It is amazing how apt acronyms really seem to continue in use. A few years ago, I mentioned how my colleagues and I at AssistKD receive numerous calls from prospective customers asking me whether I 'do the ISEB'.
Rather than being the new dance-craze successor to The Twist, The Macarena or even The Twerk, 'the ISEB' it is in fact an acronym for the Information Systems Examinations Board, a qualifications body formed back in 1957 by the organisation that was known in those days as the British Computer Society. The aim set for ISEB was to raise the standard of competence and performance of those working within the Information Systems sector. The ISEB portfolio contained qualifications in subjects such as Project Management and Systems Analysis and Design. In 1999, ISEB launched the Business Analysis Diploma, which became popular very quickly. It is now widely accepted as the standard professional qualification for practising business analysts.
Many readers of this blog will have gained certificates adorned with the ISEB logo and gone through the rigorous interview process known as the ISEB Oral exam. However, ISEB ceased to exist in 2012 when, as part of a general rebranding exercise:
- the British Computer Society became BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT
- ISEB became BCS Professional Certifications
- and, in recognition of its international profile, the BA Diploma was renamed the BCS International Diploma in Business Analysis.
However, the ISEB brand name is still out there and well-recognised, and many of us talk about ‘the BCS qualification that was formerly ISEB'.
These days, though, BCS offers an extended set of business analysis certifications, that take you from Foundation to Expert. They have collaborated with organisations such as AssistKD and the BA Manager Forum to make sure these certifications reflect the needs of business analysis practitioners.
But the ISEB qualifications are still relevant. The new Advanced Diploma requires applicants to hold the BCS BA Diploma but if your certificate says ‘ISEB’ then that is fine. The BA Diploma is a qualification for life, in the same way that people of a certain age have O Levels while their children aspire to gain GCSEs. And, even though the word International is nowhere to be seen on the ISEB Diploma Certificate, you will find that your qualification has just as much cachet across the rest of the world.
So, if you are planning to extend your BA qualifications and go on to gain the Advanced Diploma, you only need to know that the Business Analysis qualifications may be found at https://www2.bcs.org/certifications/ba/. If you need further guidance just call your friendly local BA training supplier or check out https://www.assistkd.com/courses/classroom/business-analysis-advanced-diploma-modules.
Whether you ask for 'the ISEB' or 'the BCS', we will be happy to help you make sure your career development is on the right lines.