

  • The project makes an ingenious, innovative and substantive contribution to solving a technically challenging problem that has been realised through the application, integration or creation of technology
  • The problem being addressed is recognised to be of significance to society or the economy by external independent stakeholders
  • The project is based on a well-defined understanding of the problem domain and the requirements of the problem owners
  • If the project includes a user interface, that it provides an appealing end user experience
  • The student has rigorously followed relevant software engineering best practices

In addition to the above, the project will normally have been marked as first class.

Certification process

The Academy delegates full authority for certification of student projects according to the above criteria to named university academics in the relevant computing departments provided they are BCS Fellows (FBCS). This scheme applies only to university departments accredited by the Institute via our academic accreditaton programme. This means universities are solely responsible for deciding if student projects meet the certification criteria. Universities will also have responsibility for uploading relevant details of certified projects to an online repository that is publicly accessible.

This process ensures the scheme is low cost and easy to administer for universities. It ensures that bureaucracy is kept to a minimum and that the process is simple and transparent. At the same time the process must be guaranteed to certify only projects that fully meet the criteria. That is why the authority for certification must rest with a BCS Fellow (FBCS). FBCS membership guarantees that the accreditor is someone of sufficient seniority and standing in the profession, and hence someone who can be trusted to maintain the appropriate standards on behalf of the Institute. Senior lecturers and professors would normally qualify to become FBCS members without any difficulty, so there is no shortage of qualified people that could be recruited. Also, there is a process in place to provide a relatively speedy decision on Fellowship applications when other Fellows are able to sponsor the application. Please visit our Fellow membership pages for further details.

The certification process is therefore:

  • Authority for deciding certification is delegated to academic BCS Fellows selected by the university
  • The FBCS certification accreditor for each project must be fully satisfied that the project meets all of the above criteria for certification
  • At least one independent external stakeholder who is not the project supervisor shall provide confirmation that they are satisfied the project meets all of the above certification criteria, which the FBCS authorised accreditor agrees is a suitable endorsement for certification purposes
  • The relevant FBCS member is responsible for notifying the Academy that an award can be made. This is done by completing and submitting an application form