Students from schools and training courses in computer programming and software development have been offered computer certifying schemes that they are often told they do not need, according to research by the Association of Computer Teachers and Lecturers (ACTL).
The research, which looked at computer certification programmes offered by schools and online training courses, found that the quality of these programmes did not meet the high quality criteria of a professional accreditation body such as the CSCS (Certification Council for Systems and Communications Security).
“I’m surprised that there is not a wider focus on providing the same level of support that accreditation bodies like CSCs and ACS do,” said Dr David Smith, who led the study.
“The real value of accreditation is that it makes a certification more visible and it allows a person to apply for certification to go and get a degree.”
In contrast, the study found that while some online certifications offered by companies such as Google and Facebook offered more professional support than other training schemes, the online certifiers often did not provide the high level of training or support required to pass the certification exam.
“This is a problem because they are not making people better,” said Smith.
“I have students who have been through three or four online certifying courses and they all failed to pass.”
There are concerns that the accreditors are being too quick to say yes to training and that they’re being too strict with online certification,” said Professor Simon Johnson, a lecturer in computer science at the University of Exeter.””
There’s a lack of transparency”There have been concerns about the quality and accessibility of accrediting bodies such as CSC s, which are currently in the process of changing the way they are recognised by the CSPs, as well as the accreditation of online training, which has been criticised for being too “sophisticated”.
“There are concerns that the accreditors are being too quick to say yes to training and that they’re being too strict with online certification,” said Professor Simon Johnson, a lecturer in computer science at the University of Exeter.
“There needs to be a greater level of transparency around the accreditations and the way in which they’re managed.”
“There is a lack and an unmet need for the type of accreditation that’s being created in this country,” said Johnson.
The CSP has previously raised concerns about its certification schemes and has asked the Government to ensure that they meet the requirements of the ACCS.
“We need to work with the Government and the accredited accreditation authorities to find ways to improve their accreditation processes and ensure that there’s more transparency around how they work,” said John Wilson, a CSP member.
According to the Government, online certification schemes are designed to make sure people can meet the minimum requirements of a certification and also help them get jobs.
This article first appeared on the BBC News website on 3 October 2018.