The European Computer Driving License, or ECDL, despite what the name might imply, is not an institute that teaches you how to drive. Rather, it is a non-profit organization that is one of the world’s leading international computer skills certification program distributors; outside of Europe, the organization is also known as the ICDL, or the International Computer Driving License.Owning over 24,000 test centers all over the world, the ECDL/ICDL has delivered their certification programs to over 11 million people in 41 different languages to 148 countries. This resume has made them world-renowned and is trusted by many.
The ECDL/ICDL programs
So just what are the ECDL/ICDL Exam programs all about? There are three sets of programs: the normal ECDL/ICDL, ECDL/ICDL Advanced and Professional. The normal ECDL/ICDL programs consist of a number of 13 different modules. These modules are:
- Module 1 – Concepts of Information and Communication Technology
- 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 – IT Security
- Module 13 – Project Planning
To ensure that those who take the program will achieve recommended level of competency for Information and Communications Technology(ICT), the ECDL/ICDL program requires you to take Modules 2, 3 and 7, plus an additional 4 modules of your choice, though Modules 8-13 are only available in some countries. There is also the ECDL/ICDL Start Certification program, which grants candidates the minimum level of digital literacy. The Start Certification offers you to choose a combination of 4 modules to take, though the most recommended combination would be Modules 2, 3, 7 and any module of your choice.
The second set of programs is the ECDL-ADVANCED Exam programs. These programs are available to those who have successfully completed the ECDL/ICDL programs. People can choose to specialize in one, or all, of the four most used applications for the computer:
- Advanced Word Processing
- Advanced Database
- Advanced Spreadsheets
- Advanced Presentation
Lastly, there is the Professional set of programs. The Professional set has its own 2 levels of certifications. The first is the European Certification of Informatics Professionals, or EUCIP, which targets ICT practitioners and undergraduates. The second is the Certified Training Professional, or CTP, which helps IT trainers get recognized for their abilities.
The certification process
Now that you know all about these programs, what is the certification process? You have to enroll in an ECDL/ICDL Foundation program at Accredited Test Centers. These centers are found in most educational institutions, government departments, private training centers and training departments within private corporations. You will have to sit in the center and take a test that is related to the module you picked for yourself. Training is provided prior to the test, and you will receive approved training manuals and e-learning programs. Once you pass the tests of the modules you chose, the national operator will be informed and you will be given your certificate.
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