The European Digital Competence Framework for Citizens, also known as DigComp, offers a tool to improve the digital competence of European citizens and underpins national frameworks and strategies for digital skills.
First published in 2013, DigComp has become the main reference point for a variety of initiatives, aiming to enhance digital competence at EU or national level. Since then, the framework’s second edition, DigComp 2.0 has been updated to incorporate new vocabulary and homogenous descriptors. Developed by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission, DigComp originated as a scientific project, based on consultation and feedback from a variety of stakeholders and policymakers from education and training and industry. The project originated in DG Education and Culture and was further developed on behalf of DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion.
DigComp plays a central role in achieving the ambitious EU objectives set out by the Digital Decade and compass, with regard to the digital upskilling of the whole population – 80% of EU citizens to have basic digital skills by 2030.
Structure of DigComp
DigComp outlines several competence areas, including: information and data literacy, communication and collaboration, digital content creation, safety and problem-solving. Since its launch, DigComp has fulfilled a number of purposes for policymakers, national governments and local and regional administrations, informing the actions launched in the context of employment, education and training, and lifelong learning.
The framework is used to support the formulation of policies that support capacity-building when it comes to digital competence, and in the planning of education and training initiatives, aiming to improve digital skills for specific target group. DigComp also provides a common language on how to identify and describe the key areas of digital competence and thus offers a common reference at European level.
DigComp 2.1: a renewed DigComp
Based on the reference conceptual model published in DigComp 2.0, in 2018 DigComp 2.1 was published, a further development of the framework. This update presented eight proficiency levels and examples of use applied to the learning and employment field. The focus of this new development is to expand the initial three proficiency levels to a more fine-grained eight level description as well as providing examples of use for these levels. Its aim is to support stakeholders with the further implementation of DigComp.
The eight proficiency levels have been defined through learning outcomes (using action verbs) and inspired by the structure and vocabulary of the European Qualification Framework (EQF). Each level description contains knowledge, skills and attitudes, and represents a step up in citizens’ acquisition of the competence according to its cognitive challenge, the complexity of the tasks they can handle and their autonomy in completing the task.
DigComp 2.2 update: more than 250 new examples of knowledge and skills
On 22 March 2022 the JRC published a new big update of the DigComp. This new ambitious update (DigComp 2.2) provides more than 250 new examples of knowledge, skills and attitudes to help European citizens with self-evaluation, identifying training offers and job search.
The new update aims to engage citizens confidently and safely with digital technologies, taking account of emerging technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), datafication or new phenomena derived from the pandemic crisis, which have led to the need for new and increased requirements in digital competence for citizens and workers.
The new publication gives also a snapshot of the existing reference material for DigComp consolidating previously released publications and references.