Elements and acknowledgement of
ICT Professionalism Transnational Framework

22 June 2016

The rapid progress in the technology domain and massive proliferation of digital solutions in everyday life led to some of the heaviest socio-economic challenges today: environmental pollution, privacy, data security, media objectivity, consumer rights and quality of consumer products, moral and immoral attitudes in the business world, population aging, youth unemployment, criminality etc. Independent behavior and designed usability of complex information and communication systems affect our security, our economies, our environment and even our personal health. By all means, among the greatest ideas behind any technological and scientific advance is for its product, tools and mechanisms to serve as a bridge between a problem and its possible solutions. Consequently, this leads to the somewhat widespread statement that the ethical use of ICT tools primarily depends on their design, strict maintenance and, of course, the professionalism of their creators.

The rapid progress in the technology domain and massive proliferation of digital solutions in everyday life led to some of the heaviest socio-economic challenges today: environmental pollution, privacy, data security, media objectivity, consumer rights and quality of consumer products, moral and immoral attitudes in the business world, population aging, youth unemployment, criminality etc. Independent behavior and designed usability of complex information and communication systems affect our security, our economies, our environment and even our personal health. By all means, among the greatest ideas behind any technological and scientific advance is for its product, tools and mechanisms to serve as a bridge between a problem and its possible solutions. Consequently, this leads to the somewhat widespread statement that the ethical use of ICT tools primarily depends on their design, strict maintenance and, of course, the professionalism of their creators.

Accordingly, feeding the ecosystem with enough trusted and qualified professionals, has become a global challenge of key importance. International organisations, governments and industry unions have been in constant search of a way to fight skills gap since the beginning of new century. The stakeholders have started from consensus on the roadmap, passed through definition of ICT roles, profiles, competences, certifications, standardization of curricula, and reached the current state of work towards filling the competence gap with T-shape competences or e-Leadership skills, and standardization of general ICT profession elements:

(I) competences,

(II) common generic Body of Knowledge,

(III) education and training services and

(IV) code of professional ethics.

Important part of the efforts for enhancing the trust and maturity of ICT profession by building above mentioned essential elements is the e-CF Council project.

The substantial work of the project starts with a research of stakeholders’ attitudes towards recognition of the common reference framework of ICT profession, based on the results of EU initiatives and digital agenda (e-Competence Framework, on-going work on ESCO - classification of the professions in Europe). The research under work package 2 is implemented through an online study of awareness on the current EU standards, priority domains and demanded skills in today ICT profession. In many EU countries still there is lack of matching of national and corporative skills policies with common EU frameworks and achievements. The private companies are focused more on the productivity aspects (SMEs pay very little attention to standards like e-CF - they focus on their short term needs and problems) and less on the other critical factors for the successful business, such as people’s skills, generic ethical standards, quality of gained qualification or certification. According majority of the respondents, priority # 1 in filling the gap between demand and supply of e-skills is to align the educational programs with industry needs, and quality teaching and training programs embedding technical & multidisciplinary approach. The responses provided us with a picture of primary domains and 15 competencies that could be included in a joint vocational qualification program as a mean for enhancing transparency and trust in ICT profession.

Thus building further awareness on ICT professionalism framework through establishment and consensus on the framework, piloting and demonstration of benefits for stakeholders, and interrelations between the existing frameworks, standards and models constitutes the backbone of e-CF Council project.

For more information, please contact: 

Pavel Verbanov, ESICEE
pavel@esicenter.bg