The Online Essentials module sets out essential concepts and skills relating to web browsing, effective information search, online communication and e-mail.

Using online tools and services to find information and to communicate is a key park of day-to-day working life. The skills and knowledge that underpin these activities are covered in the Online Essentials module, which focuses on browsing, searching, and communicating.

Module overview

CategorySkill set
Web browsing concepts
  • Key concepts
  • Security and safety
Web browsing
  • Using the web browser
  • Tools and settings
  • Bookmarks
  • Web outputs
Web-based information
  • Search
  • Critical evaluation
  • Copyright, data protection
Communication concepts
  • Online communities
  • Communication tools
  • E-mail concepts
Using e-mail
  • Sending e-mail
  • Receiving e-mail
  • Tools and settings
  • Organising emails
  • Using calendars
  • Introducing files and folders

What are the benefits of this module?

  • Covers the key skills needed to understand the main concepts relating to web browsing and online security.
  • Certifies best practice in effective online computer use.
  • Developed with input from computer users, subject matter experts, and practising computer professionals from all over the world. This process ensures the relevance and range of module content.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, candidates will be able to:

  • Understand web browsing and online security concepts.
  • Use the web browser and manage browser settings, bookmarks, and web outputs.
  • Search effectively for online information and critically evaluate web content.
  • Understand key copyright and data protection issues.
  • Understand concepts of online communities, communications and email.
  • Send, receive e-mails and manage email settings.
  • Organise and search emails and use calendars.


The detailed syllabus for the Online 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 Online Essentials module and how we test skills and knowledge

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

ICDL Workforce Modules

Two Essential Skills modules certify key skills that are also required for many other modules.

The Office Applications modules help build the skills to work with word processing, presentation and spreadsheet applications—all of which are a fundamental part of working life.

Four Good Practice modules cover a range of important skills for safe, legal, and productive use of IT at work.

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