The following is issued as information regarding the process of Accreditation of IT Centers interested to become ECDL Approved Test Centres. It describes briefly the whole process and gives guidelines to the Manager of the Candidate Center as to what to expect to take place during the visit of the ECDL Auditors.
- The Initial Contact
- The ECDL Cyprus Auditors
- The Process
- Required Documentation
- For Efficiency
- The Decision
- Minimum Requirements For a Favourable Decision
- Accreditation Fee
- Further Details
The Initial Contact
The IT Center interested to receive ECDL Accreditation and become and ECDL Test Center in Cyprus can contact the ECDL Secretariat directly at the telephone numbers 22460680 or 22-767349 (fax) or alternatively fill in the online accreditation request form through which the expression of interest only and a request for contact is made. The Secretariat will contact the IT Center within the next few days to discuss the request of the IT Center. Tthe ECDL Secretariat, as part of its marketing activities may also contact IT Centers that considers suitable to become ECDL Test Centers to discuss the possibility for cooperation in the ECDL.
The ECDL Cyprus Auditors
After the initial contact and the initial discussions, the arrangement of an appointment for the visit of the ECDL Auditors at the Candidate Center is made. The ECDL Auditors are appointed by the ECDL Cyprus Secretariat to carry out the accreditation procedure according to the standards and guidelines of the ECDL Foundation.
The following takes place when the ECDL Cyprus Auditors visit the Candidate Center for accreditation :
- inspection of the facilities (hardware and software) to be used for training and testing. Availability of software to be used for each of the six practical ECDL modules.
- discussion with the managers and asking specific questions regarding the organization (basic details i.e years in operation, address, total number of employees, total number of clients/students etc)
- the confirmation of the qualifications of the personnel working at the training center (degrees, qualifications, experience etc). The Cyprus Computer Society insists that IT professionals are involved in the ECDL process of training; thus securing the quality of the training offered to the ECDL candidates. The qualifications of the instructors involved in the ECDL training must be documented at the time of the accreditation visit and the ECDL Audit will receive copies of the documentation that must submitted to the ECDL Board for consideration and evaluation.
- the approach of the management of the center towards:
- the promotion of ECDL (i.e marketing and advertising)
- issues on which the European Union is sensitive (i.e will the centre accept a handicapped person to take the ECDL tests?).
- the inspection of the other facilities (i.e training room and size, auxiliary training equipment, hygiene, tidyness etc) available at the center and the overall working and training environment.
As part of the procedures, the center will need to document certain items as outlined below, it will be effective if these documents are available at the time of the visit so that the Auditors receive these documentation:
- C.V of all instructors at the centre to be involved with the ECDL Training and Testing
- Copies of University diplomas/degrees of instructors and/or owners
- Copies of any certifications the instructors and/or owners of the center have (if any)
- Copies of any certifications the training center has received from other organizations(if any)
- Copies of the registration of the training center with the government. (if any)
Items 1 and 2 above must be made available at the time of the site visit. Please note that 3-5 above are not requirements for approving the center as ECDL center. This information, is gathered simply for gaining a complete picture about the organization. If they exist, they will contribute positively for reaching a favourable decision.
To speed up the process of accreditation :
- Two of PC equipment at the candidate center must be switched on at the time of the visit.
- The various software that will be used for training and testing for ECDL must be loaded on the two machines.
- If a server is available at the Centre, it must be already switched on and running.
- Access to the internet must be readily available.
The information above will be recorded, signed and a copy given to the Center. This information is then submitted for further evaluation at the Accreditation Body of ECDL Cyprus which will notify the IT Center of its decision (approval or conditional approval or rejection). A decision is usually taken within two weeks from the time of accreditation and the candidate Center will be informed in writting. In case of conditional approval or rejection, the Accreditation Body will clearly state the reasons of its decisions and will recommend remedial measures that the center must take in order to conform to the ECDL Accreditation requirements.
Minimum Requirements For a Favourable Decision
The ECDL Cyprus Secretariat has set the minimum requirements for the Candidate Center to accomplish in order to successfully gain ECDL Training and Testing Accreditation as follows:
Qualified personnel - It is required that ECDL Trainers are holders of:
- University or College degree/diploma in Computer Science or other related field in Computing.
- The ECDL CTP - Certified Training Professional qualification.
- Other qualifications will also be considered on an individual basis depending on the type of qualification and the proven experience of the trainer.
In an effort to fight software piracy the Cyprus Computer Society requires that all Approved Test Center purchase and maintain valid software licenses.
- Availability of authentic software for each of the 6 practical modules of the ECDL Core Syllabus.
- Availability of authentic software for each of the other practical tests offered by the Test Center
- Copies of the software licenses must be submitted to the ECDL Auditor.
- A minimum of 8 Personal Computers with suitable configuration capable to run the software for the practical tests modules efficiently.
- One spare PC to be used in case of technical problem during the test.
- All PCs to be connected on a Local Area Network.
- All PCs to have access to the Internet via a suitably fast line.
- A printer, within the testing room, to be connected on the Network.
- A video projector connected to the trainer's PC is also highly recommended to enhance the quality of training.
- Convenient, clean and tidy room so that the process of testing is facilitated.
- A desk and chair for each of the candidates.
- Typically a minimum of 1.5 - 2.5 square meters space per person is required.
- Separators between PCs so that viewing in the next screen is prevented
- An airconditioning unit (both cold and warm) to be installed in the testing room.
- An extra desk and chair for the tester.
- A clock conveniently placed so that is visible by the test candidates.
- Wherever possible, provision for access by the disabled people.
A board for placing the announcements of the ECD results, other communication from the ECDL Cyprus Head Office and ECDL advertising materials.
The Center must agree to establish and place a tableau outside its premises based on a design and dimensions provided by ECDL Cyprus.
Health & Safety
The Test Center must obey to and fulfill the minimum legal requirements for health and safety of its employees and other constituents using the facilities as these are set by the authorities of the Republic of Cyprus.
ECDL Cyprus holds no responsibility for accidents or other events that may take place at an Approved ECDL Test Center.
Note 1: Conditional approval is given in case 1 or 2 of the terms above are not met. In such a case, the Candidate Center is given a grace period (i.e 3-6 months) to fully comply with the minimum requirements.
Note 2: Upon approval of the Centre, the Contract of Cooperation is sent to the Centre for signing and return to the Cyprus Computer Society.
The annual fee for participation in the ECDL scheme is set to 225 Euros. In order to promote computer training among students in not-easily-accessible areas the fee is waived for Centers in the rural areas.
If you still have any queries, you may contact the ECDL Secretariat at 22460680 or at the fax 22767349 or by email at email@example.com .