ECDL / ICDL Certification

  1. ECDL / ICDL Certification Overview
  2. ECDL / ICDL Advanced

The ECDL (European Computer Driving Licence) is an entry-level, vendor-neutral computer certification designed to demonstrate a user’s competence in all-round computer use within a typical office-like environment. Outside of Europe, the ECDL is known as the ICDL (International Computer Driving Licence) and, apart from the name, there is no difference between the two. As an entry-level computer certification, no prior computer experience is necessary to study for the ECDL / ICDL certification.

There are essentially two variants of the ECDL certification. The ECDL, and the ECDL Advanced (candidates who wish to complete any of the advanced modules must first pass the respective ECDL core exam). The ECDL certification consists of 13 individual exams, or modules, of which the candidate must pass a total of 7. Modules 2,3 and 7 are compulsory, the other 4 can be chosen by the candidate (not all modules are available in all countries). The subject matter for each of the Modules is:

Module 1 - Concepts of IT
Module 2 - Using the computer and managing files
Module 3 - Word processing
Module 4 - Spreadsheets
Module 5 - Using Databases
Module 6 - Presentation
Module 7 - Web Browsing and Communication
• Module 8 - 2D Computer Aided Design
• Module 9 - Image Editing
• Module 10 - Web Editing
• Module 11 - Health Information Systems Usage
• Module 12 - I.T. Security
• Module 13 - Project Planning

Click on the respective links for free study resources for each module.

A candidate has 45 minutes with which to complete each ECDL exam. ECDL Module 1 (Basic concepts of I.T.) is a theory-based exam with approx. 35 multiple-choice questions, while ECDL modules 2-13 are various exercises designed to test the practical skills of the candidate. A successful passing score is between 60-80% depending on the module. It is a good idea to ask the testing centre how many questions and what the passing score is when you book your exam so you don’t encounter any unexpected surprises. The modules can be taken all at once, or individually, and in any order. ECDL candidates have up to three years to complete all seven of the modules required to earn the ECDL / ICDL certificate.

Before taking a module, ECDL candidates must register with an authorised ECDL testing centre in their country, click here for info, and then purchase (a one-time cost) a ‘skills card’ (depending on the candidate's location, this may either be a physical skills card or an online one). At the successful passing of each ECDL exam, the skills card will be updated by the testing centre and, when all seven are completed, the skills card will be exchanged for the actual ECDL certificate. In addition to purchasing the skills card (one time only), ECDL candidates must pay for each of the individual exams.

Exams can be marked manually or automatically depending on the testing centre that you have registered with. In the case of automatic marking (computerised), a candidate will be offered feedback about mistakes in the event of an exam fail. Manually marked exam papers will not be handed back to the candidate, so that is something to keep in mind when booking choosing the testing centre. If an ECDL exam is failed, a candidate may re-sit the exam upon payment of the exam fee again. Once all seven ECDL exams have been passed, the testing centre will complete the skills card book and forward it to the appropriate ECDL governing authority. The ECDL certification will be mailed back to the candidate.

There are no exemptions for prior certifications with the ECDL certification (the candidate must pass all seven modules irrespective of any other certifications the candidate holds), nor are there any specific training requirements for the ECDL certification. If a candidate feels that he/she has sufficient knowledge in any of the subjects then they may take the exam at any time (all that is required is to register for the exam, purchase the skills card and then take the exam). There are numerous training facilities that offer specific training for the ECDL certification if a candidate requires it, but self-study is also a viable option.