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IT Professional FAQs

Can you tell me about the Associate membership offer?
What are the benefits of taking a certification from BCS?
What are your service levels for dealing with enquiries?
I would like to do a training course, where is the nearest accredited training organisation?
Can I sit the exam without attending a training course?
What are the course fees?
What are the exam fees?
Do I need to provide ID before my examination?
What happens if I do not provide suitable ID?
Can I use a calculator?
Can I take books into the examination?
Is there a charge for sample papers?
How do I book an exam?
English is not my first language, is extra time allowed?
How do I request extra time or other adjustments, due to a disability, medical condition or for religious reasons?
I have had a bereavement, can I reschedule?
What happens if I arrive for an examination late?
If I did not turn up for the examination, am I entitled to a refund?
Am I able to reschedule my exam?
If I have to cancel an exam, am I entitled to a refund of the exam fees?
If I take a re-sit and do worse, will my highest marks be retained?
I wish to re-sit my examination, what is the cost?
How do I receive my results and certificate?
When do I receive my results?
How long does it take to receive a certificate if I have taken my exam with Pearson VUE?
My certificate has my name misspelt, can I get this changed?
How do I order a new or replacement paper certificate?
I have changed my name; can you update my details on the BCS database?
I have changed my name; can I have a paper certificate in my new name?
What information do you share about me with third parties?
Is my employer informed of my exam result?
I have passed my exam but cannot see my name on the successful candidate register (SCR). How do I go about getting it to show on there?
Why can I not see some of my results online?
What is your complaints procedure?
I received my results today and they are not what I expected - how do I appeal?
How will my appeal be considered?
How long will it take for my appeal to be resolved?
How long do I have to submit an appeal?
How much does it cost to lodge an appeal?
Are BCS professional certifications mapped to the QCF?
What is the relationship between ISTQB, UKTB and BCS?
Do you still have the ISEB (Information Systems Examination Board) Professional award?

 
What are the benefits of taking a certification from BCS?

  • Comprehensive certification portfolio across a wide range of disciplines.
  • Recognised international presence, delivered in over 200 countries.
  • Reputation built over 40 years on quality, integrity and impartiality.
  • Developed with industry experts ensuring they are relevant to today's IT professional.
  • Based on best practice with recognition for skills and knowledge in a particular area.
  • Mapped to SFIA / SFIAplus so consistent with your career path.
  • Worldwide network of over 100 high quality training providers.

 
What are your service levels for dealing with enquiries?

We will answer your telephone call within one minute during office hours 08:00 - 18:00 GMT Monday to Friday. We will call you back promptly if it is not possible to answer your query immediately. We will answer all email enquiries no later than three working days after receipt.

 
I would like to do a training course, where is the nearest accredited training organisation?

All accredited training organisations are listed on the website and most offer training in a number of locations.

 
Can I sit the exam without attending a training course?

Yes, although we strongly recommend that all candidates undertake an accredited training course.

 
What are the course fees?

You will need to contact the accredited training organisation for this information.

 
What are the exam fees?

Details of the exam fees are found in the exam section of the website for the certification you wish to take.

 
Do I need to provide ID before my examination?

Yes, you will need to provide photographic identification before the examination starts such as a passport or driving licence. Please refer to the Identification Policy for further information.

 
What happens if I do not provide suitable ID?

You will still be able to take the examination but your results will be withheld until identification has been provided and verified. Please refer to the Identification Policy for further information.

 
Can I use a calculator?

Yes, some examinations will allow you to take your own simple non-programmable calculators. You can check this by looking at the syllabus on the website under the relevant certification.

 
Can I take books into the examination?

This depends on the examination you are taking. Most multiple choice examinations are closed-book, meaning you cannot take any material into the examination with you. You can check this by looking at the syllabus on the website under the relevant certification.

 
Is there a charge for sample papers?

Most sample papers cost £20 per paper though some are free to download from the website. Please call +44 (0) 1793 417 655 to order sample papers and to make payment.

 
How do I book an exam?

If you are taking a course with an accredited training organisation or through an online testing centre (Pearson VUE), the exam will be organised through them.  If you are taking a public exam, please refer to the exam section of the website for the certification you are taking.

 
English is not my first language, is extra time allowed?

Yes, 25% extra time is awarded if you are taking the examination in a language that is not your mother tongue. You are also entitled to bring your own paper dictionary into the examination.

 
How do I request extra time or other adjustments due to a disability, medical condition or for religious reasons?

You will need to apply using the Reasonable Adjustments Form and all applications will be considered in line with our Reasonable adjustments policy (PDF). BCS can offer a number of adjustments depending on your individual circumstances.

 
I have had a bereavement, can I reschedule?

Yes, you will be able to reschedule the examination; there will be £25.00 + VAT cancellation fee. Additional exceptions will be considered on a case by case basis.

 
What happens if I arrive for an examination late?

You are allowed to enter the examination room up to 15 minutes after the scheduled start time. You will not be entitled to have any additional time if you arrive late. If you arrive after 15 minutes after the scheduled start time, you will not be allowed to enter the examination room and will forfeit your examination fee.

 
If I did not turn up for the examination, am I entitled to a refund?

No, if you do not turn up for an examination, your exam fee is forfeited and you will need to book and pay for the examination again.

 
Am I able to reschedule my exam?

Yes, you may request to change the exam date or time, but this must be done at least 14 days prior to the originally scheduled examination date. To reschedule the exam, please contact our Customer Service team on + 44 (0) 1793 417 655.

 
If I have to cancel an exam, am I entitled to a refund of the exam fees?

Notice period Refund available
More than 14 days
 No charge / Full refund
Between 7-14 days
Refund of 50% of exam fee
Less than 7 days
No refund / 100% charge of exam fee

 

If I take a re-sit and do worse, will my highest marks be retained?

We retain the highest mark.


I wish to re-sit my examination, what is the cost?

Re-sits are normally booked via your accredited training organisation and they will provide details of the costs. For public examinations, please contact our Customer Service team on +44 (0) 1793 417 655.

 
How do I receive my results and certificate?

You will receive an email asking to log into a secure site to view your results and you will be able to download an e-certificate.

 
When do I receive my results?

Multiple choice and oral examination results are usually sent within 3 weeks of the examination date. Written examination results can take up to 8 weeks.

 
How long does it take to receive a certificate if I have taken my exam with Pearson VUE?

Candidates will receive an email within 48 hours of sitting their exam at a Pearson VUE testing centre and will be able to click on a link to register for the BCS candidate portal where they will be able to access their e-certificate.

 
My certificate has my name misspelt, can I get this changed?

Please call +44 (0)1793 417 655 to have your details amended. There will be no charge if your name has been spelt incorrectly.

 
How do I order a new or replacement paper certificate?

You can order new or replacement paper certificates by calling +44 (0) 1793 417 655. There is a charge for this service.

 
I have changed my name; can you update my details on the BCS database?

Yes, please complete the Request for name change form along with the relevant document (e.g. marriage certificate, dissolution decree or deed poll document. There is no fee for this service. Unfortunately we cannot make the changes without the relevant form. Please refer to the Name Change Policy for further details.

 
I have changed my name; can I have a paper certificate in my new name?

Yes, please complete the Request for name change form and send to us along with the relevant document (e.g. marriage certificate, dissolution decree or deed poll document). Once this has been done, a new paper certificate can be issued, however there is a charge; please call +44 (0) 1793 417 655 if you would like to arrange this and make a payment. Please refer to the Name Change Policy for further details.

 
What information do you share about me with third parties?

We regard the lawful and correct treatment of personal information as very important to the provision of professional services and to maintaining confidence between those with whom we deal and ourselves.  We will ensure that all personal information is treated lawfully and correctly. To this end, we adhere to the Data Protection Principles as laid down in the Data Protection Act 1998. Please refer to the Data Protection and Confidentiality Policy for further information.

 
Is my employer informed of my exam result?

We do not provide your examination results to third parties without your express consent, with the exception of your accredited training organisation or the official accreditor for ISTQB, ITIL and PPM examinations.

 
I have passed my exam but cannot see my name on the successful candidate register (SCR). How do I go about getting it to show on there?

For BCS examinations please go to www.bcs.org/candidateportal

If you have received an email which advised you how to access your examination results then there is a radio button which asks you if you want your details added to the SCR. Click this button and this will be updated within eight weeks of the request. If you have not had this email then please contact our Customer Service team on + 44 (0) 1793 417 655.

 
Why can I not see some of my results online?

There are some certifications which cannot be viewed online. Please contact our Customer Service team for further assistance.

 
What is your complaints procedure?

Anyone has the right to complain if they have concerns about a product or service we have provided. All complaints need to be submitted in writing and must contain the following information:

  • The reason(s) for the complaint.
  • The date and location of the examination.
  • Supporting documentation if appropriate.
  • Pertinent information relating to the grounds for the complaint.

If you have a complaint about your Accredited Training Organisation, please contact them in the first instance and follow their candidate complaints procedure. If you are not satisfied with the response from your accredited training organisation, you have the right to escalate your complaint to us. Please refer to the Complaints Policy for further information.

 
I received my results today and they are not what I expected - how do I appeal?

First of all, you cannot appeal simply because you are not happy with your results; an appeal must have grounds. There are three grounds for appeal permitted by the procedure (which you should read carefully if you are considering making an appeal) which are:

  • Your performance was adversely affected by illness or personal circumstances which were not known to you when you sat the examination.
  • There has been a significant error made by BCS.
  • BCS acted in a way which is manifestly unreasonable.

For further information please refer to the Appeals policy (PDF)

 
How will my appeal be considered?

The appeal is considered by the Policy, Compliance and Audit Team who will decide if there is a case for appeal. They will have a copy of the letter of appeal and all supporting documentation, along with relevant documentation (if necessary) from your accredited training organisation.

 
How long will it take for my appeal to be resolved?

As each appeal is different there are no definitive timelines as to how long an appeal will take to resolve, but you will be kept up to date at each stage of the appeal. We aim to investigate and resolve appeals as quickly as possible within no more than 20 days.

 
How long do I have to submit an appeal?

You must submit notice of an appeal within 20 working days of publication of the results from your particular examination. Please make sure that you read the form carefully and provide all the information requested. It is your responsibility to make the case, and to state it clearly; we cannot make assumptions - you must fully explain out the cause and effect.

 
How much does it cost to lodge an appeal?

The current fee for the appeal is £72.00 + VAT which must be paid by credit or debit card by calling our Customer Service team on + 44 (0) 1793 417 655. The appeal will not be processed until full payment has been made. A full refund will be made if the appeal is upheld unless the appeal is for marks to be upgraded due to an illness and then the fee will not be returned.

 
Are BCS professional certifications mapped to the QCF?

Professional certifications are not currently mapped to the QCF however, as they have been assessed, they broadly align as follows:

  • Foundation level professional certifications are equivalent to level 3
  • Practitioner level professional certifications are equivalent to level 4
  • Higher level professional certifications are equivalent to level 5

 
What is the relationship between ISTQB, UKTB and BCS?

ISTQB (International Software Testing Qualifications Board) is responsible for the international software testing qualification scheme called 'ISTQB Certified Tester'.

The role of ISTQB is to support a single, universally accepted, international qualification scheme aimed at software and system testing professionals, by providing the core syllabuses and by setting guidelines for accreditation and examination for national boards. UKTB is the UK national board for ISTQB. We deliver foundation and advanced level exams; ISTQB provide the syllabus and UKTB the questions.

We also offer our own intermediate certificate in software testing which is considered a valuable stepping stone between foundation and advanced level as well as a relevant stand-alone qualification.

 
Do you still have the ISEB (Information Systems Examination Board) Professional award?

No, this was withdrawn in 2012 due to the poor take up.