ITAC and the Enterprise Architect1 | 2 |
For the core foundation skills, candidates must meet or exceed the minimum skill level defined for each. There are 17 core foundation skills, which are categorized into people skills, project management skills and architecture skills. Candidates must be able to document that they have demonstrated these skills at the required level repeatedly and successfully.
The experience requirements are broken down into eight categories, with some requirements not applicable to Level 1 or only when working in a supervised environment. The professional development requirements require candidates to demonstrate they are continuing to learn, as well as develop their skills and knowledge.
Additionally, Level 2 and above architects are expected to demonstrate they make contributions to the IT architect profession and community. This includes mentoring, publication of articles and serving on ITAC certification review boards.
Applying for Certification
When applying for initial certification or for certification at a higher level, candidates are required to create a certification package. The certification package is made up of one or more templates the candidates use to document how they meet the core foundation skills and experience criteria described in the conformance requirements.
The certification package also has to contain at least three experience profiles, which are the primary means by which candidates demonstrate their experience.
An experience profile is a coherent written description of a project or architectural engagement (i.e., enterprise architecture, solution architecture or architectural framework) that provides candidates with the opportunity to show how they perform as IT architects. It also enables a certification board to understand and question candidates’ thought processes and decisions.
There are several benefits of achieving ITAC certification. First, individuals across the industry are assessed and measured against the same baseline criteria, thereby establishing a standard for the use of the title “IT architect.”
Second, certification credentials are granted to individuals and remain with them as long as they maintain good standing as a practicing IT architect.
Third, professional certification can provide additional opportunities for increased responsibility and stature.
Companies that have not yet established their own certification program or formalized their architecture profession can benefit from adopting the ITAC program accreditation framework and leveraging the best practices of the contributing members. This gives them a head start in developing their own IT architect certification program.
The flexible framework of the program allows companies to add industry, cultural and organizational extensions to the base certification framework. Further, companies and organizations that accredit their certification program or certify their IT architects gain additional credibility.
Most important, governments, companies and organizations that develop safety- or mission-critical IT systems can then require certified IT architects to lead the design of important systems to help mitigate risk of project failure or shortfall.
This is an exciting time for enterprise IT architects. They are the pioneers — the people who will blaze the trails for others to follow when aligning IT with business strategy. The ITAC program continues to play a major role in setting the standards for the future evolution of this critical profession.
Andrew Josey is director of certification for The Open Group. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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