New self-assessment tool based on The Digital Competence Framework for Citizens




Today, being digitally competent means that people need to have skills in a range of areas if they are to stay safe and make the most of our increasingly digital world. 

As part of the European Commission’s effort to ensure all European citizens attain the digital skills required to full participate in society and the workforce, the Irish Computer Society/ICDL Ireland is one of the partners involved in The DigCompSAT Project, funded by the European commission Joint Research Centre builds on the work of the  Digital Competence Framework for Citizens 2.1 (DigComp)

The DigComp framework defines five main competence areas: information, communication, content creation, safety and problem solving.  There 21 competencies within the five areas and eight proficiency levels.

The pilot project aims to develop an online Self-Assessment Tool (DigCompSAT) that will help both citizens and policy makers identify and articulate competencies using a standardised language and competence framework. 

The DigComp Self-Assessment Tool aims to:

  • make users aware of the need for digital competence and that the DigComp framework exists for people to assess themselves against
  • highlight their strengths and weaknesses in different areas of digital competence
  • encourage further competence development, by providing useful feedback to be discussed with expert counsellors

The ICS conducted a pilot to test the first iteration of the online tool. With the help of some of our training partners and our members we recruited over 150 volunteers from 16 to 65 years of age. These volunteers logged on to the platform created by All Digital and answered just over 100 multiple choice questions. 

Psychometric and statistical analysis (including Factor analysis) of results of the Irish pilot will then be used to refine item bank as necessary. The participants also offered invaluable feedback which will inform the next iteration of the tool due for pilot in the coming months.

Being digitally competent – a task for the 21st century citizen

The guide “DigComp into action” shows practical examples of adoption supporting use and awareness of the Digital Competence Framework. It presents 38 inspiring examples of DigComp use through case studies and tools from allover Europe. The Guide gives you access to the full descriptions of all cases and tools through interactive icons.

The European Digital Competence Framework, also known as DigComp, offers a tool to improve citizen’s digital competence. Today, being digitally competent means that people need to have competences in all areas of DigComp.

The report called DigComp 2.0 presents the updated list of 21 competences (also called the conceptual reference model) whereas the eight proficiency levels and examples of use can be found in DigComp 2.1. Take a look at the new infographic explaining the 8 proficiency levels using a metaphor of “Learning to swim in the digital ocean

What can DigComp do for citizens?

The Digital Competence Framework can help with self-evaluation, setting learning goals, identifying training opportunities and facilitating job search.

Self-evaluate the level of digital competence and facilitate the job search

From summer 2015 onwards, the Europass CV includes an online tool for jobseekers to self-evaluate their digital competence and describe and include it in their Curriculum Vitale (CV). The tool uses the five areas of the DigComp framework with an easy to use self-evaluation form. See also news about the New Europass Framework.

Set learning goals and identify training opportunities

In 2014, the Basque Country in Spain created a free online Self Diagnosis Tool for testing one’s level of digital competence based on the DigComp framework. After taking a 15-minute online test, the results are available in a simple format to evaluate one’s skills and identify training opportunities. Mid 2015, more than 10 000 individuals have already taken the test. Currently, the EU is planning to implement a similar tool which will eventually be available for all citizens in their own languages.

What can DigComp do for policymakers?

The Digital Competence Framework can help to monitor citizens digital skills and to support curricula development.

For policymakers it can be beneficial to know where citizens stand for digital competence at the country level. The EU-wide Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) offers an indicator for Digital Skills that uses the DigComp framework.

The “digital skills” indicator is one part of the many indicators to measure Human Capital which is needed to take advantage of the possibilities offered by a digital society. The Digital Agenda Scoreboard offers an online tool to view the data in an interactive way (opens a new window, please allow time for the download).

The DigComp framework can be used to plan and design education and training offers. For example, the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports has adapted DigComp for Spanish teachers and it has been used as a strategic support document for further development of teacher professional development (Marco comun de Competencia Digital Docente 2.0). Other similar examples can be found under implementation.