e-CF Voted to Become a European Standard

eCFlogoThe European e-Competence Framework (e-CF) will become a European Standard, following a unanimous vote by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN). A European Standard “carries with it the obligation to be implemented at national level by being given the status of a national standard and by withdrawal of any conflicting national standard"[1]. A European Standard therefore automatically becomes a national standard in each of the 33 CEN-CENELEC member countries. This will be the case for the e-CF in 2016.

While the skills and technologies related to ICT have changed in the past forty years, the profession itself has not matured in parallel. Many of the concerns expressed twenty years ago, relating to low levels of professionalism, are still valid today. Given the role of ICT as an enabler of productivity, this has important implications for European competitiveness. Furthermore, the increasingly pervasive nature of computing means that society at large is at greater risk from low levels of professionalism. The risks posed to society and economies dictate that steps be taken to mature the profession.

To build any profession it is essential to understand the core areas of expertise required by different roles. Organisations may then be able to recruit and develop suitable employees, and maintain appropriate levels of competences through continuous professional development.

The European e-Competence Framework (e-CF) was initiated with the objective of providing a “common, shared, European tool to support organisations and training institutions in recruitment, assessment, competence needs analysis, learning programmes, career path design and development”[2]. Prior to the e-CF, there was no common agreement on how to express ICT competences/skills requirements and gaps on a European level.

The development of the e-CF was undertaken by the CEN Workshop on ICT Skills, which has been chaired by CEPIS for over a decade. With the recent unanimous vote by CEN, the e-CF has overcome the last hurdle to becoming a European Standard in 2016.

Find out more about the e-CF

[1] CEN-CENELEC Internal Regulations, Part 2

[2] Part 3: Building the e-CF - a combination of sound methodology and expert contribution