The European e-Competence Framework provides a reference of 40 e-Competences specified at five proficiency levels that can then be adapted and customised into different contexts from ICT business and stakeholder application perspectives.

The 40 competences of the framework are classified according to five main ICT business areas and relate to the European Qualifications Framework (EQF).

Find here quoted the guiding principles that have inspired the construction of the framework, as they are described in the document attached (from

The e-CF is an enabler; it is designed to be a tool to empower users, not to restrict them.

The e-CF provides a structure and content for application by many types of users from
organisations in the private and public sector, ICT user or ICT supply companies, educational
institutions including higher education and private certification providers, social partners and
individuals. In this broad application context, the e-CF is designed to support common
understanding, not to mandate the use of each and every word used within the e-CF.

The e-CF expresses ICT competence using the following definition: ‘Competence is a
demonstrated ability to apply knowledge, skills and attitudes for achieving observable results’. This is a
holistic concept directly related to workplace activities and incorporating complex human
behaviours expressed as embedded attitudes.

Competence is a durable concept and although technology, jobs, marketing terminology and
promotional concepts within the ICT environment change rapidly, the e-CF remains durable requiring
maintenance approximately every three years to maintain relevance.

A competence can be a component of a job role, but it cannot be used as a substitute for
similarly named job titles, for example; the competence, D.7. ‘Sales Management’ does not
represent the complete content of a ‘Sales Manager’ job role. Competences can be
aggregated, as required, to represent the essential content of a job role or profile. On the other hand,
one single competence may be assigned to a number of different job profiles.

Competence is not to be confused with process or technology concepts such as, ‘Cloud
Computing’ or ‘Big Data’. These descriptions represent evolving technologies and in the context
of the e-CF, they may be integrated as elements within knowledge and skill examples.

The e-CF does not attempt to cover every possible competence deployed by an ICT
professional or ICT manager nor are the included competences necessarily unique to
ICT. The e-CF articulates competences associated with ICT professional roles including some that may
be found in other professions but are very important in an ICT context; examples include, C.4
‘Problem Management’ or E.3 ‘Risk Management’. However, to maintain an ICT focus, the e-CF avoids
generic competences such as ‘Communications or General Management’ although very applicable
these transversal competences are comprehensively articulated in other structures. Selecting
competences for inclusion within the e-CF is therefore, not a scientific choice, but a pragmatic
process engaging a broad cross-section of stakeholders who prioritise competence inclusion
based upon industry knowledge and experience.

The e-CF is structured from four dimensions. e-competences in dimension 1 and 2 are presented
from the organisational perspective as opposed to from an individual’s perspective. Dimension 3 which
defines e-competence levels related to the European Qualifications Framework (EQF), is a
bridge between organisational and individual competences.

The e-CF has a sector specific relationship to the EQF; competence levels within the e-CF
provide a consistent and rational relationship to levels defined within the EQF. The relativity
between EQF learning levels and e-CF competence levels has been systematically developed to enable
consistent interpretation of the EQF in the ICT workplace environment.

Continuity of the e-CF is imperative; following maintenance updates it is essential that users are
provided with a simple upgrade path. e-CF users invest considerable time and resources to align
processes or procedures with the e-CF. Organisations deploying these downstream
activities are reliant upon the e-CF and need to be confident of the continued sustainability of their
processes. Updates of the e-CF must recognise this requirement and provide for continuity enabling
use of the existing e-CF version until it is convenient to upgrade to the latest version.

The e-CF is neutral and free to use; it does not follow the specific interests of a few major
influencers, it is developed and maintained through an EU-wide balanced multi-stakeholder agreement
process, under the umbrella of the European Committee for Standardization. The e-CF is a key
component of the European Commission’s Digital Agenda; it is designed for use by any organisation
engaged in ICT Human Resource planning and competence development.

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