News story

IT instructor first to pass new look ECDL

Learning NewsBritish Computer Society

The latest version of the European Computer Driving Licence® (ECDL) IT qualification, launched last year, has seen its first successful candidate pass all modules. Lorraine Dowd from Halton College in Cheshire is the first person in the UK to achieve her ECDL qualification using accredited Version 4 syllabus material.

Lorraine undertook the latest version of ECDL to assist her in her role of ECDL qualification team leader at the college. Furthermore, e-learning company Electric Paper chose Halton College as a pilot site for its new online ECDL testing system, prompting Lorraine to familiarise herself with ECDL Version 4, before teaching her students.

Lorraine explains, "I was eager to sit the modules in Version 4 as soon as the new syllabus was launched as I wanted a prior insight into what our students were to expect from the new syllabus and the new online testing. I also believe ECDL to be an excellent qualification to gain, especially for young people seeking employment as it is becoming an industry benchmark qualification and the one qualification that employers are demanding. It gives candidates knowledge on a range of computer skills and covers areas that other IT qualifications do not cover at this level. Also, gaining an internationally accepted qualification is another real benefit of ECDL."

ECDL Version 4 was developed by a panel of leading IT experts to ensure that the relevance of the IT skills qualification is maintained. It incorporates the latest technological developments with more emphasis being placed on the internet and security issues.

Pete Bayley, ECDL UK director explains the importance of updating the qualification: "In line with the ECDL Foundation, we regularly review and update the syllabus to ensure we're up to date with the latest technological issues. For example, internet security is becoming increasingly important especially in light of the recent virus epidemics and the new syllabus will enable users to understand what viruses are, how they infect computers and what can be done to eradicate them.

"Although the new ECDL Version 4 syllabus does not become a requirement until September 2004, many ECDL Accredited Test Centres are already implementing the changes to help raise ECDL's total number of UK candidates to 850,000. As the success continues, 2004 will mark an enviable milestone of 1,000,000 registered candidates, ensuring the nation's IT literacy levels continue to increase. "

About ECDL
ECDL is the internationally recognised computer skills qualification that provides a tangible measure and certification of a computer user's competency. ECDL aims to raise the level of national computer literacy; improve productivity at work; reduce IT support costs and to ensure that best practice and quality issues are understood and implemented. The British Computer Society (BCS) manages and promotes the ECDL in the UK on behalf of the ECDL Foundation.

About BCS
The British Computer Society is the leading professional body for the IT industry. With members in over 100 countries around the world, the BCS is the professional and learned Society in the field of computers and information systems.
The BCS is responsible for setting standards for the IT profession. It is also leading the change in public perception and appreciation of the economic and social importance of professionally managed IT projects and programmes. In this capacity, the Society advises, informs and persuades industry and government on successful IT implementation.