merit event - does "technology mean business" mean business

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A recent DTI survey confirmed that most managers understand the importance of utilising information and communication technologies (ICT) within their organisation. This same report indicated, however, that many of these businesses were unable to identify advisors who could demonstrate expertise that combined technical knowledge with business understanding. To overcome this concern the Institute of Management, in association with many of the leading industry providers including Microsoft, Intel, BT, and Compaq have developed their own accreditation standard. The Technology Means Business standard indicates that the advisor can demonstrate their understanding of both the technical and the business processes required to fully exploit ICT within a business setting. These advisors will also have confirmed their ability to deliver advice in a manner that can be understood by the non-technical business manager. Technology Means Business has already been adopted by organisations, such as Business Link, as the minimum qualification for their ICT advisors. Similarly, many organisations that provide other ICT products and services to the business community are also adopting this standard. In an effort to better understand this process MERIT has invited Gary Ridgway - Manager of the Liverpool Technology Means Business Accreditation Centre – to come and discuss this topic in more depth. This informal presentation will include: •An introduction to Technology Means Business; •The accreditation process; •Time and cost implications; and •The potential benefits Who should attend: If you or your business provides business or ICT based advice to the business community and/or you sell ICT products or services then you need to attend this event.


  • 1.Technology Means Business(TMB) Mary Cunningham Training DirectorAbout IT Ltd

2. What is Technology Means Business?

  • It is a new scheme designed to improve UK small and medium sized enterprise competitiveness through the effective use of information and communications technology

3. The purpose of TMB

  • Under-performance of UK SMEs
  • 40% of firms experiencing problems finding the right kind of expert IT advice
  • UKs SMEs are behind those in rest of Europe and Far East
          • Does Technology Mean Business (IoM Sep 2000)

4. How?

  • Establish an accreditation scheme for those providing small businesses with ICT advice
  • Create a national network of accredited advisers
  • Establish a recognisableICT advice channelfor small and medium sized businesses

5. Value - WI I FM factor

  • enhance our statusand
  • help to clarify for our clients our approach, abilities and credibility .

Initially observed Technology Means Business (TMB) in October 2000 and identified it as being a valuable accreditation which would : 6. Bridging theSkillsGap ICT Business Advice Technology Means Business 7. TMB & the Accreditation P rocess

      • Competence-based qualification delivered throughapproved cent re susing web-basedtoolsand an assessment system.
      • It assesses both knowledge(in 3 areas)and performance(skills of the adviser).

8. Performance Adviser Skills

      • Unit 1 Establish and maintain the capacity to act as anICT adviser to SMEs
      • Unit 2 Enable clients to identify the potential of ICT tocontribute to the competitiveness of the business
      • Plus evidence for one of the following:
      • Unit 3 Enable the client to plan an ICT intervention
      • Unit 4 Enable the client to implement an ICT intervention
      • Unit 5 Evaluate and review the outcomes of an ICTintervention
      • Candidates are required to demonstrate their ability against thre eunits of performance:

9. The 3 Knowledge Areas ICT Knowledge and Orientation SME Knowledge Business Application of ICT 10. Knowledge is assessed in two ways:

      • A knowledge test (which has to be retaken every year) theS tandard change severy year need to get 60% to pass.

ICT Knowledge and Orientation SME Knowledge 11. Knowledge is assessed in two ways:

  • Evidenced in the candidates work through observation, questions and answers in interview, written work produced, personal statements.

Business Application of ICT 12. What Quality measures are in place? 13. Each TMB Centre must have:

  • Qualified Tutor/Assessors (with appropriate awards)
  • Centre Verifiers (with Verifier awards)
  • An Agency Verifier who approves all TMB Advisers against the national Standard
  • Internal Quality Control measures

14. All evidence will be assessed to ensure that it is:

      • Valid relevant to the standard being assessed
      • Authentic the work of the candidate and not somebody elses
      • Current candidate is demonstrating competence now and in the future
      • Sufficient quantity of evidence or frequency is checked for
      • Reliable same judgements are reached by different tutors/assessors

15. Re-accreditation Process

  • Each year the adviser has to re-sit the Knowledge Test for the current Standard
  • Each year the adviser has to submit a case-study questionnaire on one client from that year

16. The Audience ICT Adviser ICT Adviser General Business Adviser Business Adviser Advisers who want accreditation 17. How long does it take

      • A period of 3 to 6 months is usually sufficient it depends on your day to day opportunities to provide advice to SMEs.Some have achieved it in a much shorter time frame some longer.

18. So how do I begin? 19. Beginning Stage

      • Register with a cent re
      • Invited to an Induction Day introduced to the TMB Standard the website- the way the assessment will be conducted
      • Review your current work, client base and accomplishments Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) built in to the programme
      • In i tial Diagnostic Contract drawn up between adviser and assessor detailing all the elements of theS tandard and the evidence in existence and assessment methods to be used. Option will be registered here.
      • Personal Development Plan with timescales drawn up from the gaps in knowledge / performance sections learning blocks identified and signposted to

20. Working Stage

      • Candidate prepares portfolio of evidence can be paper-based and online
      • Attend learning blocks (optional)
      • Candidate sits knowledge exam at cent re
      • Tutor/Assessor contacts candidate to assist if necessary and arrange observation
      • Candidate observed (at least once)
      • Candidate submits final portfolio to tutor/assessor at cent re

21. Final Stage

      • Candidate presents portfolio to tutor/assessor at a final interview (approx 2 hours).
      • Tutor/Assessor submits portfolio for accreditation
      • Centre Verifierverifies the assessment process to ensure that tutors are assessing properly and consistently
      • Agency VerifierverifiesCentre Verifiers once all this has been completed the Tutor/Assessor can inform the candidate of the achievement of the accreditation.

22. Costs

  • InitialRegistration= 650.00
      • Includesattendance at TMB Induction
      • Cost of TMBRegistration150 access to the website
      • Training Needs Analysis for knowledge areas
      • Initial Diagnostic for Performance areas
      • One to one mentoring and signposting to relevant resources
      • Personal Development Plan
      • Introductionto Web site tools
      • One Knowledge Test

23. Costs

  • Final Stage Costs = 495.00
      • One to Onesupport
      • Observations in the field
      • Access to TMB E-group
      • Assessment of portfolio of evidence
      • Final Interview (approx 2 hours)
      • Verification of evidence
    • Total Cost of TMB accreditation=1145.00

24. Our Centres AddedValue 25. Adviser Personal Skills 26. A Framework for Integrated Business Interventions in SMEs 27. Financial Management of SMEs 28. The role of ICT in the workplace 29. Networks and their uses in SMEs 30. Internet Technologies, E-commerce and Telecommunications 31. Course Outlines

  • Course Outlines are available to take away
  • Cost on all About IT TMB courses is 100 per delegate per day
  • Timetable of dates for courses also available

32. What are the long-term benefits to a TMB Adviser? 33. Benefits to Advisers

  • Toolsfor use with SME clients
  • Materials and resourcesto assistyouto become accredited
  • Latestproduct newsand developments in business advice
  • Networking with other advisers
  • Regular member updates

34. Benefits to Advisers

  • Hot links to key organisations
  • Inclusion in the online register of accredited advisers
  • Use of TMBbrand
  • Continuous development programme

35. Value to SMEs

      • Quality of advice Client is aware that our knowledge is current, i.e. upgraded and tested for yearly