The European e-Competence Framework (e-CF) is the result of 10 years continuing effort and commitment by multi-stakeholders from the European ICT sector.

The framework was developed, maintained and supported in practical implementation by a large number of European ICT and HR experts in the context of the CEN ICT Skills Workshop.

Making the e-CF a standard

The e-CF 3.0 was published by the CEN ICT Skills Workshop as a CEN Workshop Agreement (CWA) 16234 in 2014. Following consultation of CEN member states, the e-CF 3.0 was transformed into a European standard and re-published in 2016 as the European Norm (EN) 16234.

In accordance with CEN rules, a new work environment has been created for the e-CF standard development and maintenance, the CEN Technical Committee “Digital competences and ICT Professionalism” (CEN/TC 428).

Identical in its structure and content to the e-CF 3.0 CWA, the new EN format helds great opportunities in further dissemination and continued adoption of the framework EU-wide.

e-CF development history

In 2005, further to the recommendations of the European e-Skills Forum, the CEN ICT Skills Workshop members agreed that national ICT framework stakeholders as well as European ICT industry representatives – both human resources and ICT experts – should consider developing a European e-Competence Framework.

Encouraged and accompanied by the European Commission, ICT framework stakeholders coming from the French association of large ICT demand companies CIGREF, the SFIA representing sector association e-Skills UK and the AITTS representing German social partners IG Metall and BITKOM met with representatives from European larger companies (Airbus, Michelin) and the applied research foundation Fondazione Politecnico di Milano for a kick-off early 2006 in order to put this intention into practice.

During an intensive follow-up, they designed a programme to work towards a European e-Competence Framework under the umbrella of the CEN Workshop on ICT Skills. These efforts were welcomed and recognised in the Communication of the European Commission on “e-Skills for the 21st Century: Fostering Competitiveness, Growth and Jobs” of September 2007 and the Competitiveness Council Conclusions of November 2007.

A joint effort by ICT industry, training, research and policy makers

In order to achieve a European agreement and useful results at an international and national level, the Europe-wide involvement of further ICT sector players and stakeholders from business, politics and education has been crucial to the framework development philosophy and strategy. Whilst at the political level it was important to get the larger multi-stakeholder public of the European ICT sector engaged; at the expert working level focus was placed upon HR and IT management know-how from the European ICT industry.

The European e-Competence Framework version 1.0 was published in 2008 from the outcome of two years e-Skills multi-stakeholder, ICT and human resources experts’ work from multiple organisation levels (CWA 15893-1 and CWA 15893-2).

The European e-Competence Framework version 2.0 was published in 2010, now also with dimension 4 fully developed, and it was accompanied by an updated user guide and a newly developed methodology documentation. Presented in the CWA 16234-1, -2 and -3 the second version of the framework built upon the e-CF version 1.0, taking into account the first e-CF application experience and feedback from ICT stakeholders across Europe. An easy to use on-line tool was published to support navigation through the framework and user-specific profile building in English language.  

From e-CF version 2.0 to version 3.0

The European e-Competence Framework version 3.0 is the result of the CEN ICT skills Workshop Project “e-CF support and maintenance – towards e-CF version 3.0” (2012-2013). Version 1.0 was focused upon pioneering development of dimensions 1, 2 and 3 and version 2.0 provided the framework developed in all four dimensions. Version 3.0 project activity was guided by the overall maturity of the e-CF, reviewing framework underlying principles, content, plus practical acceptance and use by deploying stakeholders.

More detail about the latest e-CF update to version 3.0 can be found here.

From a “de facto” standard to a European standard

Following consultation of EU member states, the e-CF 3.0 was transformed into a European standard and re-published as the European Norm (EN) 16234 in 2016. Identical in its structure and content to the e-CF 3.0 CWA, the new EN format provides great opportunities for further dissemination and continued adoption of the framework Europe-wide.


Get it:

e-CF CWA download
EN16234-1 sales points