The Australian Computer Society (ACS) has become the first IT body in the world to be accepted as a professional organisation.
The move by the Australian Council of Professions (ACP) means IT will be regarded as a profession in the same way that law or medicine is.
ACS president Prins Ralston said IT was a key industry in modern economies that required professionals with a high degree of expertise, and had defined standards of business ethics and conduct.
He said it was important that IT developed as a profession in tune with the rapid development of technology itself.
"This initiative has significant implications for people working in the IT profession, both for individuals who want to be recognised for their expertise and experience, and for employers needing some objective assurance regarding the qualifications of potential and existing employees," he said.
The ACS has lobbied for full membership of the ACP for more than a decade; however, the details outlining the society's push toward professionalism were first formally laid down in 1996.
Since that time, computer groups in Europe and the US have used the ACS' plans as a "base model for the harmonisation of IT skills" across the world, Ralston said.
ACS membership of the ACP is effective from January 1, 2000.