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New ISO standard for software engineering

The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) has released a new standard designed to increase international acceptance of different certification used by software engineering professionals.

According to ISO, the fact that the global software industry is growing implies that a software engineering professional is likely to work in different countries over the course of a career, meaning that there needs to be some form of software standardisation to help-out these people.

The newly-published ‘International Standard ISO/IEC 24773, Software engineering — Certification of software engineering professionals — Comparison framework’, will respond to the needs of multi-national organisations or suppliers when developing software for a foreign customer who requires software engineering professional certifications, says ISO.

“ISO/IEC 24773:2008 establishes a framework for comparison of schemes (a set of certification requirements for software engineering professionals) for certifying software engineering professionals. This International Standard specifies the items that a scheme is required to contain and indicates what should be defined for each item,” said the company.

The new standard was designed for use by:

1. Educators, academics and course developers to map their course structure and design against another course or educational requirement develop new courses; make decisions about mutual recognition

2. Examining bodies: to construct examination and/or evaluation schemes; make decisions about mutual recognition

3. Industry and professional bodies: to develop and maintain certification schemes; make decisions about mutual recognition

4. Government bodies: for policy development; funding decisions; skills assessment; regulation of professionals; facilitation of trade agreements between countries.

So far, different countries have adopted different approaches on the certification of software engineering professionals that are implemented by means of regulations and by laws, says ISO.

The intention of ISO/IEC 24773:2008 is to be open to these national approaches by providing a framework for expressing them in a common scheme that can lead to understanding between different countries and it will facilitate the portability of software engineering professional certifications between different countries, the company says.

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