VSJ – May 2001 – Members’ News

Phillip Hamlyn and Raymond Butler are both standing for election to the Council this year. They describe their backgrounds below and explain the directions they think the Institution should be following.

I have worked in IT for 13 years both as an employee and as a contractor specialising in PC database systems development, originally in DOS, then with Windows. I have worked in a mixture of environments: ‘big six’ consultancies, software houses, healthcare and more recently in defence related contracts. Recent assignments have been based on VB/SQL Server with a large amount of skill transfer to third parties. My approach to IT is pragmatic without formal qualifications. I would like to see the IAP extend its support for its membership in both the technical (for example, an IAP members’ Usenet newsgroup) and administrative (promotion of membership as a differentiator in the IT marketplace) arenas.
Phillip Hamlyn, MIAP

I originally trained in mechanical engineering, gaining my HNC in 1977. I moved into IT in the 1980s, and studied part-time for the Graduate Diploma in Computer Science at South Bank Polytechnic, graduating in 1992. I joined the IAP in 1993. I spent a number of years providing user support for a range of DOS and Windows applications and carrying out database development in dBase and, later, Microsoft Access. I became involved in Web site development in the mid-90s, and also gained some experience of network administration. During the past year I have become a “back-room boffin”, working on Unix, Windows NT and Open VMS systems, mainly concerned with file system and user account maintenance and Internet technologies. I do most of my programming in C and Perl. If elected, I would like to help enhance the range of services provided by the Institution and encourage interaction amongst the membership.
Raymond Butler, MIAP

Data Protection Act 1999: A statement by the Director General

There has been a recent tightening of the law which affects the way organisations like the IAP may use information they hold on their members. The law does not, of course, apply only to large organisations. It has become so cheap and easy to gather and process large amounts of information that many IAP members may find their own companies’ records becoming caught in the expanding net of this legislation. This is a subject we hope to tackle, perhaps setting out some guidelines for members, in a forthcoming article. My purpose here is to explain what use the Institution may make of the personal data it holds on you, and how we propose to ensure that we comply with the requirements of the latest Data Protection Act.

When people join the IAP they often send us detailed personal information, but very little of this is transferred to the computerised database. All we hold on disc are names, addresses and payment records. We keep no record of a member’s age, sex, or race. We keep no records of skills or employment details, other than for the 15% of IAP members who have chosen to be included in the annual Register of Consultants. We cannot maintain such records unless members supply the information to keep them right up to date.

One of the primary objects of the Institution, set out in its constitution, is to disseminate information that may assist members to advance in their profession. Each individual member of the IAP is obliged to support these objects. From time to time you must expect to receive information mailed both directly by the Institution and by other parties on our behalf, which we believe could be useful to you in a professional context.

Nobody likes receiving junk mail, so we never release our list to third parties, except to mail material that has been specifically approved by the IAP. But if we are to fulfil our constitutional obligations, as well as the expectations of the majority of IAP members, each individual must be willing to receive the information the Institution mails out. This is an unavoidable obligation of IAP membership.

Mike Ryan

Top Up Your Points!

When a member joins the IAP, he or she provides us with a very detailed CV, which we evaluate to determine the appropriate initial grade of membership. You all know that, because you no doubt spent a good deal of time trying to remember when you did that course on OOP, how many staff you were responsible for in 1992 or whatever.

What you may not know is the mechanism for that initial determination. What happens is that a number of points is associated with each component of your CV. These are accredited to one of four headings: Programming, Systems Analysis/Design, Business and X. The mysterious X points are those that are considered to be valuable to the rounded professional but which are not attributable to any of the previous headings. There are minimum point values that must be achieved (both in total and under the four sub-headings) for an applicant to be admitted to a given grade of membership.

Let’s suppose that you were elected to the Associate Member grade with a total of 450 points three or four years ago. In that time, you’ve been amassing experience points and, probably, some education or training points as well. The chances are that these will exceed the couple of hundred extra points you need to be upgraded to MIAP. But we don’t know that unless you tell us! I know that means you’ll have to update your CV but there is some good news. You remember the registration fee you paid for your initial evaluation? Well, that covers all subsequent evaluations for upgrades. To all intents and purposes then, upgrading procedures are free.

So, if you think you may be entitled to an upgrade, let us know. Email the office at admin@iap.org.uk or ring Nicole on 020 8 567 2118 for the forms. If you’d like more detailed information about the points system, email me at eo@iap.org.uk and I’ll send you a detailed description of how it works. I’ll also be happy to respond to any specific queries you may have.

Robin Jones

Don’t forget to email eo@iap.org.uk with items of news about you or your company.

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