Standards conflict: SIF vs ISB

Filed under: Education,Standards — lenand @ 10:25 pm

Arising from my blog on a DfE report, originally on LinkedIn.com, Crispin Weston provided a bit of background history about the ISB.

“When it was founded, the ISB’s terms of reference stated explicitly that it would not develop standards, only catalogue and approve them—a term of reference that seems only to have lasted for about 18 months. The ISB was neither intended nor is it competent to develop standards. Its Chairman is an ex-OFSTED inspector. The technical component of its Technical Support Service was supposed to be provided by JISC/CETIS which, being unhappy with the constraints that were imposed on it, withdrew from that role, so the ISB has no proper advice from any recognised standards experts. The ISB no longer sends a representative to BSI, with the result that they are publishing standards which duplicate proposed official British Standards. Representations by the BSI expert committee (IST/043) on this point have been effectively ignored.”

DfE seem to be supporting this organisation above SIF.  Crispin gave us a bit more history.

”  Although based on volunteer work, SIFA-UK has not been under the true control of the industry. In 2004/5 (in the absence of any effective response to us banging the table in 2003), a group of leading companies decided to support IMS Enterprise for the transfer of student and grouping data—but this preference was overridden by Becta, which established and subsidised SIFA-UK, subsequently commissioning a report from PWC to make the case for SIF. All passages critical of SIF were removed from the report before publication. The [DfE] is quite justified in believing that SIF was “mis-sold”.

Perish the thought that PWC and Cap Gemini were somehow influenced in their unbiased opinion by their respective pay masters.


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