DigComp and EntreComp European frameworks: a real opportunity for businesses

Today, digital skills are vital for almost all jobs in modern economies.

According to the “Digital skills in the EU labour market” report (Kiss, 2017)…

« information and communication technologies (ICT) play an increasingly important role in our professional and private lives, and digital competence is of growing importance for every individual ».

In other words, digital technology is not simply influencing how we go about our lives – it is transforming traditional structures, methods and assumptions about how we communicate, learn, work and live.

In the face of such transformation, the reality is that 44% of Europeans still do not have basic digital skills while 79% of Europeans go online regularly (at least once per week) and all projections are that a majority of forms of work will require digital skills in the near future.

The Impact of Digitalisation on the Job Market

Broadly speaking, digitalisation has several impacts on the labour market. On the one hand, new business models, products and machines create new jobs, while on the other hand, automation contributes to the elimination of jobs or their relocation to countries with lower labour costs. To remedy this situation, developing the digital skills of the EU workforce is essential.

To take up this challenge, the European Union created 2 different frameworks that can be used to assess and develop digital and entrepreneurial skills: the “DigComp” and the “Entrecomp” frameworks.

Let’s see how the 2 frameworks have been build and how businesses can use them to develop people skills and organizational processes.

Why Two Different Frameworks?

DigComp was developed in 2016 as a reference framework that describes what it means to be digitally competent. It can be used across sectors, disciplines and systems to enable people to develop digital competence.

DigComp sets out the 21 competencies necessary to be digitally competent and maps these across 8 proficiency levels, from the most basic to advanced levels. Digital competence is a key transversal competence that means being able to use digital technologies in a critical, collaborative and creative way.

DigComp model shapes the key components of digital competence in 5 areas:

  • Information and data literacy: to articulate information needs, to locate and retrieve digital data, information and content.
  • Communication and collaboration: to interact, communicate and collaborate through digital technologies while being aware of cultural and generational diversity.
  • Digital content creation: to create and edit digital content. to improve and integrate information and content into an existing body of knowledge while understanding how copyright and licences are to be applied.
  • Safety: to protect devices, content, personal data and privacy in digital environments. To protect physical and psychological health, and to be aware of digital technologies for social well-being and social inclusion.
  • Problem-solving: To identify needs and problems, and to resolve conceptual problems and problem situations in digital environments. To use digital tools to innovate processes and products.

An Actionable Model

The very core value of the DigComp framework relies on the potential actionability of the model.

DigComp provides high-level descriptions of digital competence and the related learning outcomes expected at different proficiency levels along with illustrative examples in two application scenarios.

According to DigComp into Action Guide (Kluzer S., et all, 2018), DigComp can be “adapted” and “specified”:

“Adaptation” refers to changes made in the DigComp conceptual reference model leading to a more or less similar framework inspired by it. Competence areas or specific competencies may be added because they are deemed important for a target population

“Specification” of the framework typically occurs in view of further implementation steps, i.e. the design of digital competence education and training programmes for a given target population, or general assessment and certification purposes of specific competencies and proficiency levels.

The Digcomp model has been already used to develop more than 38 business applications all across Europe.

The main applications are linked to:

Competence assessment: DigComp is used to assess digital competence levels, strengths and weaknesses of an individual or target population

Training trainers and end-user learning: DigComp is used to design training measures for the trainers who must develop digital competence.

Recognition and certification: DigComp is used to assess, recognise and possibly certify learning achievements and enhanced competence.

At the same time, a second framework can be of help to assess and develop a skill set complementary to a digital one.

What is an Entrepreneurial Mindset?

In 2018, the European Commission developed EntreComp: the European Entrepreneurship Competence Framework as a reference framework to explain what is meant by an entrepreneurial mindset.

EntreComp offers a comprehensive description of the knowledge, skills and attitudes that people need to be entrepreneurial and create financial, cultural or social value for others.

EntreComp is a common reference framework that identifies 15 competencies in three key areas that describe what it means to be entrepreneurial.

The EntreComp Framework

EntreComp has the potential to be used in a variety of ways including:

  • supporting policy and practice to develop entrepreneurial skills;
  • assessing entrepreneurial skills;
  • supporting the training of educators, trainers and teachers to deliver entrepreneurial skills;
  • designing programmes and learning opportunities;
  • recognising and certifying skills.

EntreComp has been applied in different ways and has proved to be useful in helping projects and organisations to achieve a number of goals.

  • Mobilising interest in entrepreneurship and inspiring action;
  • Creating value by adapting the framework to specific contexts;
  • Appraising & assessing levels of entrepreneurship competence;
  • Implementing entrepreneurial ideas and projects;
  • Recognising entrepreneurship skills.
The EntreComp Framework - Key Areas

We at MindForest truly believe that DigComp and EntreComp could be used to support organisations to change and to transform their processes and their business.

Change management is about people. Among other applications, the 2 combined models could be used to support people during digital transformation projects. Vision, creativity, leadership and digital competencies are an amazing skillset to face competition by leading the change.

We at MindForest are ready to support you to take up the challenge.

Contact us by email at info@mindforest.com to get help in implementing the necessary digital and entrepreneurial skills for tomorrow’s jobs.

Bibliography

Carretero Gomez, S., Punie, Y., Vuorikari, R., Cabrera Giraldez, M. and Okeeffe, W., editor(s), Kluzer, S. and Pujol Priego, L., DigComp into Action: Get inspired, make it happen. A user guide to the European Digital Competence Framework, EUR 29115 EN, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, 2018, ISBN 978-92-79-79901-3, doi:10.2760/112945, JRC110624.

Ec.europa.eu. 2021. The European Entrepreneurship Competence Framework (EntreComp). [online] Available at: [Accessed 25 May 2021].

EU Science Hub – European Commission. 2021. DigComp – EU Science Hub – European Commission. [online] Available at: [Accessed 15 May 2021].

Kiss Monika, (2017), «Digital skills in the EU labor market”, ISBN 978-92-846-0367-1 doi:10.2861/451320

Kluzer S., Pujol Priego L. (2018). DigComp into Action – Get inspired, make it happen. S. Carretero, Y. Punie, R. Vuorikari, M. Cabrera, and O’Keefe, W. (Eds.). JRC Science for Policy Report, EUR 29115 EN, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, 2018. ISBN 978-92-79-79901-3, doi:10.2760/112945.

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