European standard for ICT professionals launched

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CEPIS says its introduction will help address the European IT skills shortage

A new European standard for ICT professionals has been launched. The Council of European Professional Informatics Societies (CEPIS) said its introduction would help solve the lack of e-skills across Europe.

The European e-Competence Framework (e-CF), which describes the competences and skills requirements of ICT professionals, has become a European standard following its official publication by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) this week.

It gives organisations, businesses and ICT practitioners in Europe a “common language” to describe digital competences and proficiency levels.

CEPIS secretary general Fiona Fanning said: “Organisations must be able to understand the core areas of ICT expertise required by different roles, in order to recruit and develop suitable employees and maintain adequate levels of competences.

Europe_bluemarble_laea_location_mapThe e-CF is the ideal tool to support organisations in doing so. It will help tackle Europe’s alarming ICT skills gap. Previously, there was no way to express ICT competences and skills requirements and gaps on a European level.”

The e-CF has been designed to provide clear definitions to support decision-making with regard to the selection and recruitment of candidates as well as the training and assessment of ICT professionals.

Employers can adopt it to establish profiles and career development paths for ICT professionals. A definition of career streams will offer valuable insight into potential career opportunities, said CEPIS. A large company could, for example, use the e-CF to develop a tool to manage the process of training identification. The e-CF would serve as a consistent benchmark of competences to assess training programmes addressing individual development needs.

The e-CF was developed under the umbrella of the CEN Workshop on ICT Skills, through a process of collaboration between experts and stakeholders from across Europe. The national standards bodies of the 33 CEN-CENELEC members will now begin implementing it at national level.

The e-CF will be on the agenda at the IT Professionalism Europe conference, to be hosted by CEPIS on 16 June 2016, in Amsterdam. The first conference of its kind, it will showcase best practice in managing, developing and assessing IT staff in Europe.

Delegates will learn how to use the e-CF and similar tools and how to apply them in their respective companies, as well as meet with organisations that provide tools and services, such as competence assessment and certification providers.

CEPIS is a non-profit organisation seeking to improve and promote a high standard among ICT professionals, and currently represents 33 member societies in 32 countries across greater Europe. Through its member societies, CEPIS says it represents 450,000 ICT professionals.

@AntonySavvas