The Computer Essentials module covers the main concepts and skills needed for using devices, computers, ICT, and software effectively.

Using computers in the workplace is now a common occurrence. Knowing how to manage computers, devices, and data securely and effectively is a valuable skill for workers.

This module is suitable for a wide range of candidates who want to be able to take advantage of technology. It covers a range of main skills on computers, such
as changing settings, creating and managing files, connecting to a network, and securing data.

Develop the key skills needed to start using computers or other devices effectively.

Module overview

CategorySkill set
Computers and devices
  • ICT
  • Hardware
  • Software and licensing
  • Start up, shut down
Desktop, icons, settings
  • Desktops and icons
  • Using windows
  • Tools and settings
  • Working with text
  • Printing
File management
  • Introducing files and folders
  • Organising files and folders
  • Storage and compression
  • Network concepts
  • Network access
Security and wellbeing
  • Protecting data and devices
  • Malware
  • Health and green IT

Main learning outcomes

Successful candidates will be able to use computers and devices to carry out essential everyday tasks. After passing this module, candidates will be familiar with computer operating systems and their peripherals and software. They will be able to:

  • understand the key concepts relating to ICT, computers, devices, and software
  • identify the different settings and options of an operating system and use the built-in help
  • recognise good practice in file management and be able to organise files and folders efficiently
  • understand network concepts and connection options and be able to connect to a network
  • recognise considerations relating to green IT, accessibility, and user health

Why certify with ICDL?

  • ICDL certification is internationally recognised by employers and institutions.
  • ICDL modules are developed with input from computer users, subject matter experts, and practising professionals from all over the world.
  • The regularly updated syllabus content reflects day-to-day tasks and responsibilities typical of job roles.
  • ICDL modules focus on skills acquisition as well as an understanding of concepts.
  • ICDL syllabus content is vendor-independent so that skills and knowledge are transferable.
  • ICDL has rigorous Quality Assurance Standards (QAS) and regular quality audits are conducted internally and externally.


The detailed syllabus for the Computer Essentials module is publicly available, so that there is complete clarity about what is covered.

The syllabus document, which sets out the specific skills and knowledge that you will learn and against which you will be certified, can be downloaded here.

Sample tests

Do you want to better understand the Computer Essentials module and how we test skills and knowledge

Try out the Computer Essentials sample tests here to get a feel for the coverage of the module, or practice before your certification test.

Offer ICDL in your organisation

You can use ICDL as a training centre, a school or college, or for your own staff within your organisation.

To offer ICDL certification, you should contact the local ICDL operator in your country.

You can find contact details for all ICDL operators on our ‘ICDL in your country‘ page.

Find an ICDL course near you

Certifying your digital skills with ICDL is simple:

  1. Assess your existing skills with a Diagnostic Test
  2. Build your skills during a course or through learning in your own time
  3. Certify your skills and earn an ICDL certificate

ICDL Diagnostic Tests, Certification Tests, and courses are available through a network of test centres around Europe.

To get started, find an ICDL Accredited Test Centre near you

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