Contant us:

What are digital competencies?

European context

The Framework for Developing and Understanding Digital Competence in Europe (DIGCOMP) were developed between 2011-2012 by the Joint Research Centre with the purpose to create consensus at European level about the components of Digital Competence.

The DIGCOMP consists of a self-assessment grid comprising of five areas of digital competence across three proficiency levels and a detailed framework with an in-depth description of the different aspects of digital competence. DIGCOMP brakes down the five competence areas into 21 competences describing each in terms of knowledge, skills, and attitudes.

The DIGCOMP therefore gives a good overview on digital competencies and how these should be interpreted. The five competence areas should be cornerstones of any related development processes.

Local context

The IKER (a framework for ICT key competencies) were designed in 2012 as a tool for the 2.1.2/12-1 Social Renewal Operational Programme called “Development of key language and IT competencies”. It is meant to support the curriculum design with description of the digital competences describing each in terms of skills at four proficiency levels (aligned with the sub-levels of the CEFR A and B).

The Economic Development and Innovation Operative Programme 6.1.2-15 called “Developing digital literacy” aims to involve as much as 280.000 citizens in short competence development training programs. To design these training programs a tool was required to describe what digital competencies are and how they progress.

Although the DIGCOMP 1.0 properly describes what digital competencies are its proficiency levels are too broad to support the identification of smaller steps of competence development. It was therefore convenient to redesign the IKER based on the DIGCOMP and (Hungarian Qualifications Framework) HuQF. This revision was carried out by Progress Consult in 2015 on behalf of the Governmental Information-Technology Development Agency.

The IKER just as the DIGCOMP consists of a self-assessment grid and a detailed “developer” framework. Both use the same 5 areas of digital competences. Descriptions of the IKER reference levels are based on the HuQF 1-4 level descriptors. These correspond to the same levels of the EQF.

The five areas of digital competencies:

  • Information;
  • Communication;
  • Content-creation;
  • Safety;
  • Problem-solving.


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