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Who are we?

SPA (pronounced 'spar') is the Software Practice Advancement specialist group of BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT. Read about our aims and mission here.

What do we do?

How do I join?

Although everyone can attend BCS SPA meetings, those attending more than one or two are encouraged to join BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, at the appropriate grade. You'll find everything you need to know about joining SPA here.

What else is on this site?

Lists of past and planned events are here, including presentation materials and/or notes in many cases, along with newsletters and other useful materials. There used to be a wiki for discussion of related topics, but it was not used much and so the content is now offered on a read-only basis.

You can jump from here directly to the London Meeting Programme and to our playlist on YouTube.


There are a number of friendly organisations whose goals are broadly sympathetic to those of SPA, and with whom SPA has had cross-sponsorship or other arrangements in the past.

Where's OOPS?

Find out why BCS OOPS changed its name to SPA. Or read more about SPA's thirty year history.


Data Analysis for Software Engineers

In a departure from our usual event programme, we offer an all-day workshop / tutorial by Derek M Jones: Data analysis for software engineers. Dive into the world of data with this hands-on teach-in on Saturday 22 June, 2024.

The focus of this immersive workshop is learning how to obtain information useful to practising software developers. Statistics is used as a tool for extracting valuable insights from your data. Learn how to fit equations to data, select the optimal design for an experiment, create various kinds of graphs containing data analysis findings and understand the caveats underlying the statistical claims of significance made in reports and articles.

SPA Conference

The annual BCS Software Practice Advancement conference "Software in Practice" brings together experts and practitioners to share the latest thinking in software development. Recordings of past conference sessions are available.

No conference is currently planned for 2024. It's a lot of work to put together a conference and the level of participation in recent years has been frankly disappointing. Please get in touch with the committee if you would be interested in reviving the annual conference.

Please contact us if your organisation might be interested in sponsoring the next conference.

Next evening meeting (London)

7th May 2024, 18:30-20:00. Quintin Balsdon: Design for Accessibility. BCS London and live-streamed.

[Full London programme]