Background to the European system of certification


The European system of certification of competences for information-documentation professionals, or Euro-certification, was set up by the consortium CERTIDoc during the first quarter 2005, resulting from important preparatory work begun in 1994 and financed by two funds under the European program Leonardo da Vinci.

The first "national" certifications

ADBS publishes its first Competences Guide and sets up a mechanism for certifying competency levels.

ADBS, along with five other ECIA Members, is selected for the DECIDoc project (Developing Euro-competences in Information & Documentation).

Publication of  the "Euroguide" in nine languages under the auspices of the ECIA
Development of a certification mechanism by SEDIC (Spain) and DGI (Germany).

Establishment of the European Euroguide Maintenance Group. [The Permanent Follow-Up Committee or CPSE is comprised of ABD (Belgium), ADBS (France), ASLIB (UK) DGI (Germany)].

The DECIDOC project

ADBS is selected with five other members of ECIA for the DECIDoc project (Développer les eurocompétences en I&D).

The Euroguide is published in 9 languages under the head of ECIA .SEDIC (Spain) and DGI (Germany) develop a certifying device in their respective country

The CERTIDoc project

The objectives

The CERTIDoc project's main objective is to ensure, consistency of all arrangements for certification of professionals in the information and documentation sector at European level. These are based on an universal set of competences, one of the major results of the project DECIDoc, previously supported by the Leonardo da Vinci program. CERTIDoc will also give this professional sector which requires specific and rapidly-evolving skills greater visibility, a better image and facilitate professional mobility.
The CERTIDoc project concerns all professionals in the information-documentation field who are acting in various economic sectors as well as professional trainers, those active in certification and employers in public and private sectors.

The project partners

ULB, Université Libre de Bruxelles (Brussels)

DGI, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Informationswissenschaft und Informationpraxis (Frankfurt am Main)

SEDIC, Sociedad Espanola de Documentacion e Informacion Cientifica (Madrid)

ADBS, Association des professionnels de l'information et de la documentation (Paris)

Bureau van DIJK  Ingénieur conseil (Paris).

Press Releases (archives)

The European certification system is up and running!

The European project CERTIDoc, co-financed by the Leonardo da Vinci program of the European Commission, was completed on 30 October 2004. Its objective was to design a European system of certification of competences for information and documentation professionals, which broadly-defined, includes librarians, archivists p for the project, grouped together three organisations with experience in certification (ADBS in France, SEDIC in Spain and DGI in Germany), the Free University of Brussels and a Company of Advisors specialized in information management, the Bureau van Dijk, in Paris. The project, which was rolled out over two years has produced such results that the European system could be implemented early in the year 2005.

Any association that intends to develop a system for issuing euro-certificates of competences now has a series of rules: Functioning of the European consortium of certifying bodies, Functioning of the certification process, Accreditation of assessors and constitution of juries, A Guide to the process and types of evaluation of competences, etc.. The Euro-guide of competences, which is the heart of the evaluation system was adopted. It is available in French and will soon be published in English, German and Spanish.

In early September 2004, a training session of a group of nine assessors was held to introduce the new system and to ensure consistency of assessment between the various certifying bodies and between different juries. Further sessions are already scheduled. On 4 October 2004, the European certification system (known as Euro-certification) was presented in Brussels to professional associations of documentation and libraries from seventeen different European countries licited a great response. Undoubtedly ,other associations will soon join the consortium founders, or will sign an agreement with them.

In France, ADBS Certification, the Department of ADBS which manages the system for certification, is preparing the "transfer" of the current procedures to the European system in order to issue the first Euro-certificates in 2005, classified in four qualification levels (assistant, technician, manager, expert) which remains the same. A computerised self-evaluation toll based on the Euroguide of competences will help to fill in the self-evaluation grid that accompanies the application folder (portfolio of evidence) submitted to a jury ,and an interview with the jury will help to clarify certain points described in the application before the deliberation of the jury and the issuing of the Euro-certificates.

The Euro-certificates issued by ADBS Certification will be identical to those issued by the other consortium members. Details of arrangements for candidates will be released in early 2005 once they are approved by the Certification Steering Committee.

To learn more now about the general rules adopted by the consortium visit

Éric Sutter, 06/10/2004

CERTIDoc, the European project for the certification of information professionals, moves on to a new stage

On 18 November last, less than twelve months after being launched, the European consortium CERTIDoc, incorporating three major professional associations, ADBS (France), DGI (Germany), SEDIC (Spain), and two technical partners (Bureau Van Dijk and the Free University of Brussels), completed an essential phase of the project by adopting the Bye-laws of the European competences certification mechanism. The competences certification model has now been decided: certification will be awarded by certifying bodies which must be approved by the consortium (in accordance with these Bye-laws), which will cover four qualification levels  and which will be available to all information-documentation sectors (archives, libraries, documentation, information management, etc…)regardless of the candidate's nationality. The conditions regarding application for certification are flexible and open, with the restriction that the candidate must have been in the profession for at least the past three yearst. The type of certification being established will be essentially geared towards "professional experience" and the 2004 edition of the Euro Competences Guide, currently being finalised, will be at the core of the candidate evaluation process. Specifically, for each area of competency, the candidate must be able to demonstrate practical implementation of knowledge acquired through academic tuition, further training or on-the-job experience.
It will soon be possible to consult these Bye-laws on-line on this site, in French and  English (and subsequently in Spanish and German).
The CERTIDoc consortium is currently working on a multi-lingual self-evaluation tool which will be accessible on-line. The French computer programme for competences management I-Profil has been selected as the platform for this tool. A panel of professionals will be set up in a number of countries (including France) in 2004 to test the mechanism. The overall objective is to award the first European certificates at the end of 2004.

November 2003

The seven phases of the project

1 - Status report on certification in the European information-documentation sector
[Partner responsible: DGI - December 2002- March 2003]

2 - Formalisation of procedures : establishment of a set of general rules and specific operating procedures for information- documentation certification in Europe
[Partners responsible: SEDIC and Bureau van DIJK - March 2003 - November 2003]

3 - Up-dating the Euro Competences Guide for information-documentation
[Partner responsible: ADBS - March 2003 - February 2004]

4 - Implementation of a computerised self-evaluation tool linked to a data-base on availability on continuous training
[Partner responsible: ADBS - April 2003 - March 2004]

5 - Testing of the scheme on a panel of information-documentation professionals
[Partners responsible: all the members of the consortium March 2004 -July 2004]

6 - Collective action to train certification personnel (system evaluators and managers)
[Partner responsible: Université Libre de Bruxelle - June 2004 - September 2004]

7 - Drawing up and implementing an external communication plan
[Partner responsible: ADBS - July 2003 - October 2004]