In the globalised world, mobility is crucial to reduce skills mismatches in today’s workplace, help people acquire new qualifications and find jobs abroad.

Mobility facilitates the exchange of ideas and experience.

But mobility is often impeded in Europe and abroad by a lack of comparability between qualifications awarded in different countries. This affects students who want to study abroad, employers who are looking for employees, and citizens who would like to gain qualifications or find a job abroad, to name just a few.

National qualifications frameworks

National Qualifications Frameworks (NQFs) describe qualifications of a national education system and explain how they interlink with each other.

International qualifications, such as ICDL, can be mapped to National Qualifications Frameworks and, in this way, become officially recognised in different countries in Europe and worldwide.

Qualifications frameworks around the world

Worldwide, there are more than 150 countries and territories involved in developing qualifications frameworks. Many of them use the EQF as a reference point and an inspiration.

European Qualifications Framework

The European Qualifications Framework (EQF) was created to facilitate mobility, both inside and outside of Europe. It works as a translation tool that helps comparison among qualification systems in Europe and enhances the transparency, comparability and portability of qualifications.

Thirty countries in Europe have a National Qualifications Framework, and many countries and regions around the world have, or are developing, qualifications frameworks.

ICDL is mapped to a number of National Qualifications Frameworks, which are, in turn, mapped to the EQF in Europe and other Regional Qualifications Frameworks (RQFs) worldwide.

ICDL in national qualifications frameworks around the world

ICDL Foundation is an international organisation dedicated to raising digital competence standards in the workforce, education and society. Our certification programmes are delivered in more than 100 countries, in over 40 languages. More than 14 million people have already received ICDL certification.

ICDL certificates have been recognised and endorsed by a number of governments in Europe and worldwide.

  • In Europe, the ICDL programme has been mapped to the National Qualifications Frameworks of Ireland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Malta and Scotland.
  • Outside of Europe, ICDL has been mapped or referenced to NQFs in Australia, Iran, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand and Vietnam.
  • The ICDL programme has also received endorsements from governments in a number of countries.

Several examples in detail

United Kingdom


ICDL is mapped to the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF), which replaced the Qualifications & Credit Framework and the National Qualifications Framework in October 2015.

Responsible body

The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual)

Mapping details

BCS Level 1 Award in IT User Skills (ECDL Essentials) is mapped to RQF Level 1. BCS Level 2 Certificate in IT User Skills (ECDL Extra) is mapped to RQF Level 2. BCS Level 3 Certificate in IT User Skills (ECDL Advanced) is mapped to RQF Level 3.



ICDL has been mapped to the Malta Qualifications Framework since 2010. The mapping was updated in 2013.

Responsible body

The National Commission for Further and Higher Education (NCFHE)


ICDL Malta approached the Malta Qualifications Council in 2010 to start the referencing process with the MQF. The following criteria were taken into account: the structure of the international qualification; the syllabus; the learning outcomes; and learning and assessment methods.

Mapping details

ECDL Base is mapped to MQF Level 2, ECDL Standard is mapped to MQF Level 3, and ECDL Advanced, to MQF Level 4. ECDL certificates in Malta carry the NCFHE Quality Label and referencing.



Since 2011, the ICDL programme has been mapped to the Workforce Skills Qualification (WSQ) Employability Skills ICT Framework.

Responsible body

The mapping has been carried out and recognised by the Workforce Development Agency (WDA).


WDA consultants constructed the national digital competence standard based on the ICDL syllabus. They recognised ICDL as covering a general skillset, applicable to all industries and sectors, in other words, a foundational competence.

Mapping details

All 18 ICDL modules were mapped to the WSQ Framework. ICDL modules fall under ‘Level 1: WSQ Certificate’ and ‘Level 3: WSQ Advanced Certificate’.


ICDL has been recognised as a qualified IT standard in Vietnam since November 2015 under Circular 03/2014/BTTTT of the Ministry of Information and Communication.


ICDL is mapped to the Australian Qualifications Framework and the Queensland Certificate of Education. The intended target audience is vocational education.

ICDL is an international qualification recognised worldwide that facilitates the mobility of workers and students across borders.

  • The ICDL programme provides flexible learning pathways and facilitates lifelong learning.
  • The ICDL programme has been mapped to NQFs in a number of countries.
    In other countries, this process is ongoing. Referencing NQFs to the European Qualifications Framework is a continuous process that requires countries to ensure that referenced information is up to date. In the same way, mapping ICDL to NQFs is a continuous process.
  • ICDL modules deliver the specific and measurable knowledge and skills that are needed to put into practice the broad descriptive competence areas of qualifications frameworks. Education systems value them because they provide clear learning outcomes that can help individuals to demonstrate mastery of different parts of a framework.
Contact us

Contact us