DigComp for educators and organizations: Operational implications
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Education and training frameworks
A step back in the time lineClick to read

Where it all started

The operative implications of DigComp for educators and organizations lies on the very motivations behind the existence of the framework and the official EU policy paper from which it originated.

As of today, and since its official publication, the official DigComp’s literature counts several follow-up and spin-off documents that contributes to strengthen, update and further develop the EU resources for education and training of EU citizens on digital competences.

2006, Key Competences for Lifelong LearningClick to read

Reference Framework

A list of 25 recommendations in total addressed to both Members States and European Commission to:

  1. Identify and define key competences necessary for personal fulfillment, active citizenship, employability in a knowledge society
  2. Support Member States in ensuring equal opportunities for all, specifically for young people to help them transiting into adult life
  3. Provide for a reference tool for policy makers, education providers to facilitate national and EU efforts towards commonly agreed objectives
  4. Provide for a framework for further action at community at local level
8 key competences for EU citizens lifelong leanirng Click to read

Understanding Key Competences, pt.1

Competences are defined here as a combination of knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the context. Key competences are those which all individuals need for personal fulfilment and development, active citizenship, social inclusion and employment.

  1. Communication in the mother tongue;
  2. Communication in foreign languages;
  3. Mathematical competence and basic competences in science and technology;
  4. Digital competences;
  5. Learning to learn;
  6. Social and civic competences;
  7. Sense of initiative and entrepreneurship; and
  8. Cultural awareness and expression..

KNOWLEDGE, facts and figures, concepts, ideas and theories which are already established and support the understanding of a certain area or subject.


SKILL, the ability and capacity to carry out processes and use the existing knowledge to achieve results.


ATTITUDES, the disposition and mind-sets to act or react to ideas, persons or situations

The key competences are all considered equally important, because each of them can contribute to a successful life in a knowledge society. Many of the competences overlap and interlock: aspects essential to one domain will support competence in another. 30.12.2006 EN Official Journal of the European Union L 394/13

Concerning Digital Competences specifically, the official definition is:

(...) confident and critical use of Information Society Technology (IST) for work, leisure and communication. It is underpinned by basic skills(*) in ICT: the use of computers to retrieve, assess, store, produce, present and exchange information, and to communicate and participate in collaborative networks via the Internet.

* Skills needed include the ability to search, collect and process information and use it in a critical and systematic way, assessing relevance and distinguishing the real from the virtual while recognising the links. Individuals should have skills to use tools to produce, present and understand complex information and the ability to access, search and use internet-based services. Individuals should also be able use IST to support critical thinking, creativity, and innovation.

Towards commonly agreed objectives… Click to read

The EU harmonization of teaching and education for LLL

In the recommendation we read that the EU institutions will support efforts to harmonize at transnational level the kind of education and training provision in place for that given competence.

This statement refers to the opportunity to develop and consolidate at international level a standard curricula module to which all organizations and institutions involved can refer as standard of reference, and gain further inspiration to operationalize the learning experience that derives from it.

These standard curricula model are also known as “education and training frameworks”.

Education and training frameworks: resources available so far (but not all) Click to read
Education and training frameworks: what they areClick to read

Identifying key training areas of interest

Each competence framework lists a series of sub-competences divided per training area that experts consulted by the Joint Research Centre of the EU Commission consider as “instrumental” to master that given competence.

Each framework is also associated to an 8-layer evaluation model that helps learners (and teachers) ranking their proficiency on each of the framework’s competences.

This evaluation grid takes inspiration from EQF (European Qualification Framework) so as to provide for even further transferability and portability at EU level, regardless of the national context of application.

…and what they are useful for Click to read

The ratio of EU education and training frameworks

Few paragraphs ago it was mentioned that these frameworks respond to the need of consolidating and international level a common and EU-validated approach to fostering EU’s citizens key competence for lifelong learning.

The practical implication of this is that training and educations frameworks recommend the set of knowledge, attitudes and skills on which education and training initiatives should be tailored on: they are concrete manifestation and expression of the kind of teaching programme that EU institutions expect to see at grass-root and local level, both in formal and even more in non-formal / informal environments.

DigComp and related follow-up
The education and training frameworks of EU citizens’ digital literacy Click to read


Latest update: DigComp 2.2, 2022

Training area Competences

1. Information and data literacy

1.1 Browsing, searching and filtering data, information and digital content
1.2 Evaluating data, information and digital content
1.3 Managing data, information and digital content

2. Communication and collaboration

2.1 Interacting through digital technologies
2.2 Sharing through digital technologies
2.3 Engaging in citizenship through digital technologies
2.4 Collaborating through digital technologies
2.5 Netiquette
2.6 Managing digital identity

3. Digital content creation

3.1 Developing digital content
3.2 Integrating and re-elaborating digital content
3.3 Copyright and licenses
3.4 Programming

4. Safety

4.1 Protecting devices
4.2 Protecting personal data and privacy
4.3 Protecting health and well-being
4.4 Protecting the environment

5. Problem Solving

5.1 Solving technical problems
5.2 Identifying needs and technological responses
5.3 Creatively using digital technologies
5.4 Identifying digital competence gaps

Structure and content of the framework Click to read

DigComp at a glance…

According to experts engaged and retained by the EU Commission in consolidation of the framework, a comprehensive approach to the digital education of EU citizens pass through their acquisition of 21 “essential” competences distributed among 5 training areas: 1. Information and data literacy, 2. Communication and collaboration, 3. Digital content creation, 4. Safety, 5. Problem Solving.

The progression of learners is measured by relying on the same 8-layer model mentioned above. As a general reference, the higher the complexity of task that the learner can accomplish, the higher the autonomy, the higher the cognitive domain involved in the process (from remembering how to do something, to creating and generating new solutions), the higher the proficiency.

Training and education organizations involved in digital education should recognize in DigComp a standard and a reference for their initiatives.

The can focus on the 21 competences as a whole or on specific training areas of it depending on their personal preferences or the underlying objective of the initiative.

The important thing is that they look at DigComp as the mirror of which learning outcomes learners should be empowered with throughout the learning experience.


An on-going experience Click to read

Resources and spin-offs

Throughout the years, and besides the official updates (i.e., version 2.1, 2.2), the DigComp literature extended to several other domains: new follow-up specifically conceived to support education and training institution in better operationalizing the content of DigComp and leveraging on its potentials (which are available for other frameworks as well).

DigComp into Action: a long list of initiatives selected by the EU Commission as good practices in implementation of the DigComp in education and training settings, and valorized with the aim to inspire similar actions by other professionals in LLL

DigComp at Work: a very detailed break-down of initiatives selected as good practices by the EU Commission as examples of the implementation of DigComp in employability and employment

DigCompORG: a conceptual framework inspired by the “traditional” DigComp and designed to sustain the digitalization plan of education and training organizations, and the digitalization of learning pathways

Others: OpenEDU, DigCompConsumers

The digital competences framework for educators Click to read

Seizing the potential of digital technologies

DigCompEDU represents certainly the most comprehensive, robust and extended official spin-off.  Even before COVID-19 outbreak, the impression among policy makers and the same professionals was that teachers and educators were in need of a whole set of tailor-made digital competences to:

  1. foster new train-the-trainer inspired capacity building opportunities
  2. sustain innovative practices for education and training

The ratio and logic remains the same: promoting and harmonized EU approach to education and training on digital competences, but this time looking at the educators as beneficiary of the offer.


Content and structure of DigCompEDU Click to read

Six main areas of focus

Area 1
Professional engagement

Area 2
Digital Resources

Area 3
Teaching and learning

Area 4

Area 5
Empowering learners

Area 6
Facilitating learners

Using digital technologies for communication, collaboration and professional development.

Sourcing, creating and sharing digital resources.

Managing and orchestrating the use of digital technologies in teaching and learning.

Using digital technologies and strategies to enhance assessment.

Using digital technologies to enhance inclusion, personalization and learners’ active engagement.

Enabling learners to creatively and responsibly use digital technologies for information, communication, content creation, wellbeing and problem-solving.

Educators’ professional competences

Educators’ pedagogic competences

Learners’ competences


Understanding the relation between each of the area Click to read

A hierarchal order?

DigCompEDU is slightly different from the traditional DigComp: while in DigComp each of the training area is separated from the other and can be potentially conceived as a stand-alone dimension, in DigCompEDU the overlap between two or more training areas is definitely more fluid – so much so that the visual representation of the frameworks relies on the image of linked rings

The bottom-line of DigCompEDU Click to read

A user introduction

  • The very core of the DigCompEDU is represented by AREA 2-5, formally recognized as the dimensions in which educators can find references for their upskilling and digital competences empowerment.
  • Competences in AREA 1-3 pertain to the very deployment of teaching and education content – regardless of the means (IT vs traditional).
  • From AREA 2 to AREA 4 we encounter the tasks and actions involved in a strategic cycle (strategizing → developing → evaluating) which again characterize the teaching experience.
  • AREA 5 finally put emphasis on a student-oriented approach, and culminates in AREA 6 with the opportunity to make students co-developers of their experience – made available in compliance to the guiding principles listed under AREA 2-4
Why the train-the-trainer need? Click to read

A broader perspective

The focus on capacity building opportunities for trainers is not isolated to the context of DigComp, nor digital education in general, but it is concrete expression of broader interests manifested by EU institutions in the ecosystem of Lifelong Learning.

Council’s recommendations from 2016 on Upskilling Pathways for Adult Education recognize a staff-centered approach to education and training a key priority area, being a motivated, driven and empowered teaching staff a fundamental variable for the success of education and training programme.

The system of incentives recognized to education and training staff should go beyond monetary compensation and look as well into other form of rewards equally relevant to nurture the motivation of the staff and their long-term commitment.

Same is reaffirmed by the new EU Agenda for Adult Learning 2021-30 which recognizes in the professionalization and qualification of trainers and educators a fundamental building block of the Priority Area no.4: Quality, equity, inclusion and success in adult learning

Scaling the DigCompEDUClick to read

Embracing the proposal of digital competences for educators

The commitment of an organisation to DigCompEDU is symptomatic of its desire to be closer and more aligned to several key coordinates envisioned by EU institutions as success and sustainability factors of a more efficient and effective LLL ecosystem:

  • Supporting digital competences of citizens
  • Supporting digital competences of educators and the overall digitalization of training settings
  • Supporting teachers and educators in their own lifelong learning pathways
  • Supporting quality education and new models for learners’
  • (and more in general) supporting the build-up process of a more resilient, leaner, accessible and inclusive education system
DigCompEDU and DigComp Click to read

One the extension of the other…

It is important to recall the fact that DigCompEDU is not a substitute to DigComp, neither an “advanced” version.

DigCompEDU is the re-adaptation of the DigComp framework within a very niche fields of needs and opportunities, while capturing and framing educators-specific competences.

The very implications for education and training organizations lies on the support that they can guarantee to their staff members to purse their qualification objectives in any of the training areas identified by the framework.

DigCompEDU into practice
Professional Engagement Click to read

Organizational Communication

  • Leaner, quicker, more efficient (and effective) transfer of communications
  • Spreading the message out, to a broader public of potential users
  • Contributing to the outreach of the organization’ services and broader offer

Professional Collaboration

  • Wider networking opportunities and trans-functional collaborations with STKHs
  • Exchange of good practices and scalable model of innovative pedagogical frameworks / resources

Reflective Practice

  • Monitoring → Assessment → Evaluation of critical takeaways and lessons learnt

Continuous professional development

  • TestValidation Consolidation of replicable and sustainable practices
Digital Resources Click to read

Selecting digital resources

  • Comparing targets’ needs and expectations to the most suitable tools
  • Consistency and reliability of potential resources compared to trainers’ proficiency with the given
  • Harmonizing the potential tool / resources to the underlying pedagogical approach

Creating and modifying digital resources

  • Co-creation and co-development of new suitable resources for trainers and learners
  • Adapting existing sources and resources to the current learning ecosystem
  • Scaling experiences and know-how to design new functionalities and ends-of-use

Managing, protecting and sharing digital resources

  • Safeguarding the privacy of learners and teachers
  • Protecting the intellectual outputs of teachers
  • Understanding the different open license formatting
Teaching and learning Click to read


  • Prioritizing digital devices to the deploy of education and training programme
  • Classroom and learners’ engagement


  • Supporting learners from remote: e-coaching, e-mentoring, e-tutoring
  • Establishing a trust-based relationship through online means

Collaborative learning

  • Enhancing communication and cooperation among distant participants
  • Nurturing a positive and proactive e-classroom environment

Self-regulated learning

  • Enabling learners to apply for themselves planning and monitoring programmes of their progresses
  • Supporting students in identifying adjustments and corrective measures
AssessmentClick to read

Assessment strategies 

  • Keeping track and recording progresses from remote

Analysing evidences

  • Structuring a data driven modelling  for formative and summative assessment of learners’ (and teachers) experience
  • Putting into practice and feedback system that informs fine-tuning processes

Feedback and planning

  • Using data collected for timely relevant intervention – both positive and negative reinforcement of respectively desired and undesired outcomes
Empowering learners Click to read

Accessibility and inclusion

  • Making the education and training content available for all
  • Identifying and removing potential barriers

Differentiation and personalization

  • Making the content “unique” and fine-tuned on learners and trainers personal preferences
  • Setting up a progressive model of complexity that valorizes students’ learning curve

Actively engaging learners

  • Making the content entertaining
  • Avoiding the typical classroom experience
  • Helping learners co-developing and co-creating the content of the lecture – no sterile transfer of knowledge from trainers to trainee
Facilitating Learners’ Digital Competence Click to read

Information and media literacy

  • Providing learners with challenging task stimulating their understanding of digital information

Digital communication and collaboration

  • Stimulating learners capacity to perform group’s tasks from remote and come up with co-developed solutions

Digital content creations

  • Helping learners testing their creative and critical thinking (i.e., how to reference sources, how to brand their material)

Responsible use

  • Empowering learners to manage and handle safely their digital identity, their presence of the web

Digital problem solving

  • Challenging learners with out-of-the-comfort-zone assignment
  • Providing them with the opportunity to train, mentor and support peers.
Summing up
Summing upClick to read

Education and training frameworks DigComp DigCompEDU into practice
  • A step back in the time line
  • Key Competences for LLL
  • Education and training frameworks: what they are…
  • …and what they are useful for
  • The education and training frameworks of EU citizens’ digital literacy
  • Structure and content of the framework
  • Official follow-ups
  • Professional Engagement  
  • Digital Resources  
  • Teaching and learning   
  • Assessment   
  • Facilitating Learners’ Digital Competence  
  • Empowering learners


Test Yourself
TestTest Yourself


DigComp; Education; Training

  • Know EU training and education frameworks
  • Understand the background and scope of DigComp
  • Understand the background and scope of DigCompEDU
  • Know the structure and content of DigCompEDU: opportunities for users


The operative implications of DigComp for educators and organizations lies on the very motivations behind the existence of the framework and the official EU policy paper from which it originated.

As of today, and since its official publication, the official DigComp’s literature counts several follow-up and spin-off documents that contributes to strengthen, update and further develop the EU resources for education and training of EU citizens on digital competences.