What is Digital Competence?

COUNCIL RECOMMENDATION of 22 May 2018 on key competences for lifelong learning
Digital competence involves the confident, critical and responsible use of, and engagement with, digital technologies for learning, at work, and for participation in society.
It includes information and data literacy, communication and collaboration, media literacy, digital content creation (including programming), safety (including digital well-being and competences related to cybersecurity), intellectual property related questions, problem solving and critical thinking.


Engagement with digital technologies and content requires a reflective and critical, yet curious, open-minded and forward-looking attitude to their evolution.

Individuals should
  • understand how digital technologies can support communication, creativity and innovation, and be aware of their opportunities, limitations, effects and risks.
  • be able to use digital technologies to support their active citizenship and social inclusion, collaboration with others, and creativity towards personal, social or commercial goals.

Individuals should understand the general principles, mechanisms and logic underlying evolving digital technologies and know the basic function and use of different devices, software, and networks.

Individuals should take a critical approach to the validity, reliability and impact of information and data made available by digital means and be aware of the legal and ethical principles involved in engaging with digital technologies. 

Skills include the ability to use, access, filter, evaluate, create, program and share digital content.

Individuals should be able to manage and protect information, content, data, and digital identities, as well as recognise and effectively engage with software, devices, artificial intelligence or robots.

It also requires an ethical, safe and responsible approach to the use of these tools.

COUNCIL RECOMMENDATION of 22 May 2018 on key competences for lifelong learning (Text with EEA relevance) (2018/C 189/01)