People can complete an online questionnaire which assesses their skills and produces a barchart highlighting areas of proficiency and areas where further training is recommended.
The training needs analysis is closely aligned with the European computer driving licence qualification and highlights skills gaps in the areas covered by the seven ECDL modules: basic concepts, using the computer and managing files, word processing, spreadsheets, databases, presentations, and information and communication.
People will have the option of receiving a more detailed analysis of their skills for a small charge.
ECDL manager Wilf Voss said, "We hope people will use the training needs analysis as a first step to furthering their IT skills. They will be able to assess their capabilities and decide whether they need further training.
"It will show whether people are ready to sit an ECDL exam immediately or whether they should undertake training. It enables people to make an informed choice about their training needs and, with an increasing number of employers asking for the ECDL as a sign of IT proficiency, completing the training needs analysis is the best place to start."
The questionnaire takes just a few minutes to complete and asks people to judge whether they are competent in areas covered by the ECDL modules.
The service is also being extended to employers. "We are offering a report on return on investment for organisations that want to determine the level of staff IT competency and assess how much time could be saved with an IT-proficient office," Voss said.
"Staff will complete an initial skills questionnaire and the return on investment report will calculate how much time is being wasted because of a lack of IT knowledge.
"This will be particularly useful for training and human resources managers who are responsible for evaluating training needs and allocating budgets.
Voss pointed to a study of NHS staff in Manchester who have achieved the ECDL. It found that the number of people calling IT support regularly dropped from 71% to less than 5%. In addition, the staff saved an average of 38 minutes a day because they were no longer struggling with IT.