Essential digital skills framework

The essential digital skills framework defines the digital skills adults need to safely benefit from, participate in and contribute to the digital world.


Essential digital skills framework

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This framework has been designed to support providers, organisations and employers across the UK who offer training for adults to secure their essential digital skills.

The frameworks sets out 5 categories of essential digital skills for life and work:

  • communicating
  • handling information and content
  • transacting
  • problem solving
  • being safe and legal online

There is also information about foundation skills, which are typically required by those not currently using digital technology or using it in limited ways.

This is the first update of the basic digital skills framework since its original publication in 2015. Changes have been subject to wide consultation across:

  • employers
  • charities
  • national and local government departments
  • academics
  • individuals

The most significant change to the framework is the introduction of specific skills statements for life and work, to show progression.

The framework has informed development of new national standards for essential digital skills published in April 2019.

Contact us

If you have questions on the essential digital skills framework or the development of new national digital standards please contact the post-16 basic skills team:

Updates to this page

Published 12 September 2018
Last updated 23 April 2019 + show all updates
  1. Added link to new national standards for essential digital skills.

  2. First published.

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