New EN 16234-1:2019 provides a common framework to assess ICT skills all across Europe 

Technological change is changing the global economy. To continue to prosper, European businesses have to be competitive. In this context, new digital skills are a major priority for the European industry, for it to compete successfully in the global, innovation-based economy. Indeed, the global race for talent requires the European workforce to acquire high-level skills and continuously improve them to boost employability and fuel competitiveness and growth. Unfortunately, in many industries, there are still increasing skills gaps and mismatches related to digital and high-tech key enabling technologies, which reduces their ability to benefit from the opportunities of digitalisation.

Addressing this gap is the objective of recently published EN 16234-1:2019 ‘e-Competence Framework (e-CF) - A common European Framework for ICT Professionals in all sectors - Part 1: Framework’. The standard provides a new framework to categorise e-skills, by referencing a list of 41 competences required in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) professional work environment, using a common language for competences, skills and proficiency levels that can be understood across Europe.

The definitions presented in the document  are designed to apply to all actors involved in the ICT sector, such as ICT service companies and professionals, managers and human resource (HR) departments, vocational education institutions and training bodies, professional associations, accreditation, validation and assessment bodies, and market analysts and policy makers, providing them with a commonly recognised measure of ICT talent.

In particular, e-CF aims to support decision-making in relation to the selection and recruitment of candidates, as well as the qualification, training and assessment of ICT professionals. It enables the identification of skills and competences that may be required to successfully perform duties and fulfill responsibilities in the ICT sector.

EN 16234-1:2019 replaces and updates a previous edition from 2016. The development of this standard has been supported by the European Commission due to its importance for the development of a strong and competitive digital economy in the EU. Indeed, the e-CF is a fundamental component of the European Union’s strategy for e-Skills in the 21st Century. The new, updated version of EN 16234-1 provides great opportunities for further dissemination and continued adoption of the framework Europe-wide.

EN 16234-1:2019 has been developed by CEN/TC 428 ‘ICT Professionalism and Digital Competences’, whose Secretariat is currently held by UNI, the Italian National Standardization Body.  

For more information, please contact Constant KOHLER.