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ECDL question


We are thinking of using an accredited route to improve the level of IT skills amongst the staff who use IT on a day to day basis ( not the IT experts). My first thought was ECDL but there seem to be less providers around, and I notice that the NHS has stopped using it as its IT skill standard.
Is the ECDL still the relevant qualification or is there something else which has taken over from it?
Any advice gratefully received.
Marian Ives

5 Responses

  1. ECDL – very relevant!
    Marian, I’m not aware of any qualification which replaced the ECDL but I would definitely support the relevance. I’m surprised to read your comments about the NHS as my current employer has very strong links with the local NHS teaching hospitals and their nursing students are expected to attain their ECDL certificates. Perhaps there are variations between trusts? I’d be happy to speak to our ECDL coordinating manager for some pointers about suitable providers if that would help. If so an idea of your location would be useful. 🙂

  2. Long winded bloat
    That’s the ECDL a ridiculously over thorough introduction to Microsoft Office.

    Accreditation is fine but only if the training itself adds value – it would be much better to define what exactly it is you want these people to be able to do and then train them to do that.

    In my experience most people need to use Word and Outlook (or their Open Source equivalents), and maybe 10% of people need to use Excel (though many more use it because they can’t create a table in Word), and maybe 10% need PowerPoint and err… 0.1% need to be able to use Access or other relational databases.

    The ECDL is OK if you want the lot, but if not – spend your money wisely – you don’t need a piece of paper to prove you have a skill. And most people appreciate relevant training themselves rather than bits of paper.

  3. Not completely …
    Nik, I largely agree with your comments however I would like to highlight one fact, that being the ECDL does provide a benchmark in terms of an individual’s PC skills. This is particularly valuable for employers during the recruitment process and for IT trainers. I personally face one consistent problem when delivering IT courses as people tend to overestimate their abilities. One delegate informed me he was familiar with a keyboard layout and was most offended when I checked his skills level. Even though he had witnessed my asking the previous 5 delegates exactly the same question. His familiarity was demonstrated by leaning on his left arm and stabbing at the keyboard with his right finger. Whilst I would concur that most of the training material may not be completely useful and is probably forgotten shortly afterwards, I am comfortable with what the ECDL represents and it gets my full support until something better comes along. 🙂

  4. ECDL?
    ECDL is still relevant if you are looking for a good general purpose qualification, however, the next step is ITQ which can benefit from government funding. Talk to either a local FE college or follow the Train to Gain path and speak to the LSC.

  5. ITQ
    ITQ is the successor to ECDL and I believe that it has been much more widely considered and is more related to the needs of employers today.

    You can find information (although not the easiest to find a route through) on the following sites:-

    Most Centres are colleges and other funded agencies but there are other providers that work with the syllabus and tailor it to the needs of your organisation – something which colleges are rarely able to do.

    We have a few clients doing this at the moment, so I know it can work.

    Good luck with it.


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