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7 February 2011
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ICT Acronym cracker

Do you know your FENTO from your NIACE? If not, this is the place for you.

We will be adding new pieces of jargon so get in touch if you have any examples of adult education acronyms we can crack!



Adult and Community Learning. Learning and skills-improvement for adults, based in local communities, often in libraries, church halls, community centres etc.


British Educational Communications and Technology Agency. Government agency promoting the use of information and communications technology.


Continuing Professional Development. CPD is anything that increases your professional knowledge or skills in order to fulfil your work commitments better.


Department for Education and Skills. The Department for Education and Skills is the government ministry responsible for all aspects of education, including adult learning and skills, and aims to 'encourage adults to achieve their full potential through learning.'

E 1,2,3

Basic Skill entry level 1 to 3. Entry levels 1, 2 and 3 broadly map to key stages 1, 2 and 3 of the national curriculum.


Further Education. Post-16 education, based in a college.


The Further Education National Training Organisation is responsible for setting the standards for FE staff development in the UK.


Higher Education. Tertiary, or usually post-18 education, such as undergraduate and post-graduate degrees, often university-based, and can include distance and part-time learning.


Information and Communications Technology. A term that is a catch-all for any communications device. Most often refers to the use of personal computers, but also includes mobile phones, digital cameras, hand-held devices etc.


Information Learning Technology. Computers and other aspects of IT and new media that are used in learning delivery.


Information Technology. Essentially, IT refers to computers, but it encompasses anything that processes information.


Information Technology Qualification. A qualification aimed at users of information technology rather than professional staff such as software developers and engineers. It is a flexible training package that is tailor-made to meet different needs.

L 1,2

Basic Skills level 1-2

Basic Skills level 1 broadly maps to key stage 3, or what is expected of ages 11-14 (GCSE grades D-G). Level 2 is broadly the equivalent of key stage 4, or what is expected of ages 14 - 16 (GCSE level A*-C).

Learn Direct

A government-sponsored network of learning centres. LearnDirect was developed by the University For Industry, and aims to provide adult learners with opportunities to improve their skills.


National Institute of Adult Continuining Education. NIACE is the leading non-governmental organisation for adult basic skills in England and Wales. NIACE aims to improve the number of adults in both formal and informal learning, and to widen participation in communities traditionally under-represented in adult learning.


Qualifications and Curriculum Authority. The QCA is the organisation that is charged by the government with developing curricula, examinations and qualifications. They also prepare the national standards for ICT.

UK Online

A network of centres where members of the public can access computers and the internet. UK Online works closely with LearnDirect.


Voluntary and Community Organisations. Usually charity organisations that provide voluntary work in their local communities.

ICT Opinion

by Ena Jesani

WebWise beginners' guide to the internet
WebWise absolute beginners' guide to using your computer

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