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4.6 & 4.7 - Bodies & Certification

Exam Board:



2016 - Unit 1 

What is a professional body?

A professional body is an organisation that seeks to develop and support workers in a certain profession.

Professional bodies will share best practice, help people starting in the profession and support any role-related learning.

In the UK a popular professional body is the British Computer Society (BCS) - also known as the Chartered Institute for IT - with over 65,000 members.

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What is industry certification?

Professional bodies exist to provide trainees with industry certification.


Industry certifications are qualifications in different areas of expertise so applicants are trained with up-to-date knowledge and skills

Two popular organisations that administer industry certifications in America are Cisco and CompTia. Cisco's website claims that they provide "certifications for all experience levels covering topics in networking, security, collaboration, and more. Cisco's certification program can meet you where you are on your learning journey and take you to where you want to go."

Advantages of Industry Certification

Disadvantages of Industry Certification

  • Develop IT skills:

    • Trainees develop experience and competency in areas relevant to actual jobs.

  • Access resources:

    • Trainees are part of a network of like-minded professionals with access to help from experts.

  • Professional development opportunities:

    • Trainees are invited to special events and seminars to ensure skills remain up-to-date.

  • Cost:

    • Training for industry certification can cost hundreds or even thousands of pounds and is often self-funded.

  • No guarantees:

    • Earning a certificate doesn't guarantee you a better job or more money.

  • Time and dedication:

    • ​​Like other qualifications, classroom activities or online learning must be completed. Exams must be passed at the end of the course. 

Many organisations now require IT employees to have earned relevant industry certifications​.


This is so that the organisation can be confident that the employee has been appropriately trained and will have gained experience at the required level for the certification. The employee should be able to demonstrate technical knowledge as a result of gaining the certification.

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Questo's Questions

4.6 & 4.7 - Bodies & Certification:

1a. What is a professional body? [1]

1b. State 3 roles of a professional body. [3]

2. What are industry certifications? [2]

3. Describe 3 advantages and 3 disadvantages of an IT worker earning industry certifications. [2 each]

4. Why do many IT organisations require its employees to have earned industry certifications? [4]

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