Defining ICT skills and competences for the digital economy

"The e-Competence Framework has been designed to meet the needs of companies of all sizes – from large multinationals to small and medium-sized enterprises – and it can equally be used within public administrations and associations. We believe that the e-CF will be one of the pillars of Europe’s Digital Single Market and that it will also help solve the lack of e-skills across Europe." Fabio Massimo, Chair of CEN/TC 428. ICT skills CEN has adopted a European Standard that sets out a framework for assessing professional skills and competences in the field of information and communication technologies (ICT). The European e-Competence Framework (e-CF) defines a common language to describe the competences of ICT professionals, and is designed to meet the needs of businesses, public bodies and non-profit organizations. The European e-Competence Framework (e-CF) provides a means of describing professional skills related to ICT using a common framework of competences and levels that can be understood throughout the whole of Europe, and may also be used internationally. The e-CF contains 40 competences that could be required by ICT professionals, and the competence levels in the e-CF correspond to the levels that are set out in the European Qualification Framework (EQF).

The e-CF has been developed through a process of collaboration between experts and stakeholders from many different countries, supported by CEN. The framework is intended for use by companies that are suppliers or users of ICT-related services, managers and Human Resources (HR) departments, education institutions and training bodies, and other organizations in both the public and private sectors.

The European Standard 'e-Competence Framework (e-CF) - A common European Framework for ICT Professionals in all industry sectors - Part 1: Framework' (EN 16234-1:2016) has been developed by CEN’s Technical Committee on e-competences and ICT Professionalism (CEN/TC 428). It is based on a document (CEN Workshop Agreement CWA 16234-1) that was originally developed by the CEN Workshop on ICT Skills. The new European Standard (EN 16234-1:2016) is being published by CEN’s national members in 33 countries. Meanwhile, CEN is currently in the process of approving a publication containing guidance for users of the e-CF, which will be published as a CEN Technical Report (CEN/TR 16234-2). At the same time, CEN/TC 428 is developing a draft Technical Report addressing methodological aspects of the e-CF (prCEN/TR 16234-3).


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A service contract has been awarded in December 2013 by the European Commission to a consortium led by empirica to undertake this work.

The event is supported by the EC in the scope of the service contract to promote e-leadership in Europe (LEAD)