Fast Track: The European Computer Driving Licence
Sunday 18 October 1998
More than 4,500 internet users visit the site on a typical working day (and the majority of them pay for what they download). Lately, these numbers have been swelled hugely by the surge of interest in acquiring a European Computer Driving Licence. This has nothing at all to do with driving on the other side of the road, and everything to do with obtaining a standard competence in computing skills that is recognised all over Europe.
The awarding body in this country is the British Computer Society, based in Swindon. "It's aimed at anyone who wants to prove their competence in using a PC,'' says Peter Bayley, project manager for the ECDL in the UK.
"It may well be useful for graduates leaving university without having done IT or an IT-related degree.''
The ECDL is an attempt to instil a common, widely-recognised standard for computer skills. It is broken down into seven modules: basic concepts of IT, using the computer and managing files, word processing, spreadsheets, databases, graphics and networking. Thirteen European countries have adopted it.
Equivalent to level two in the National Vocational Qualification in using IT, the new licence differs in that it is test-based, whereas the NVQ involves building a portfolio of evidence. Students have to buy a log book (pounds 25) and a syllabus (pounds 5 - although this can be downloaded free) and have to sit the tests at accredited centres, usually schools or colleges.
One-off test fees are about pounds 12-pounds 15 for each module, but colleges running courses may charge pounds 80-pounds 90 a term for instruction, to include the tests. Absolute beginners may need more than 120 hours' instruction, and college fees vary.
Although the ECDL could prove too basic for some people considering a career in IT, others would find it challenging - and indicative of their willingness to take the initiative. Easynet managing director Brian Mulligan said companies were well-disposed towards people who had undertaken some vocational training off their own bat.
"We're in favour of NVQs and vocational training of any description. The first thing we look for is experience and if they have that, we don't examine their qualifications too closely. Without experience, you're looking at their academic record. We are impressed by people who have, of their own volition, chosen to do product-orientated courses such as Novel or Microsoft.''
Details of the ECDL from: ECDL, the British Computer Society, 1 Sanford Street, Swindon, Wiltshire SN1 1HJ. Tel: 01793 417497. E-mail: email@example.com. Website: www.bcs.org.uk/ecdl.
Cheltenham Computer Training can be found at www.cctglobal.com/.
elephant appealThe first 23 lots in our charity auction have now gone. But there are 22 more still up for grabs
From rainforests and reefs to beaches and boat trips
comedy'Fresh Meat' star sees off stiff competition from Alan Carr, David Mitchell, Graham Norton, Lee Mack and Sarah Millican to win top prize
Life & Style blogs
The 50 Best Christmas Gifts for Women
Foodini: the £835 machine that 'prints' food in your kitchen
Physicists discover 'clearest evidence yet' that the Universe is a hologram
In pictures: Christmas in London through the ages
Pirate Bay sets sail for Ascension Island after SX domain name seized by authorities
- 1 French café starts charging extra to rude customers
- 2 Australia incest case: Deformed children found in remote farming community after generations of inbreeding
- 3 Physicists discover 'clearest evidence yet' that the Universe is a hologram
- 4 Woman who miscarried in private prison 'made to clean up after herself,' court told
- 5 Fox News presenter tells viewers it is a 'fact' that both Jesus and Santa Claus are white
£50000 - £70000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: C#.NET D...
Negotiable: Capita Education Resourcing Permanent Team: Teacher of Business St...
Negotiable: Capita Education Resourcing Permanent Team: This is a full-time te...
Negotiable: Capita Education Resourcing Permanent Team: Teacher of English - S...