European Computer Driving Licence

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International Computer Driving Licence (ICDL), formerly known as European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL), is a computer literacy certification program provided by ECDL Foundation,[1] a not-for-profit organisation.

The ICDL / ECDL certification is a globally recognised information and communication technology (ICT) and digital literacy qualification.[2] Other than the name, there is no difference between ECDL and ICDL and they are recognised as equivalent.[3] According to ECDL Foundation, over 14 million people in over 100 countries had registered as candidates for ECDL.[4]

In 1995, the ECDL certification programme was developed through a task force of the Council of European Professional Informatics Societies (CEPIS) and was recommended by the European Commission High Level Group, ESDIS, to be a Europe-wide certification scheme.[5] The task force compared several national certification schemes and chose the CDL from Finland as the basis for piloting and later adoption into the ECDL.[6]

In the UK, it is used by the National Health Service as the benchmark IT qualification and as such it is available without charge to all staff.[7]


In order to take the tests, a candidate buys an ECDL Skills Card, which usually is issued electronically and serves as a login to the testing platform. To prepare for a module test, the candidate may use ECDL diagnostic tests.[8] Testing is done using software which simulates the Windows/Microsoft Office environment. The candidate's mouse movements and keystrokes are monitored and the result of the test is reported immediately after the test is completed.[2]

New ECDL / ICDL[edit]

Since 2013, the syllabus has been divided into 18 modules on three levels:

Original ECDL / ICDL[edit]

Until 2013 the ECDL/ICDL syllabus was divided into seven modules.[2][9] These are:

Additionally, there was an Advanced version that was divided into four modules. These are:

  • Advanced Word Processing
  • Advanced Spreadsheets
  • Advanced Presentation
  • Advanced Database

Many training centres used Microsoft software (the applications used are shown in parenthesis) but other software environments could be used, such as Apache OpenOffice/LibreOffice.


  1. ^ "ECDL Foundation". Retrieved 7 August 2012.
  2. ^ a b c "European Computer Driving Licence". UCL Information Services Division. University College London. Retrieved 29 November 2013.
  3. ^ Poulter, A.; McMenemy, D. (1 January 2004). "Beyond the European Computer Driving Licence: basic and advanced ICT skills for the new library professional". IFLA Journal. 30 (1): 37–46. CiteSeerX doi:10.1177/034003520403000107. S2CID 111252450.
  4. ^ "About Us - ECDL Foundation". News archive. ECDL Foundation. Retrieved 29 March 2016.
  5. ^ "eEuropeTargets 2001/2002". European Commission. 2 July 2007. Archived from the original on 27 June 2008. Retrieved 2007-10-12.
  6. ^ Leahy, Denise; Dolan, Dudley (September 2010). Tatnall, Arthur (ed.). "History of the European Computer Driving License". History of Computing: Learning from the Past: 136. ISSN 1868-4238.
  7. ^ Townley, S. A. (November 2004). "European Computer Driving Licence". Anaesthesia. 59 (11): 1145. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2044.2004.03989.x. PMID 15479338.
  8. ^ ECDL site with all diagnostic tests
  9. ^ "ECDL/ICDL Syllabus version 5.0" (PDF). ECDL Foundation. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 December 2010. Retrieved 29 November 2013.

External links[edit]