International IT Skills Frameworks – a Japanese and European perspective

The Irish Computer Society was delighted to host a Japanese delegation on Monday 10th October in order to explore European and Japanese competence frameworks.  Mr. Eiji Hayashiguchi, Chief Advisory and Mr. Osamu Endo, Group Leader, represented the Information-technology Promotion Agency of Japan (IPA), an organisation affiliated organization to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).  One of IPA’s three key focus areas is to grow quality IT human resources resulting in the development of the IPA i-Competency Dictionary. 

Through fascinating presentations and discussions, the European and Japanese approaches to IT competency frameworks were explored, compared and contrasted.  ICS President Declan Brady, ICS Foundation Strategy and Ops. Mgr. Linda Keane and CEN Workshop on ICT Skills outgoing Chair Dudley Dolan were introduced to the i-Competency Dictionary (i-CD).  They,  in turn, gave Mr. Hayashiguchi and Mr. Endo an insight into the e-Competence Framework (e-CF), its recent adoption as a European standard, the broader European IT professionalism project and ICS national strategies in this area.

It was interesting to note that the i-Competency Dictionary and the e-CF were very similar in structure – classification of the same broad areas of IT, subdivided into competences that are assessed at various levels.  However the e-CF takes a broader view for ease of adoption and the i-CD opts for a more granular approach, classifying up to 2,000 individual ‘tasks’ for assessment.

As the i-Competency dictionary is predominantly used by Japanese companies to drive IT staff development, our guests were very interested in how the Irish Computer Society’s free online CPD platform and how its integration with the e-CF can assist organisations to plan for, acquire and manage IT talent.

All participants at the meeting agreed that further engagement and knowledge sharing can only enhance efforts to mature the IT profession internationally and are due to meet again at the IT Professionalism Europe Network launch before Christmas.

For more details on CPD, the e-CF, IT Professionalism, or to arrange a demonstration for your IT/HR teams please contact