A: Yes, we believe so. Everyday, across the US and around the world, we get feedback from educators, management at corporations, and from within the public sector, on the impact the lack of IT user skills is having on productivity and the quality of work. One of the greatest mistakes administrations make is presuming ability to use the Internet means that people are digitally literate. Quite simply, this is not the case. The feedback we get is that even in the most developed nations or privileged area, there is a large skills deficit when it comes to students, teachers and employees using computer applications effectively and productively. This ultimately has a negative macroeconomic effect on productivity at local, regional, and even national level. Too often we see large scale investment in capital infrastructure and ICT hardware while the investment in skills to use this infrastructure is completely neglected. This directly reduces the return on investment in such infrastructure. Only by investing in skills and certification of those skills can you ensure your return on investment on computer infrastructure.
A: The digital divide is a serious issue throughout the United States, and is composed of two factors. The first element of the digital divide is that of access; quite simply, there are those that do not have access to technology as they cannot afford it. The second element of the digital divide is skills-related. Many individuals have not developed skills due to socio-economic disadvantages that have limited their ability to access technology and/or training, whilst many more individuals have never been properly trained and structure digital skills certifications programs have not formed part of their formal education. All stakeholders, public and private, local and national, must work to reduce the digital divide in the US.
A: People typically begin the ICDL certification process through enrolling in a training course. They may do this in a personal capacity or as part of their training requirement as, for example, an employee of an organization. Often the training course may take place within an Accredited Test Center; however, in many cases training and testing for ICDL may take place in different locations. Find a location near you.
A: In order to register for ICDL testing, candidates should contact an Accreditation Partner in their state. The Accreditation Partner will direct candidates to their nearest Accredited Test Center where they may register for ICDL certification. Registration covers online diagnostic tests, certification tests and may, depending on your program, include online courseware.
Once all the exams have been successfully completed, the Accredited Test Center informs ICDL US who will then issue the certificate to the candidate. An ICDL certificate is awarded to candidates who complete seven ICDL modules. An ICDL Start certificate will be awarded upon completion of four ICDL modules.
ICDL testing can only be taken at an Accredited Test Center. ICDL US is responsible for approving test centers and auditing them on a regular basis to ensure that they meet ECDL Foundation’s quality assurance standards.
A: People usually take training on each module prior to taking the test, although training is not compulsory. Some candidates may feel competent enough in one area to forego training and move directly to testing, whereas others may require full training before testing. The amount of training needed will depend on the candidate’s existing skills levels prior to commencing training and the type of training - for example, instructor-led or e-Learning. Typically the average training time for those without prior experience is approximately 30 hours per module.
e-Learning training materials that have been approved by ICDL US and ECDL Foundation are available through Accreditation Partners, enabling individuals to engage in self-paced learning.
A: Each module is tested separately with each test lasting no longer than 45 minutes. The tests can be attempted in any order.
A: ICDL is unique in that it has been designed to be vendor neutral. This means that the skills requirements in the ICDL syllabus are not linked with any specific software. As a non-profit organization, ICDL US and ECDL Foundation have no relationships with any particular software provider. Candidates therefore have the flexibility and freedom to acquire ICT skills and confidently apply them in a range of software environments.
A: An Accreditation Partner is an organization that ICDL US has appointed to administer the ICDL program through a network of Accredited Test Centers in a particular state or territory. The Accreditation Partners work directly with this network of Test Centers in the implementation of the ICDL certification programs in the jurisdiction for which it is responsible. To find your nearest ICDL US Accreditation Partner, or to find out more about how to become an ICDL US Accreditation Partner, please contact ICDL US.