The European Computer Driving Licence is now certified by an Open Badge

The ECDL is the certificate of informatics competencies that is most in demand, sought after and shared. As from today it is even more digital.
July 20, 2016

The European computer driving licence is about to celebrate its 20th birthday in Italy: it was introduced in 1997 by  AICA (Italian Association for Informatics and Computer Systems)and since then more than 2 million certificates have been issued and almost three thousand test centres opened.

Over the 20 years the ECDL has come a long way: its acquisition has been introduced in schools, it is highly appreciated in the employment market, it provides Educational Credits in schools and universities and in qualification rankings in public sector employment. ECDL is updated permanently, keeping its contents in step with the evolution of digital technology and its impact on everyone’s daily life and working life. 

From the first step of digital citizenship up to the proficiency required for advanced professional roles, the ECDL family of certificates has grown and expanded to respond flexibly and specifically to the various needs for digital knowledge expressed by society. As from today, even the certification itself has become more digital: this is because an experiment has been inaugurated with Bestr, which enables candidates completing the Basic, Full Standard and IT Security ECDL certificates to be issued not only with the traditional paper certificates, but also with their equivalent in Open Badge format.


We discussed this with Daniela Rovina, Head of the General Affairs, Culture and Communication Department of AICA.

Digitalising the  certification of digital competencies: obvious evolution or is there more to it? Could the use of Open Badges trigger virtuous, new mechanisms, thanks to easier social sharing?

Turning this project into reality is the fruit of our relationship with Cineca and aims to sensitise the university world to the subject of certified digital competencies, which are indispensible in our times, regardless of one’s profession.

AICA has long pursued the idea of greater sharing on the part of stakeholders  towards alternative routes to certification. This is why we, while we were redoing our portal, provided for the possibility of sharing news and certification routes through social channels. In this sense, yes, digitalising ECDL certification and simplifying social sharing through Open Badges is a logical and natural development. 

Could the possibility of  checking the authenticity of a Badge immediately online help to give more recognition of its merit on the part of companies?

Time is perhaps the most invaluable resource of our epoch, in a moment of history where everything “runs”. At work people try to achieve the maximum rationalisation of this resource and anything that simplifies procedures and data,  speeds them up and makes them more transparent can only be of assistance in this.   

ECDL certification is already recognised today by a number of universities in terms of credits. Once this has been transformed into Open Badges, the integration between Bestr e the italian Student Information System ESSE3 will allow Universities to recognise credits automatically for students holding certain Open Badges. Do you consider that this merger will help the recognition process? Could it help to expand the number of cases where credits are recognised because of an ECDL certification? 

The worth of ECDL is not only proven by the number of certifications issued, over 2 million, but also by its spread over Europe and the world, seeing that it has become by now almost a de facto standard everywhere. This is the worth that a great deal of Universities also acknowledge in ECDL, by awarding University Credits to certified students or running their own ECDL training courses and certification.

Naturally, administrative simplification constitutes a great advantage for the Universities and their students: greater simplicity, immediacy and transparency in information helps optimise internal processes and improve relations with stakeholders.  It is easy to imagine that implementing a value process may trigger a virtuous circle, at least in terms of dissemination. 

We hope this new project set up with Cineca may help effectively to make the university world more aware on the subject of digital competencies and their certification.