ACS RPL Key Areas of Knowledge
Section 1

Section 1 is based and will be assessed on The ACS Core Body of Knowledge for ICT Professionals (CBOK). You must clearly explain how your experience and qualifications meet the selected Areas of Knowledge and specifically how and where you acquired the knowledge. You are required to select one topic from the Essential Core ICT Knowledge (Topic 1 or Topic 2) and one topic from the General ICT Knowledge (Topic 3, Topic 4 or Topic 5). You should ensure you address at least 2 subtopics from each of the topics chosen.

Essential Core ICT Knowledge

Essential Core ICT Knowledge required for any ICT professional. This includes ICT Professional Knowledge and ICT Problem Solving. All graduates are expected to have an indepth understanding of two knowledge areas: ICT Professional Knowledge and ICT Problem Solving.

Topic 1. ICT Professional Knowledge

ICT Professional Knowledge includes the following sub topics:

Sub Topic a: Ethics

Topics covered should include: Fundamental ethical notions (virtues, duty, responsibility, harm, benefit, rights, respect and consequences); Basic ethics theories; Integrity systems (including, the ACS Code of Professional Conduct ethics committees and whistle blowing); Methods of ethical analysis: Methods of ethical reflection and Methods and procedures of ethical repair and recovery; ICT specific ethical issues (professional – e.g. compromising quality and conflict of interest, and societal – e.g. phishing and privacy).

Sub Topic b: Professional Expectations

Topics covered should include: expertise, certification, competence, autonomy, excellence, reflection, responsibility and accountability.

Sub Topic c: Teamwork Concepts and Issues

Topics covered should include: collaboration, group dynamics, leadership styles, conflict resolution, team development and groupware.

Sub Topic d: Communication

Topics covered should include: oral and written presentations, technical report writing, writing user documentation and the development of effective interpersonal skills.

Sub Topic e: Societal Issues

Topics covered should include: history of computing and the ICT discipline, privacy and civil liberties, cybercrime, intellectual property and legal issues.

Topic 2. ICT Problem Solving

Professionals should have some knowledge of where and when their discipline began and how it has evolved, in addition to understanding of ongoing issues in the discipline.

The methods and tools that are used for handling abstraction could vary a great deal with the branch of ICT, from circuit diagrams to data modelling tools to business process modelling. It is important to recognise this area because it captures some of the creativity and innovation that is required of ICT professionals, and the excitement that is present in their jobs. Recognising this component also assists in identifying what is unique about ICT and what differentiates it from other disciplines. In no other discipline is there such an emphasis on developing artefacts (e.g., computer and information systems) which are so abstract and complex and where modelling tools and methods are essential. The systems that ICT professionals deal with cannot be seen or handled in the same simple and direct manner as products of other applied disciplines (e.g., buildings, bridges, chairs, drugs). Consequently, highly developed problem solving skills and the need for methods to handle abstraction and modelling are absolutely vital.

Sub Topic a: Modelling Methods

Sub Topic b: Processes to understand problems

Sub Topic c: Methods and tools for handling abstraction

General ICT Knowledge

As well as have essential core ICT knowledge (ICT Problem Solving and ICT Professional Knowledge), it is essential that all graduates have a conceptual understanding of ICT as a broad discipline

Topic 3. Technology Resources

Technology Resources includes the following sub topics:

Sub Topic a: Hardware and software fundamentals

An understanding of the basic components of computer systems is required, including: Computer architecture and organisation - including processors, memory, storage systems and input/output devices; Systems software – Operating systems and application system software.

Sub Topic b: Data and information management

An understanding is required of how data is captured, represented, organised and retrieved from files and databases. Topics include: Data modelling and abstraction; Database Management Systems (DBMS); Information assurance and security in a shared environment; Acquisition, custodianship and eventual disposition of information; Nature of data, information and knowledge transformation through technologies.

Sub Topic c: Networking

This area requires an understanding of data communications and networking fundamentals. Topics include: Network concepts, protocols and standards; Network security; Wireless and mobile computing; Distributed systems.

Topic 4. Technology Building

Technology Building includes the following sub topics:

Sub Topic a: Human factors

This area requires an understanding of the importance of the user in developing ICT applications and systems, and involves developing a mindset that recognises the importance of users, their work practices and organisational contexts.

Sub Topic b: Programming

This involves an understanding of the fundamental concepts of a programming language. It is expected that the requisite knowledge of programming fundamentals would be best developed by engaging students in software developments tasks (programming). However, the range of programming languages and tools that could be used to develop this knowledge is wide and will vary with the expected ICT job role of the graduate.

Sub Topic c: Information Systems Development and Acquisition

An understanding is required of how to develop or acquire software (information) systems that satisfy the requirements of users and customers. All phases of the lifecycle of an information system should be understood including: requirement analysis (systems analysis) and specification, design, construction, testing, and operation and maintenance. There should also be knowledge of methodologies and processes for developing systems.

Topic 5. ICT Management

ICT Management includes the following sub topics:

Sub Topic a: IT Governance and Organisational Issues

Topics covered should include: Fundamental governance principles (e.g. structures to encourage moral behaviour within organisations and corporations, and moral behaviour by organisations and corporations); Organisational context, including business processes, organisational culture, change and risk management.

Sub Topic b: IT Project Management

This area involves an understanding of the factors required to successfully manage systems development projects. Topics include: team management, estimation techniques, cost/benefit analysis, risk analysis, risk management, project scheduling, quality assurance, software configuration management, project management tools, reporting and presentation techniques.

Sub Topic c: ICT Service Management

Service management deals with the ongoing operation of ICT in an organisational context and includes frameworks for structuring the interactions of ICT technical personnel with business customers and users. Many frameworks exist to guide ICT service management, for example, the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) and Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology (COBIT).

Sub Topic d: Security Management

Topics covered should include: Computer system security: CPU, Peripherals, OS. This includes data security. Physical security: The premises occupied by the ICT personnel and equipment. Operational security: Environment control, power equipment, operation activities. Procedural security: By IT, vendor, management personnel, as well as ordinary users. Communications security: Communications equipment, personnel, transmission paths, and adjacent areas.

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