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1 Title/current version e-CF book
e-CF ( European e-Competence Framework) - Version 3.0.

2 The Basics of the e-CF books
The European e-Competence Framework, e-CF, is a reference
framework for competences applied within the IT sector and a
common language for IT-related knowledge, skills and attitudes.

3 e-CF book Summary
The e-CF has been developed by the Workshop on IT Skills
of the European Committee for Standardization (CEN), with
contributions from a large number of IT and HR experts. The
development of the e-CF started in 2005 after recommendations
from the European e-Skills Forum that national IT framework
stakeholders and IT experts should consider developing a
European e-competence framework. With the introduction of
Version 3.0 in 2014 the CEN started the process to make the
e-CF a European standard.

A competence is defined in the e-CF as a ‘demonstrated ability
to apply knowledge, skills and attitudes to achieving observable
Each of the 40 competences in e-CF 3.0 is described in four so
called ‘dimensions’:
1. The e-Competence Area taken from a simple IT process
model: Plan – Build – Run – Enable – Manage
2. A Generic Description in terms of the behavior showing the
competence and the expected contribution at the workplace
3. Proficiency Levels based on a mix of:
• autonomy (from ‘being instructed’ to ‘making choices’)
• context complexity (from ‘structured/predictable’ to
• behavior (from ‘able to apply’ to ‘able to conceive’)
4. Knowledge and Skills examples that may be relevant for
competence performance as described in dimensions 2 and 3

The e-CF proficiency levels, 1 to 5, are very similar to the levels
3 to 8 of the European Qualifi cation Framework (EQF) used in
formal education. For most competences in the e-CF only two or
three levels are defined.

The e-CF is published by the CEN IT Skills Workshop as a CEN
Workshop Agreement (CWA) and consists of four parts:
• Part 1 is the standard itself
• Part 2 contains guidance on the use of the standard
• Part 3 documents how the e-CF was developed
• Part 4 illustrates the application of e-CF in practice by
providing 15 case studies

4 Target audience of the e-CF books
The framework provides an international tool for:
• IT practitioners and managers, with clear guidelines for their
competence development
• Human resources managers, enabling the anticipation and
planning of competence requirements
• Education, training and certification, enabling effective
planning and design of IT curricula and assessment of
• Policy makers, professional organizations and market
researchers, providing a clear and Europe-wide agreed
reference for IT professionalism, IT skills and competences in
a long-term perspective

Overview of the e-CF competences and profi ciency levels

• Procurement managers, providing a common language
for effective technical terms of reference in national and
international bids

5 Scope and Constraints of e-CF books
The e-CF supports the definition of job roles, career paths,
professional development plans, learning paths and qualifications
based on a shared common language and competence structure.
It allows detailed profi ling by defining profi les combining various
competences. Measurement and assessment of competence using
the e-CF as a reference framework enables the identification of
competence gaps at an individual, team or organizational level,
and effective targeted training or recruitment.

Where job titles and job descriptions rapidly become obsolete in
the dynamic and complex environment of modern organizations,
competence is recognized as a more stable basis expressing
capabilities required in the workplace.

As a reference framework, the e-CF can be aligned with HR
instruments already existing in an organization, including other
competence frameworks.

The e-CF descriptions of competences, describing behavior in
the workplace, are easily misunderstood as describing roles in
an organization. Using the e-CF, e.g. for role profiles, one has
to keep in mind that the framework is just that: a framework.
Guidance on how to use the framework can be found in Part 2,
the User Guide.

6 Relevant websites of the e-CF books

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