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European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL)
The European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) is designed to help people develop their IT skills and gain an internationally recognised qualification. Over a million people in the UK are working towards or have already gained the accreditation. ECDL is vendor-neutral and no prior knowledge of IT is necessary before starting the programme.
The British Computer Society (BCS), who manage the programme in the UK on behalf of the ECDL Foundation, list Sainsbury's, the NHS and HSBC among the companies who have set ECDL as their computer skills benchmark.
Wilf Voss, ECDL Marketing Manager at the BCS, outlines some of the benefits to organisations: "ECDL enables organisations to quantify computer skills in the workplace and, of course, it's a great way to motivate staff by providing them with an internationally accredited qualification. ECDL also saves organisations money through reduced user support and increased productivity. Research from the NHS and Learn ECDL gave an average saving of 38 minutes per day for ECDL qualified staff. We're also seeing ECDL being used by number of organisations as the benchmark for IT user skills in their enterprise."
ECDL candidates must first register at an accredited ECDL test centre. On registering, they will receive an ECDL logbook which lists the seven modules that make up the certification. These are:
To achieve their ECDL, candidates must pass a test for each module. The tests can be taken in any order but must be completed in a three year period. On passing all seven modules the logbook is exchanged for a formal ECDL certificate and a portable credit card version.
see also: ECDL Advanced
Training for ECDL
Training to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to pass the ECDL modules can be obtained from many sources and in a range of delivery formats including instructor-led training, online learning, CD-ROMs and books/manuals. A list of organisations whose training materials have been accredited by the ECDL Foundation is available from The British Computer Society.
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