New European Framework Launched to Strengthen IT Professionalism

For over a decade, a number of initiatives have sought to foster professionalism in the European IT sector. In 2012, a report, commissioned by the European Commission and developed in conjunction with CEPIS and the Innovation Value Institute, identified four building blocks required to mature a profession: a Body of Knowledge, Competences, Education and Training, and Professional Ethics.

Since then, a series of projects have sought to develop each building block. A European Foundational ICT Body of Knowledge was published in 2015. In 2016, the European e-Competence Framework became a European standard. To further nurture European IT professionalism, the European Commission launched an initiative in September 2015 to develop a ‘European IT Professionalism Framework’. The project was implemented by Capgemini Consulting, EY and IDC.

The Framework aims to support employers across Europe in the development of IT professionals, whilst stimulating the mobility of employees and offering them the tools needed to develop their careers. European IT practitioners need to abide by the highest professional standards and maintain an adequate levels of knowledge, in order to provide the products and services that European organisations and individuals require. Given the role of ICT as an enabler of productivity and the increasingly pervasive nature of computing, organisations and society at large have much to benefit from such an initiative.

The project not only focuses on the development of the Framework itself, but also encourages countries and organisations to start using it. The implementation has already begun in three countries: Spain, Italy and Ireland. Additional pan-EU activities have also been initiated, such as the development of European Ethical Guidelines, in conjunction with CEPIS. An interim report was published in June 2016 and on 6 December 2016 the ‘European IT Professionalism Framework’ was officially launched at a high-level conference in Brussels.

The conference highlighted the need to further develop the IT profession in the face of invariably rapid changes imposed by digital transformation. Project results and relevant developments were shared and discussed with a view to supporting national policy makers, business leaders and academics in initiating appropriate policy.

All conference presentations and related documentation are available online. The final report will be made available in the first quarter of this year.