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European computer driving licence


One of the five priorities in the White Paper "Growth, Competitiveness and Employment" is 'Preparing forthwith and laying the foundations for the Information Society'. As a result there is a need for actions as follows "Investment in education and training: Knowledge and know-how throughout life".

The Bangemann Report states "The information society has the potential to improve the quality of life of Europe's citizens, the efficiency of our social and economic organisation and to reinforce cohesion. The main risk lies in the creation of a two-tier society of have and have-nots, in which only part of the population has access to the new technology, is comfortable using it and can fully enjoy its benefits".

It is within this scenario that CEPIS (The Council of European Professional Informatics Societies) is introducing the European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL). This is a basic qualification which indicates that the holder is competent to undertake a series of straightforward tasks using a computer.

The ECDL consists of seven modules, one written and six practical tests using a computer. When a candidate registers for the ECDL he/she will be given a European Computer Skills Card on which to record the modules which have been passed. On successful completion of all the modules an ECDL will be issued.

The first module covers aspects of where computers are used, the basics of computing, ethics, security and privacy.

The second module deals with using the computer and managing files. It includes such items as operating system commands, creating and managing files within directories, back-ups and installing software.

The third module covers the fundamental aspects of word processing while the fourth module concentrates on spreadsheets. Data bases and filing systems are covered in module five. Module six deals with presentation tools and drawing while module seven tests the candidates ability in using information network services including e-mail and other relevant facilities.

The major objective of the ECDL is to raise the level of awareness, literacy and skills of the European workforce in the area of Information Technology. In addition a further objective is to provide a basic, accessible qualification which will allow people from all walks of life to feel part of the information society.

There will be a vigorous marketing campaign in order to ensure that people throughout Europe are aware of the purpose and existence of the ECDL.


Council of European Professional Informatics Societies
Mansfield Mews 7
W1M 9FJ London
United Kingdom