computer code

Is the ECDL appropriate for care workers?


An email from Care and Health News dropped into my Inbox this week.  Amongst the weeks Care News was an offer for a European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) CD-Rom.  ECDL is a recognised IT user qualification, covering:

  • Basic concepts of IT.
  • Using the computer and managing files.
  • Word processing.
  • Spreadsheets.
  • Database.
  • Presentation.
  • Information and Communication.

The marketing offered me “…over 50 hours of multimedia-based interactive training” for only £39.99.  A real bargain!

But is it?  50 hours of learning is a lot (well over half the learning hours of most level 2 qualifications) – will people really find time to complete that amount of learning?  But more than that, how many Support Workers need to know about Word processing, Spreadsheets, presentation tools and Databases – even Managers of a Care Home are unlikely to ever open MS Access.

No one is going to argue that the IT skills in the industry should be improved, but providing a programme that is not focused on needs is doomed to failure – regardless of how good or otherwise the programme is.

If you are looking at IT skills in your organisation and want to have a recognised qualification have a look at CLAIT – this gives you flexibility to deliver single or multiple sessions depending on individual requirements.

Beyond IT training, I would suggest that offers of “50 hours of training” may not always be the best option.