eCompetence Framework: Italy sets the example

By Fabio Massimo, SBS expert.

The European e-Competence Framework (e-CF) is a reference of competences in the ICT workplace, using a common language for competences, skills and proficiency levels that can be understood across Europe. The success of this approach will depend on its uptake among users. Some EU countries are eager to enforce the use of the standard: Italy has so far set the right example.

A new Standard UNI 11621 was just published by UNI, the Italian National Standardization body, and has become the new Italian standard for lCT job profiles. After having published eCF as the national standard UNI 11506, Italy has now introduced an additional norm that includes specific competences to define Job Profiles.

Companies, associations, HR departments and Public Bodies are accustomed to using Job Profiles within their organizations to build organizational charts, assign tasks and responsibilities so many stakeholders suggested and urged UNI to provide an ad hoc standard.

The standard comprises various parts designed to standardize different sectors. In detail: the first part defines the methodology with which professional ICT sector profiles (Job Profiles) can generally be described and defined based on the eCF. The second part of UNI 11621 incorporates the CWA 16458 which defines 23 ICT Job Profiles at a European level and transforms them into a standard, in Italy. These Job Profiles are called “second-generation profiles”. The third and fourth parts develop the so-called “third generation profiles”. These parts go into more detail and increase the granularity of the “second generation” profiles. So, the third part defines 25 new job profiles for web professionals and the fourth describes 12 profiles in the field of ICT security.

The new Standard is an implementation of eCF, it supports it and promotes its diffusion, but it is also much more. Italian Law no 4/2013, which aims to govern professional activities, was enacted in Italy on January 14 2013. This law establishes that all professions, including those in the ICT sector, can adopt specific standards, which define skills, qualifications, ethical behavior and requirements to practice the profession. The law assigns to the national body of standardization, UNI, the task of providing industry, associations and the market with the required standards.

The two Italian standards UNI 11506 and UNI 11621, therefore, implement the law for professionals in the ICT sector in Italy. Italy has implemented and is developing the two basic tools: the law and the standards that together allow the pub1ic and private market to organize and regulate the entire ICT industry.

By combining laws and standard, Italy is a pioneer in Europe and proposes a “good practice” that can be used as reference by other Countries and by the European Commission itself.