International Consulting on Education and Media

European e-Competence Framework

A common European framework for ICT Professionals in all industry sectors


The European e-Competence Framework (e-CF) Version 3.0 is a reference framework of 40 ICT competences that can be used and understood by ICT user and supply companies, the public sector, educational and social partners across Europe. The framework provides an international tool for:

  • ICT practitioners and managers, with clear guidelines for their competence development
  • Human resources managers, enabling the anticipation and planning of competence requirements
  • Education and training, enabling effective planning and design of ICT curricula
  • Policy makers and market researchers, providing a clear and Europe-wide agreed reference for ICT skills and competences in a long-term perspective
  • Procurement managers, providing a common language for effective technical terms of reference in national and international bids.


The European e-Competence Framework has been developed involving multiple experts from all over Europe, under the lead of Jutta Breyer and in the context of the CEN workshop on ICT Skills.


The European e-Competence Framework 3.0 provides a basic, clear and sound orientation for companies and further ICT sector players who need to take decisions about recruitment, career paths, training, assessment, etc. It articulates knowledge, skills and competence as needed and applied in the ICT workplace for the ICT vendor and user industry as well as in the public sector.

40 ICT practitioner and manager competences on a European scale

The European reference framework for ICT competences makes a link between national and company systems. It jointly defines 40 ICT practitioner and manager competences, classified according to their corresponding ICT business areas. These are further specified on five proficiency levels (e-1 to e-5) which are related to the European Qualification Framework (EQF) levels 3-8. This provides a European basis for internationally efficient personnel planning and development.

Framework structure and look

Structured in four dimensions, the European e-Competence Framework reflects different levels of business and human resource planning requirements, as well as job and work proficiency guidelines.

  • Dimension 1 reflects 5 e-Competence areas, derived from ICT business processes PLAN - BUILD - RUN - ENABLE - MANAGE.
  • Dimension 2 defines a set or reference e-Competences for each area, with a generic description for each competence. 40 identified competences provide the framework with European generic reference definitions.
  • In dimension 3, proficiency levels of each e-Competence give European reference specifications on e-Competence levels e-1 to e-5, which are related to EQF levels 3 to 8.
  • Dimension 4 is dedicated to knowledge and skills related to the e-Competences as optional framework components. Supplied for inspiration they are not exhaustive, nevertheless they provide the key link to the ICT qualification offer side of the European e-Skills market.

Complementary material for framework application by European ICT sector players

To support the understanding, adoption and use of the European e-Competence Framework (e-CF), a complementary user guidance is also provided. ICT stakeholders - ICT user and supply companies, the public sector, ICT managers and practitioners, HR developers, ICT job seekers, educational institutions, recruiting agencies and social partners - can find a basic explanation of the framework context and underpinning methodology as well as practical suggestions on how to adapt the framework and exploit its benefits for specific needs.

How was it achieved?

The European e-Competence Framework has been developed by a large number of European ICT and HR experts in the context of the CEN Workshop on ICT Skills. To achieve European agreement and beneficial results on an international and national level, the Europe-wide involvement of players from the ICT sector and stakeholders from business, politics and education has been crucial for the development of the framework philosophy and strategy.
The CEN Workshop Agreement "European e-Competence Framework Version 3.0" is planned for publication by CEN in December 2013.


See e-CF website: