The pace of change has never been this fast and will never be this slow again*. So, how do we make sure that we keep up? A question which exercises me often. One of the ways is accepting that we can’t. Sometimes we need to use something for a while, take a break, reflect and catch up. This is what’s happening with the Basic Digital Skills framework. We’ve been work buddies for around three years now. Constant companions. So, today when the framework and I met up – it looked a bit different. Was it a new haircut? New jeans and sneakers? Not sure – but I do know it’s got a new name, is a bit more mature, more nuanced and has its eye firmly on the future.

Hello new companion – Essential Digital Skills framework was launched today at the Lloyds Bank UK Consumer Digital Index 2018. There are some subtle and not so subtle differences. The updated framework has five themes, two categories and a firm anchor. It should all feel fairly familiar. Just a bit more modern and helpful.

The previous anchor of safety and security has been placed front and centre. A theme in its own right as well as woven through the whole framework.

The new anchor is ‘foundation’ skills. Those absolute essentials which can catch any of us out when moving to a new device. How do I switch this on? Where’s the mouse/trackpad/accessibility tools/touch sensitive screen? Do I just say hello to it???

The new categories are Skills for Life and Skills for Work. Wording has changed to focus on ability to carry out a task. This isn’t designed to be a progression route – it’s more about a pick and mix for your own circumstances.

Themes have changed subtly too.

Creating has been integrated across all activities.

Handling Information and Content was felt to be a better description for Managing Information.

Which leaves Communicating, Transacting and Problem Solving as constants.

To get the most from the framework we could all benefit from an implementation guide – something to turn the high level policy speak into practical. We’re working with a cross section of organisations to develop something for Scotland and colleagues across the UK. We aim to have an early version of it for wider testing in the summer. If you would like to be involved in this, please drop us a line.

And finally, a massive thankyou to all of those organisations who took the time to feed into the draft versions of the Essential Digital Skills framework. I hope you see something familiar here and something that you feel you’ve helped shape.

* Moore’s law