Developing a European framework for ICT professionalism involves understanding the key issues that impact on establishing and maturing an ICT profession. An important starting point involves considering what it means to be a professional. In terms of ICT professionalism, numerous initiatives have considered the fundamental requirements for ICT to emerge as a profession. The e-Skills & ICT Professionalism: Fostering the ICT Profession in Europe report identified four basic building blocks: a Body of knowledge (BOK), Competences, Education and Training, and Professional Ethics.
With regards to competences, an understanding of the capability and competency needs of individuals working in various roles is essential for organisations to recruit and develop suitable employees. Understanding the core areas of expertise required by various roles, and maintaining appropriate levels of competences through commitment to continuous professional development, is necessary to building any profession.
The European e-Competence Framework (e-CF) was initiated with the objective of providing a “common, shared, European tool to support organisations and training institutions in recruitment, assessment, competence needs analysis, learning programmes, career path design and development” . Prior to the e-CF, there was no common agreement on how to express ICT competences/skills requirements and gaps on a European level. The development of the e-CF was undertaken by the CEN Workshop on ICT Skills. In 2013 the decision to make the e-CF a European standard (EN) was taken. In order to achieve this, the Project Committee CEN/PC 428 was established.