ECDL interest grows as IT milestone is reached

The European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) qualification is gaining momentum. In a report to mark the one millionth candidate,...

The European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) qualification is gaining momentum. In a report to mark the one millionth candidate, IT consultancy Butler Group, says, "It is an important initiative that should be widely supported," writes John Kavanagh.

The scheme is run by the BCS in the UK, where the number of candidates has risen by 15% in the past two months, taking the total number of people to have sat the exam to 230,000 in just over three years.

"The lack of acknowledgement of this significant IT milestone is disappointing because the concept and implementation of the ECDL has the potential to deliver significant economic benefits to organisations and societies alike," Butler Group says.

"Progress towards developing a standard base level of competency is to be welcomed by all organisations, as it will reduce IT support costs and assist organisations in recruitment.

"Core competencies in IT are essential if the European Commission's ambitious e-learning programme is to reach fruition."

The ECDL is gained after tests on seven modules covering basic IT concepts, using a computer and spreadsheets, database, presentation, and information and communication.

As the take-up of the scheme among individuals and employers continues to increase, the BCS is working with the international ECDL Foundation to develop and enhance the qualification.

Developments include ECDL Start, which provides a certificate of achievement once four of the seven modules are completed, and ECDL Advanced, which emphasises automated testing and improving ease of use.

The Ulster rugby squad is among many groups to study for the ECDL. Squad member Jan Cunningham says, "I want to make myself more readily employable when my rugby career ends, and the ECDL is an excellent tool for this."

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