The Essential Digital Skills Framework reflects the range of skills people need to safely benefit from, participate in and contribute to the digital world of today and tomorrow, in life and at work.

Developed in 2018 on behalf of the Department for Education, the framework was updated in 2022 in consultation with employers, local and national government, academics and individuals.

It outlines five key skills and a total of 20 digital tasks that people should be able to complete to demonstrate each skill. Each skill has a distinct focus, but the fifth skill – being safe, legal and confident online – is also embedded across the other four.

The EDS is a progressive framework, starting with Foundation skills which are typically required by those not currently using digital technology or using it in limited ways.

Building upon the Foundation skills, the framework outlines the Essential Digital Skills for Life across each of the five key skills. This is followed by a final build to include the Essential Digital Skills for Work, again across each of the five key skills.

For a detailed breakdown of each skill area and the essential skills, download this excerpt from the Essential Digital Skills for Work report, developed by FutureDotNow and Lloyds Bank.

The Essential Digital Skills framework is used by Lloyds Bank to assess the levels of digital capability across the UK, as part of their annual Consumer Digital Index. You can find the latest data on their website.