Talk:International Computer Driving Licence

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OK, this needs a little work, as the only person to add text works for this group. A little NPOV would be nice, although not much, perhaps links to similar programs and what makes this one different?. Gentgeen 13:36, 21 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Probably a few critical statements would do the NPOV some good. I know an uncanny amount of (young!) people that have taken the ECDL-exams, but won't be able to tell a computer apart from a toaster. Stunningly, almost all of them even succeeded and actually got the "licence".

Sorry Gentgeen, couldn't let this one go without saying something, since it seems your discussion point conflicts with one of the main tenets of Wikipedia, namely that;

"Wikipedians generally oppose the use of talk pages just for the purpose of partisan talk about the main subject. Wikipedia is not a soapbox; it's an encyclopedia. In other words, talk about the article, not about the subject. "

Whilst the first part of your post is a fair comment in this regard, the second para, suggesting that ECDL exams can be passed without gaining the requisite skills, is categorically not.

Posting 'opinions' based on hearsay rather than direct experience is surely not the purpose of the Wikipedia project. Encouraging fact based contributions from other parties about our not-for-profit education programmes is fine - making unfounded allegations about the quality of those programmes is not.

Daniel Palmer - Strategic Marketing Manager - ECDL Foundation - the Global Governing Body of the ECDL and ICDL Programmes ECDL Foundation 16:35, 4 November 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Gentgeen wrote only the first paragraph, not the second. [1]

Actualy Mr. Palmer, your comment breaks this tenet by not focusing on the article and how can an article that only lists the benefits, in three expansive sections, with no negative views be neutral? you also haven't denyied it being rubbish. --TheMightyShoeHorn 12:54, 11 July 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • "Strategic Marketing Manager - ECDL Foundation" Perhaps you have a POV that is presented in your statements. Perhaps the only way to reach a NPOV on this article is to pair up a critic of EDCL with an employee of ECDL Foundation. Perhaps then by averaging out the extremes we can reach a NPOV. —optikos 13:44, 28 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Worth / cost / options?[edit]

More contributions about the quality of ECDL would be good. --Darrelljon 15:57, 19 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Well, I've actually taken the ECDL exam and there is very little to it. Surprisingly, Word is the hardest exam. I don't know why. It is, however, very easy to pass the exam, especially if they're multiple choice. My fellow colleagues on the course used inferior, horrendous textbooks and they passed despite not knowing the basics of what on Earth they were doing. How on Earth Zig Zag Education can pass off their absolute rubbish is a mystery to me. Wolf ODonnell 21:55, 11 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I would love to improve this article, but after just having seen what some of the ECDL consists of I am no longer capable of NPOV. I consider it a crime that they charge for this bullshit, and this article appears to give it a great deal of legitimacy which is utterly undeserved. Waywocket 20:55, 15 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"They" often don't charge for it. ECDL is like the "office computer user"'s version of a basic literacy or numeracy course. There's no set charging structure for the end-user, the "Foundation" look after the syllabus and quality control and charge an admin fee to suppliers, and its then up to the suppliers how much they charge (or if they charge). Some organisations who register as ECDL suppliers focus on selling courses to members of the public at "commercial computer course" rates, others get funding or donations to make the courses available at a subsidised fee to people who pass certain criteria.
And some registered ECDL suppliers don't charge at all: they're educational establishments, businesses, government departments or other large organisations who've worked out that they can cut out the middle-man and sign up as suppliers themselves so that they can make the courses available to their own employees free of charge, as a company-sponsored "personal development" thing to build employee confidence. Some older employees can feel left behind when an office or business computerises, and it can be nice for their employer to let them do a basic course on "this is how to use a spreadsheet", especially if it just involves sitting them at a spare computer monitor and letting them get on with it.
There are going to be a lot of people for whom signing up for an ECDL course at commercial rates would be an awful waste of time and money, but the same can also be said for other basic literacy and numeracy courses.
If you don't need the official certificate (and don't want to spend 100+ hours plodding through the online courseware and exercises to earn course credits), you can buy just the the course materials on amazon as printed manuals and use them as an "Office for Dummies"-type resource, or just download the entire syllabus for free - at least one organisation has written their own unofficial ECDL teaching manuals and put them online, at no charge.
If you already work in an office and are reasonably computer-savvy, then you probably don't need the training OR the certification, and you might wonder why on earth anyone would want to spend the commercially advertised rates for a course like this. It might look like a bad joke. But if you're in reduced circumstances and badly need to get yourself some sort of basic "office" qualification to help you find work, and you have the free time, then you may well be able to find a way of doing the course through a non-commercial organisation at far less than the usual commercial rates. For some people it can be a way of getting a basic "office skills" certification, relatively quickly. ErkDemon (talk) 21:34, 25 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Microsoft Office?[edit]

I've been told (by a friend whose husband completed the course) that while the course is supposed to cover the broad concepts of spreadsheets, word processing etc., the skills are a actually specific to MS Office, so it's not actually much use for anyone using anything else (in this particular case, when he came home and tried to use what he'd learnt on Open Office at home.) I'd be interested to know whether this is true, and whether this is because it's sponsored by Microsoft, or if it's simply because MS Office is the most predominant Office suite in use at the moment. At present, the article doesn't mention Microsoft or MS Office at any point. Somerandomnerd 16:07, 22 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

One of the problems with a "machine based" certification course like this is that it tends to require the questions and exercises to be structured around a "set" platform. If the course simulation says "Where would you click to do X?", then the course software has to recognise a single answer, or a very small set of possible answers, and that tends to preclude multiple alternative software packages (and even multiple versions of the same Office product). ECDL currently seems to have "versions" for two platforms, MSOffice 2000 and MSOffice 2003. While it's perhaps politically regrettable that ECDL is currently designed around MSOffice, I think this is probably more to do with the job market and the requirements of employers. AFAIK, MSOffice is still the dominant office suite for commercial use in the EU and US, and if an office temp is "certified" in spreadsheets, their employer is going to expect them to be able to sit down in front of Excel and start using it without wailing that it isn't what they were trained on. Businesses and departments that use Open Office are likely to be more flexible.
While you're right that ACDL is currently very MSO-centric, the reason why this isn't stressed more strongly in the ECDL literature is probably because ECDL isn't supposed to be specifically about MSOffice, MSO just happens to be the context in which the course operates. It'd be nice to see a future "Ooo" version of ECDL (god knows, the EC aren't fans of Microsoft), but translating the course materials (for a given version of Ooo), would probably take them a couple of years, and its probably difficult to predict the demand for an Ooo-specific version two years ahead. The courses //are// designed to try to avoid Microsoft-specific or Windows-specific methods (ECDL stresses using cut-and-paste, and almost entirely ignores OLE "Object Linking and Embedding"), but an "Office 2003" ECDL course will focus on getting the user to answer how certain things would be done under the target office suite. All the screenshots and questions will be designed with that in mind. An Ooo version would allow users to do their coursework with a "free" office suite, but some employers might be more dubious about what the resulting qualification was worth. ErkDemon (talk) 17:45, 25 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Maybe the ECDL is not supposed the be MS-centric, but it has certainly become so. I know three people who have taken it and so were supposedly computer literate, but two of those three were clueless when asked to work with other office suites i.e. Open Office & KOffice. They were only 'MS literate', not 'computer literate'. There has been a lot of criticism of the ECDL on similar grounds and surely this should appear in the article. I would add the criticism article myself but am unable to find any references to other than anecdotal evidence. Can anyone help with this? kimdino (talk) 23:19, 23 June 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have just investigated doing the ECDL course with a couple of providers and found that they could provide the course in MS Windows, Mac or Linux. Due the varying characteristics of the different OSes different coursework must be supplied which means that the student needs to specify a system at the start. Thus it appears that any apparent bias comes from the student takeup and not the ECDL itself.kimdino (talk) 09:59, 24 June 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

POV (Advertising)[edit]

This article reads as if it were copied directly from a web site that was trying to sell certification exams/courses. Someone who has direct knowledge of this subject should give this article some attention to make it more encyclopedic. Etphonehome 03:49, 15 July 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It's a qualification to help you get a job in an office really. Just microsoft office package training. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 23:31, August 21, 2007 (UTC)


Can we have some information added on why this is named as such? It has nothing to do with driving; it seems like "operation licence" would be more appropriate, unless "driving" refers to something more general in Europe. --Zantolak 03:49, 6 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It's about 'driving' a computer. What more can be said?kimdino (talk) 12:17, 24 June 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I rewrote this article after doing some research on their claims. Since I have no clue about this organization, I can only paraphrase their marketing jargon, but it still sounds biased to me. As an American, I found the whole idea of "computer literacy certification" bogus, we don't have that here. Also what is a "European Commission High Level Group"? --Voidvector 11:05, 12 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

EC, & ESDIS[edit]

... It's a "high level group" working for the European Commission (grin). Try Googling "ESDIS".
Basically, the EC group decided in 2001 to recommend that the EC "Establish a European diploma for basic information technology skills, with decentralised certification procedures". They recommended "That the ECDL be accepted as a Europe wide basic IT accreditation scheme, fulfilling the referenced eEurope2002 action line intention, without prejudice to either existing national schemes or the possibility of including other schemes."
One of the focal points of the EC's education and employment initiatives is to try to converge certain qualifications across different European countries, so that a qualification taken in one country can be understood and accepted in the others. Imagine the US job market if every US state had its own local educational qualifications - it'd be a real problem for people moving across the US, and's also put an extra load on employers who would have to try to keep track of what all these myriad local qualifications meant. In a lot of cases, European convergence isn't easy or practical because countries have their own traditional educational systems, but IT certification is a relatively fresh field without a lot of traditional infrastructure. The EC decided that if member countries were going to be attempting to standardise on "preferred" IT diplomas for basic office work, that it would be a good idea if they could all standardise on the same international syllabus, and that the EC were in a natural position to advise and coordinate the member states. The EC also decided that IT skills were a "strategic" resource, and that it was important for the development of the region that it was made easier for people to obtain these skills and enter the job market. A shortage of IT-aware employees hurts business, and if you also have a large number of unemployed, it makes sense to help some of those people to update their skills so that they can enter the general employment pool. How do you demonstrate basic office skills competency to an employer if you haven't actually got relevant work experience? You do some sort of diploma.
ESDIS advised that ECDL's approach be adopted as a tool for Europe-wide certification.
Another reason for having "recognised" qualifications structured like the ECDL is that it makes it easier to fund decentralised learning. If a country decides to have an initiative to update the skills of some of its office workforce (and help people get back into work by giving them experience and qualifications), and a not-for-profit body decides that it wants to do that training, then an agreed structure like the one provided by ECDL tells the training providers what they have to provide, and streamlines their application for funding. It also means that the funding body don't have to divert as many resources to checking who they give money to, because the ECDL Foundation handles quality control monitoring. Decentralisation also fits in nicely with the EC's aim of trying to reach out to disadvantaged communities that don't have easy access to conventional IT training, part of their remit is to try to promote more inclusivity in access to education and training. ErkDemon (talk) 16:52, 25 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Does anyone else actually do the ECDL here?[edit]

Because I do it and some of the stuff people have wrote on the site is wrong. You do have to do the last module to get the overall certification. Level 1 pass is 3 of them (i forget which ones) and level 2 is the other four. You can just stop doing the ECDL course with either certification but to complete the whole thing you have to complete level 1, 2 and the last module. CheersLindaaaaa. (talk) 13:15, 19 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I did the ECDL a while back. Broke the local speed record too. Frankly, I think it focuses too much on Microsoft, keeping the loop going. Just felt like saying that. -- (talk) 19:49, 7 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I did the ECDL test while at Gymnasie in Sweden, it was back in 2000 and in my opinion as a computer geek it was fairly good certification for general office application suit. Lord Metroid (talk) 23:40, 15 September 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Might be nice to know more about the "not for profit" Foundation
Who exactly is behind it and how is it financed?
According to a Foundation website it is registered in Ireland
Laurel Bush (talk) 10:18, 11 March 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

European vs International[edit]

Could someone add a section explaining why there are two different names (ICDL/ECDL), and in which contexts they are used? I'd also maybe like to see a map of places where the ICDL is recognized. (talk) 16:49, 28 August 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

ECDL Elite[edit]

"Upon achieving all five advanced qualifications, the individual can receive an "ECDL Elite" qualification. In the UK, this confers upon the person associate membership of the British Computer Society, should that person wish to sign up to a code of conduct and join BCS." -Removed this as I could find no reference to it on; it seems that it is an initiative of the British Computer Society, and as such would be more appropriate on that pageCathalll (talk) 16:35, 8 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Note that there is a discussion at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Eipass that is related to the ECDL.  Unscintillating (talk) 03:16, 21 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]