SBS and DIGITAL SME publish the SME User Guide on digital competences

Europe, similarly to many countries around the world, is facing a severe shortage of IT professionals. As technology is pervasive in every area of work and life, this gap and mismatch of digital skills could negatively impact on growth, competitiveness and innovation on the continent. Wherever we look, digital is at the forefront of agendas; it affects the vast majority of jobs and radically changes labour markets.

To support facing the challenge of introducing skilled professionals into the labour market, European Commission launched the European e-Competence Framework (e-CF) project to set a major milestone towards growing the maturity of the IT profession. The success of this initiative led to the publication of the e-CF as European standard in 2016 (EN 16234).

The e-CF standard helps employers in providing a common language for describing digital competences, skills, knowledge. Thus, it can be used for professional development of IT specialists all over Europe, while stimulating the mobility of employees and offering them tools to develop their careers. The benefits to organisations of all sizes and society include relying on professionals having an adequate level of digital knowledge and providing a higher level of products and services.


SBS and DIGITAL SME were deeply involved in the development of the e-CF standard through their expert Mr Fabio Massimo. Now, the two organisations publish an SME User Guide to provide support to European small and medium-sized companies to apply the EN standard 16234. The Guide aims to help SMEs understand and make practical use of the e-CF. It contains information regarding the type of SMEs that would particularly benefit from the implementation of the standard, while providing of its contents and principles.


Many countries that have already started implementing the standard and will further work on their roadmaps. In the long-term, the European Commission aims for recognition of the e-CF as a standard to be used by all European countries and their institutions, universities and industry. With this initiative, SBS and DIGITAL SME aim at contributing to this objective by increasing the adoption of the e-CF standard among the SME community. Furthermore, SBS and DIGITAL SME will organise a workshop in 2018 to engage with the SME community and further promote this Guide..


*This SME User Guide on the e-Competence Framework can be downloaded HERE