European IT Certification Recognition

The European IT Certification framework was established in 2008 under a project funding from the European Commission's European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to implement one of the targets of the European Commission's Digital Agenda for Europe (DAE) in developing a pan-European digital platform and certification scheme for verifying and attesting both basic and professional Information Technology competencies online.

The European Commission's funding was granted in order to develop the framework and its online platforms with an objective in reducing access barriers to digital skills certification in Europe. The aim of the European IT Certification framework is to support bridging the digital skills gap in the European Union, as well as worldwide.

Since 2008 development and dissemination of the European IT Certification framework was further supported by the European Social Fund (ESF) in a number of Human Capital Operational Programme (HCOP) projects aiming at lowering bariers in accessing digital skills certification for various professional and social groups in the European Union.

There are two kinds of certificates available in the European IT Certification framework:

  • Individual EITC programmes of ca. 15 hours curricula, certifying skills in narrowly defined digital scopes (such as e.g. Linux, TensorFlow or PHP).
  • Comprehensive EITCA Academy programmes that group several (usually 12) EITC programmes in a specialized domain, such as e.g. Cybersecurity, AI or Web Development.

The EITCA Academy enrolment fees cover the cost of all included EITC certification programmes, providing participants with all corresponding EITCA Academy constituent EITC Certificates, along with a relevant EITCA Academy Certificate itself.

In 2008 EITCI, a non-profit association regulated by the Title III of Belgian law granting legal personality to non-profit associations of public utility, was designated to govern and develop the standard and continued advancing the EITC framework with EITCA programmes, grouping individual EITC certifications into specialized domains of digital competencies, such as cyber security, AI, computer graphics, business information systems, and other areas.

Currently the European IT Certification framework is one of the most recognized digital skills certification standards based in the European Union, but supports digital careers globally. Institutions, governmental agencies or corporations which recognize this European digital skills certification framework are numerous, and there is a shortened list published in the About section on the EITCA Academy website in regard to larger companies which delegated their employees to participate in various EITC/EITCA certification programmes in the past. The directory of the EITCA certificates holders in the LinkedIn platform is available here.

Since 2008 EITCI has participated in implementing several European Social Fund and European Regional Development Fund projects in programmes governed by the European Commission, some of which addressed the problem of the digital gender gap by disseminating professional IT skills certification among women (supporting thousands of women in the EU), enhancing digital education in pre-tertiary schools by developing and certifying e-learning and e-didactics skills among teachers (supporting thousands of school teachers in the EU) or establishing e-government skills certification programme based on the IDABC/ISA reference standard for the public administration interoperability systems in the EU (supporting thousands of public administration officers in the EU).

The EITC framework was established to support accelerating growth of the information society and counteracting digital exclusion by development and dissemination of online certification programmes increasing accessibility to IT skills certification services among individuals in the EU and globally. EITCI has been carrying this mission for over 15 years and has established one of not many vendor-independent digital skills certification frameworks competing globally and based in the EU. EITCI focuses on the development of EITC certification programmes' curricula, but also contributes to standardization of emerging IT technologies in a cooperation with international standards setting organizations, supported by the European Commission's Horizon research programme. Although EITCI Institute's main purpose is in development and dissemination of the European IT Certification IT skills attestation framework, it is also active in technical standardization and technology certification in emerging IT fields, such as for example AI applications in domains of critical importance (cf. AI assisted smart energy, https://eitci.org/technology-certification/sesg/smart-pv) or in quantum information and communication technology (cf. https://eitci.org/technology-certification/qsg/eqrng), supporting further advancement of its AI and cybersecurity competencies certification programmes curricula.

EITCI Institute, as a non-profit entity established to manage the programme in the legal form of the ASBL expert association, hosts networks of experts including specialists in various fields of IT who define the European IT Certification framework curriculum and its evolution in the face of technological developments in IT. Furthermore, in accordance with the legal regulations all income from certification services provision may be allocated solely for the statutory purpose of the further development of the certification framework. The aim is to develop an EU-based IT certification framework competitive to external IT certification standards and to reduce the current access barriers to professional digital skills certification, including procedural and economic ones, both in the EU and abroad. A large part of the EITCI activities focuses on the countries at particularly high risk of digital exclusion, where all of the EITC/EITCA certification programmes are available with 100% of the fees waived, similarly as for people living with disabilities in all countries.

Since 2022 these efforts also involve EITCI participation in the working group established for this purpose by the European Commission and the EU Joint Research Center (JRC) with an aim to establish a proper competition framework for all certification standards in IT, co-existing in the EU market, which unfortunately are mainly based in the US. The European IT Certification framework was established to offer an expert-centered and all EU based certification framework, independent of specific digital technology providers. Please note that until 2022, the European Commission did not implement any programmes for a central European Commission's accreditation of various IT certification frameworks available on the EU market, instead financing in operational programmes the development of expert certification frameworks in the EU, independent not only technologically but also politically (which is consistent with the accreditation model of formal educational systems in many EU countries, where accreditation institutions are non-governmental entities and function as non-profit organizations, less susceptible to external influences). However, procedural discrepancies in various EU member states were the premise for the beginning of the work on development of a common European accreditation scheme for certification institutions working in a field of digital competences certification, and such a framework is currently a work-in-progress by a working group of the European Commission and the JRC, established specifically for this purpose, in which EITCI representatives participate since this working group was established in 2022, with a task to propose a set of criteria for accrediting by the European Commission all the complying digital skills certification frameworks currently present in the EU market, including the EITC/EITCA European IT Certification framework and all other certification frameworks, including also the industry dominating frameworks based in the US (the accreditation after its final acceptance will take the form of an additional mark signed by the European Commission for certification frameworks meeting the defined criteria, among others the ISO requirements in disjoining certification services from the training services).

All issued EITC/EITCA certificates can be validated by third parties / employers. To enable third parties to validate a certificate issued, its ID or a direct validation link is required. Validation is performed at https://eitci.org/validate with inputting the certificate's ID and the certificate's holder last name. Alternatively a token secured direct validation link corresponding to each issued certificate can be used as well.