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 skillsCEN 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).

Process of collaboration between experts and stakeholders

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.

Welcoming the new European Standard, Fiona Fanning, Secretary General of CEPIS (Council of  European Professional Informatics Societies), said: "Organizations must be able to understand the core areas of ICT expertise required by different roles, in order to recruit and develop suitable employees, and maintain adequate levels of competences. The e-CF is the ideal tool to support organisations in doing so, and it will help tackle Europe’s alarming ICT skills gap."

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).