Policy and publications

Digital competences have never been more important. Millions of people across Europe and around the world are relying on their digital skills for education and work today.

DigComp is a critical tool for understanding digital competence. It helps align training, certification, and the needs of the job market. It increases mobility, opens educational opportunities, and helps empower individuals with digital skills.

ICDL is an exemplary implementation of DigComp.

ICDL can be used as a reliable and trustworthy measure of digital skills that is fully compatible with DigComp.

ICDL and DigComp

We have been involved in DigComp for a number of years. Through engagement with the development of DigComp, we have contributed insights from our experience in certifying digital skills. We bring an employability and work- related skills perspective to DigComp and have developed a number of our programmes in line with competences featured in DigComp.

Mapping ICDL to DigComp

We mapped ICDL to DigComp by comparing the learning outcomes from each ICDL module against the competence descriptions for each competence level. ICDL modules can be broken down into specific learning outcomes describing the skill or knowledge that a candidate is expected to have if they complete the module successfully. By mapping these learning outcomes to the competence levels in DigComp, we can see how different ICDL modules map to the competences. We can also see what level, or levels, of the competence they map to. You can see a simplified mapping of modules to competence areas in our graphic. A much more detailed mapping is available on request.

What is DigComp?

DigComp is a digital competence framework created by the European Commission. It aims to help the development and understanding of digital competence in Europe.

DigComp proposes a set of digital competences for all citizens. Individual competences (21 in total) are grouped into five competence areas: Information, Communication, Content Creation, Safety, and Problem Solving. Eight proficiency levels—ranging from Foundation to Highly Specialised—are defined for each of the competences.

DigComp area

ICDL modules mapped to area

Independent references of ICDL to DigComp

The high degree to which ICDL covers the DigComp framework has been independently validated. A 2018 study carried out by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics indicated that ICDL covered DigComp more comprehensively than 8 other international digital literacy frameworks or schemes.


UNICEF published a paper on digital literacy for children that argued that the UN agency should use the DigComp framework to develop its own digital literacy strategy for children. The paper also noted that ICDL has been used in 31 countries as a competence framework, and highlights that both the DigComp framework and the Digital Kids Asia-Pacific framework are compatible with ICDL.


The experience of ECDL Poland in using ICDL to cover DigComp competences in a practical skills development project has been highlighted in the JRC’s ‘DigComp in Action’ publication.

JRC DigComp in Action

We have also published this guide to ICDL and DigComp in PDF form.

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