The Professional Activities Board (PAB) provides leadership in the Society for activities related to the professional activities of practitioners engaged in disciplines such as computer engineering, computer science, information technology, information systems, and software engineering.

PAB is chaired by the Vice President of Professional Activities, Don Shafer. Its current roster is here

PAB is responsible for formulating policies and practices with respect to the society's role in the development and support of professional disciplines such as computer engineering, computer science, information technology, information systems, and software engineering; including body of  knowledge characterization, competencies, ethics, performance norms, and terminology. It shall recommend, evaluate, initiate, and nurture programs, products, and services to serve practitioners and their employers. In pursuit of the second goal, the PAB shall work closely with the Educational Activities Board (EAB).

The PAB has five committees.


The Certification Committee shall plan, direct, and administer the certification programs offered by the IEEE Computer Society. We have two certifications at the present time: Certified Software Development Professional and Certified Software Development Associate.

Both exams were developed in conformance to ISO/IEC 17024, the international requirements for bodies certifying persons. This means that the development of the exam and education materials are strictly separated: In the Computer Society, the Educational Activities Board is responsible for certification training programs.

Both exams are based on the Guide to the Software Engineering Body of Knowledge (SWEBOK).

The SWEBOK Guide, a Computer Society product, was adopted by ISO/IEC JTC 1 in 2005 as its umbrella description of software engineering  (ISO/IEC TR 19759). In 2008, the adoption of ISO/IEC 24773 established the SWEBOK Guide as the basis for explaining and comparing software engineering certifications.

More information about all of these programs is available at If you have questions about or want to volunteer for these programs, please contact the 2009 Certification Committee chair or the SWEBOK Guide editor.

For questions or feedback regarding the certification programs, please email:


When needed, this committee is formed to process certification appeals, according to the Certification Handbook.


The Professional Activities Planning Committee shall study, evaluate, and recommend new programs within the PAB scope. In particular, the Committee shall recommend programs to deal with specific professional disciplines.

Discipline-Specific Committees

These standing committee are created whenever the Society decides to initiate work within a particular professional discipline. Each committee will make recommendations to PAB regarding programs in the particular discipline. There are two committees at the present time: Software and Systems Engineering and Information Technology.

For more information about the Computer Society's professional activities, contact the Vice President of Professional Activities, Don Shafer.