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AQA's IT Department gets the thumbs up from the National Computing Centre

Press Release

From the National Computing Centre, Manchester. Issued 29th July 2010

The IT Department of the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (AQA), has joined a growing roll call of organisations accredited to the National Computing Centre’s Standard for IT Departments. AQA is the biggest provider of general qualifications (GCSE and GSE) in the UK and one of the “big three” English unitary awarding bodies. Each year it awards qualifications to approximately 1.7m students who sit over 3m GCSE and over 1.0m GCE examinations in over 7000 schools and colleges. The provision of information in a timely, appropriate, secure and effective manner is a fundamental aspect of AQA’s success.

NCC’s Standard benchmarks an organisation’s IT function and is the only holistic standard for the provision of IT by an IT Department, whether in-house or outsourced.

Peter Dawson, IT Director at AQA said “The IT Department has developed a good reputation but we still need to establish a mutual understanding with the business about what a good catalogue of IT services looks like. The ability to benchmark ourselves against a recognised industry standard was a key factor in our decision to seek IT Department accreditation from the NCC.”

Daniel Dresner, NCC’s Lead Assessor for the Standard said, “To achieve accreditation to the NCC Standard, IT departments have to prove that they are using good practice across the key business areas of management, direction, business generation and delivery and operations. We also review customer perceptions of how the IT Department performs and I’m delighted to say that the AQA IT team have made the grade. AQA’s IT Department want to ensure that they are aligned to business requirements and delivering value. The independent appraisal from NCC has vindicated that ambition. They get the thumbs up from The National Computing Centre!”

“We set ourselves some pretty big objectives, so when we heard about NCC’s IT Department Accreditation Scheme, (ITDA) we thought it would be a great catalyst for both the management of strategic changes and also the delivery of ongoing service refinements” observed Peter.

“The ITDA has provided us with a mechanism to pull together the work we had already started across IT in a coherent way. Because the ITDA is a community standard, it gave us a clear set of definitions, enabling us to see and measure what good looks like at AQA. And because it’s an external assessment, it carries a lot of weight internally.” Continued Peter.

“The ITDA has helped us facilitate a mutual understanding of what IT can do for the organisation. Part of the process involved gaining stakeholder feedback and this has given us some real insight into where and how we need to develop.”

“We opted for the ITDA because of the independent assessment and business improvement framework, however it is always nice to receive an award and it is a great message to our business colleagues who can now see that AQA’s IT function measures up to the best” said Peter.

AQA join a growing list organisations whose IT Departments have been accredited to the NCC Standard, including Imperial College London, Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council, North Wales Police and UCAS.

NOTE TO EDITORS

About The National Computing Centre (NCC)

The National Computing Centre (NCC) helps IT decision makers deliver effective solutions to business problems by bringing together users, experts and vendors to share experiences and develop best practices.

Further information about the NCC Standard for IT Departments can be found at:
www.ncc.co.uk/services/accreditation/

Press enquiries:

For more information please contact Michael Dean on +44 (0)161 605 0855, email michael.dean@ncc.co.uk

Press Contact

Michael Dean
The National Computing Centre
The Flint Glass Works
64 Jersey Street
Manchester
M4 6JW
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0) 845 519 1055
Mob: 07703 501 129

michael.dean@ncc.co.uk

 

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