The 2BDigital Competence Framework

The 2BDigital Competence Framework for learning, working and living in a digital world has been designed to upskill VET learners, at risk of disengagement and drop out and early leaving, who need to develop the competences required to learn and work in an increasingly digital world.

The Project Team has analysed and synthesised a number of existing competence frameworks, including LifeComp, DigComp and EntreComp (as well as four additional EC and international frameworks), to bring together and harmonise the essential competences required by learners to succeed in their learning in online environments and effectively prepare for life and work in the digital society.

This proposed integrated framework is designed to help teachers and learners to develop curricula, learning experiences and assessments, which support and promote the development of these competences in relevant, purposeful and meaningful ways, so that learners can create and add value to their own and others’ lives and communities.

We undertook wide-ranging research to take account of curriculum and competence definitions from around the world, tailoring them to the needs of young learners and teachers working to deliver learning online, whilst preparing young people for further learning, training and work.

Developing the Framework

The development of the 2BDigital Competence Framework was iterative, drafting and testing developments with stakeholders throughout the process. The focus on digital technologies and the COVID-19 pandemic supported the use of a number of innovative approaches to promote engagement, including a business breakfast, educators’ cafes and student hackathons. The extended detail of this process can be found in the 2BDigital Competence Framework Development Journey Report.


The framework has five broad competence areas, which are broken down into three constituent competences in each area. Each competence includes a definition, and several descriptors. 

Progression in the framework is set out with learning outcomes over 3 broad levels of attainment to indicate a learner’s stage of journey with the framework and to support and guide goal setting progression and continuous competence development, and differentiated teaching and assessment.


  • Reading and writing
  • Speaking and listening
  • Content creation
  • Cooperation
  • Self development
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Value creation
  • Problem solving
  • Innovation
Critital thinking
  • Planning and management
  • Learning to learn
  • Reflection
  • Wellbeing
  • Ethical thinking and action
  • Sustainability

How it works

Learners progress at their own pace from individual starting points as they demonstrate mastery. By advancing upon demonstrated mastery, rather than on prescribed fixed programmes of learning, students are more engaged and motivated, and educators can direct their efforts to where students need the most help.

Competences include explicit, measurable, transferable learning objectives that empower learners. With clear, transparent learning objectives, students have greater ownership over their education and achievements.

Online transversal competences Assessment is authentic, meaningful and a positive learning experience for students. New systems of assessments give students real-time information on their progress and provide the opportunity to show evidence of higher order skills, whenever they are ready, rather than at set points in time during the school year.methodology and tool

Learners receive timely, differentiated support based on their individual learning needs.

Learning outcomes emphasize competencies that include application and creation of knowledge, along with the development of important skills and dispositions (Sturgis, C. & Casey, K. (2018). Quality principles for competency-based education. Vienna, VA: iNACOL).

How to use it

The framework is designed to be used flexibly, as appropriate to different purposes and contexts:

Learners may use the framework to articulate and present their competence levels or to identify what they need to do to improve, setting learning goals for themselves.

Educators may use the framework to plan, evaluate and assess learning.

The framework can be used as a shared reference point, with which to define and share understanding of competence in different contexts for different purposes.

The learning outcomes can be used as a library of learning outcomes which teachers and pupils can use to describe, improve and evaluate their learning.

The learning outcomes have been developed to apply universally to all contexts.

Learners need to have opportunities to practise selecting and applying different combinations of competences to achieve tasks, evaluating the impacts of the decisions they make.

Learn more by downloading the full 2BDigital Competence Framework now!