IT Professionals New Zealand | Te Pou Hangarau Ngaio


CITPNZ Entry requirements

The primary requirement for CITPNZ is that an applicant can show they have been successfully operating at SFIA Level 5 (see below) for at least 3 (of the last 5) years. For example:

  • Have a NZ Qualifications Framework (NZQF) L7 or above qualification (eg bachelors degree) plus five or more years' practice including three at a senior or supervisory level, or
  • Have no qualification but a clear educational focus and 8 to 10 years' practice including at least three at a senior or supervisory level, or
  • Are an academic holding a position of senior lecturer or above and being established in your field.

This is a guideline only - CITPNZ is an evidence-based qualification and the assessment is primarily focused on what you do and how you operate. Some may never reach SFIA Level 5, whereas others might reach it in a far shorter time.


sfialevelsDefining SFIA Level 5

The Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA) is a competency and skills matrix used by the IT industry in over 100 countries to assess and match IT skills. It is overseen and administered by the SFIA Foundation.

As well as defining 96 IT-related skills, SFIA defines 7 levels of responsibility and competency. Level 1 (Follow) outlines practitioners at the start of their career, where they have no responsibility for outcomes and someone else signs off on their work. Level 7 (Strategic) outlines those who are ultimately responsible for a large area of work and operate at a strategic level.

Chartered IT Professional is defined at Level 5 of SFIA (Ensure/Advise) or above. Those operating at Level 5 (for at least 3 of the last 5 years) have the experience and training to be able to provide professional IT advice and be responsible for major outcomes.

SFIA Level 5 is defined as:


Works under broad direction. Is fully accountable for own technical work and/or project/supervisory responsibilities. Receives assignments in the form of objectives. Establishes own milestones and team objectives, and delegates responsibilities. Work is often self-initiated.


Influences organisation, customers, suppliers and peers within industry on the contribution of own specialism. Has significant responsibility for the work of others and for the allocation of resources. Makes decisions which impact on the success of assigned projects i.e. results, deadlines and budget. Develops business relationships with customers.


Performs a challenging range and variety of complex technical or professional work activities. Undertakes work which requires the application of fundamental principles in a wide and often unpredictable range of contexts. Understands the relationship between own specialism and wider customer/organisational requirements.

Business skills

Advises on the available standards, methods, tools and applications relevant to own specialism and can make correct choices from alternatives. Analyses, diagnoses, designs, plans, executes and evaluates work to time, cost and quality targets. Communicates effectively, formally and informally, with colleagues, subordinates and customers. Demonstrates leadership.

Facilitates collaboration between stakeholders who have diverse objectives. Understands the relevance of own area of responsibility/specialism to the employing organisation. Takes customer requirements into account when making proposals. Takes initiative to keep skills up to date. Mentors more junior colleagues. Maintains an awareness of developments in the industry. Analyses requirements and advises on scope and options for operational improvement. Demonstrates creativity and innovation in applying solutions for the benefit of the customer.

More details in the SFIA Section.


Requirements in Brief

CITPNZ is set at the level where an IT Professional has the appropriate level of skills, knowledge, experience and competence to be giving formal IT advice to organisations within their area of expertise.


This requires the following (shown in detail below):

  • A level of competence and responsibility that results in full accountability for advice and actions (SFIA Level 5)
  • A broad (but not necessarily detailed) knowledge of IT across-the-board
  • A detailed (or "specialist") knowledge of IT within an area of expertise
  • Knowledge of non-technical areas that influence and impact upon IT (such as relevant ethical, legal, compliance, professional and organisational considerations)
  • A suitable character to be regarded as a professional

CITPNZ is targeted towards senior professionals who are responsible for IT projects and other work. Others in the team may find Certified Technologist more suitable.


Requirements of Area 1: Skills and Knowledge

Applicants must demonstrate suitable Skills and Knowledge to competently and successfully carry on work as an IT Professional.

  • A broad knowledge of the skills related to their ICT area of expertise. This is tested via a formal Breadth of Knowledge test; and
  • A specialist knowledge and operating at Level 5 of two specific SFIA skills as outlined in the SFIA Framework.

Note that the subjective SFIA definitions for each skill paint a picture of the sorts of expectations of someone operating at Level 5 of the Framework. This should NOT be used as a checklist - applicants do not need to meet every word of the definition, just those relevant to their position.


Requirements of Area 2: Professional Knowledge

Professional Knowledge covers the non-technical aspects of being a professional which help define the fundamental difference between a professional and a non-professional.

The detailed Professional Knowledge Curriculum for this area is developed and maintained independently and contains the professional knowledge requirements for the following areas:

  • Ethics and Code of Practice
  • Understanding of concepts of Security and Privacy
  • Knowledge of ICT Legal Issues
  • ICT Professionals in an Organisational Context


Requirements of Area 3: Competency and Responsibility

The applicant must be operating at SFIA Level 5 or above (see above) and have done so for at least 3 of the last 5 years.

Note that the subjective SFIA definitions below paint a picture of the sorts of expectations of someone operating at Level 5 of the Framework. This should NOT be used as a checklist - applicants do not need to meet all of the requirements listed, just those relevant to their position.


Requirement of Good and Sound Character

In addition to the entry requirements, applicants must be of Good and Sound Character.

Provision of two referees

An assessor will conduct a short and confidential telephone interview with two referees provided by the applicant. The referees also complete a brief written assessment of the applicant, confirming their work.

The referee will be asked a number of questions related to how well they know the applicant and whether in their professional opinion the applicant is of a sound character, suitable for accreditation. The assessment team may also contact others who may know or have known the applicant to further assess their character, or whether they are operating at the required level.

Publication of applicant's name to ICT community

The applicant's name will be published prior to award, with a request that any member knowing of any reason the applicant should not advance to provide this in writing.

Serious criminal convictions

The applicant must disclose prior criminal convictions for the purpose of attaining whether the applicant meets the sound character requirements, as well as disclose whether they are currently under investigation by the New Zealand Police, or have charges pending on any matter related to dishonesty or fraud.

It should be noted that criminal conviction(s) will not automatically exclude the applicant from successfully obtaining CITPNZ, however the conviction(s) will be considered if they amount to professional misconduct or raise serious concerns as to the honesty or respectability of the applicant.

An applicant may be declined for Certification if convictions are of sufficient gravity to be termed "reprehensible" (or "inexcusable", "disgraceful", "deplorable" or "dishonourable")*.

This includes:

  • Repeated offences related to dishonesty, professional misconduct or fraud;
  • Recent offences, within the last 2 years, that relate to dishonesty, professional misconduct or fraud;
  • Serious convictions of crimes which have a maximum punishment in law of 2 years imprisonment or greater.

Should the assessor believe the applicant is not of good and sound character, IITP will write to the applicant outlining the reasoning for this draft determination. The applicant may then respond in writing which will be considered in the final determination.

* Terminology provided in Auckland District Law Society v Atkinson (New Zealand Law Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal, 15 August 1990)


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