The European Computer Driving License (ECDL), also known as International Computer Driving License (ICDL) in non-European countries, is a computer literacy certification programme provided by ECDL Foundation a not-for-profit organisation.

ECDL / ICDL certification is a globally recognized information and communication technology (ICT) and digital literacy qualification. Other than the name, there is no difference between ECDL and ICDL and they are recognized as equivalent. In 2013, the ECDL Foundation announced that over 13 million people in over 100 countries had registered to use the system.

In 1995, the ECDL certification programme was developed through a task force of the Council of European Professional Informatics Societies (CEPIS) and was recommended by the European Commission High Level Group, ESDIS, to be a Europe-wide certification scheme. In the UK, it is used by the National Health Service as the benchmark IT qualification and as such it is available without charge to all staff.


In order to take the tests, a candidate buys an ECDL Skills Card, which usually is issued electronically and serves as a login to the testing platform. To prepare for a module test, the candidate may use ECDL diagnostic tests. Testing is done using software which simulates the Windows/Microsoft Office environment. The candidate’s mouse movements and keystrokes are monitored and the result of the test is reported immediately after the test is completed.

Original ECDL / ICDL

Until 2013 the ECDL/ICDL syllabus was divided into seven modules. These are:

  • Security for IT Users
  • IT User Fundamentals (Windows Explorer in Windows 7)
  • Word processing (Microsoft Word 2010)
  • Spreadsheets (Microsoft Excel 2010)
  • Databases (Microsoft Access 2010)
  • Presentations (Microsoft PowerPoint 2010)
  • Using Email and the Internet (Windows Explorer in Windows 7)

Additionally, there was an Advanced version that was divided into four modules. These are:

  • Advanced Word Processing
  • Advanced Spread sheets
  • Advanced Presentation
  • Advanced Database

Many training centers used Microsoft software (the applications used are shown in parenthesis) but other software environments could be used, such as Apache OpenOffice/LibreOffice.


Since 2013, the syllabus has been divided into 18 modules on three levels:

  • Base Modules
    • Computer Essentials
    • Online Essentials
    • Word Processing
    • Spreadsheets
  • Standard Modules
    • Presentation
    • Using Databases
    • IT Security
    • Online Collaboration
    • Image Editing
    • Web Editing
    • Project Planning
    • 2D Computer Aided Design
    • Health Information Systems Usage
    • ICT in Education
  • Advanced Modules
    • Advanced Word Processing
    • Advanced Spreadsheets
    • Advanced Database
    • Advanced Presentation

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Benefits of ECDL/ICDL:

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