Free digital training in the North East

Looking to brush up your IT skills, or wanting to upskill IT skills in your workforce?

New College Durham is keen to support the workforce of Co Durham, Northumberland and Tyne & Wear, to develop digital skills. We are able to offer free digital training to you if you are employed and live in the above named areas.

Undertake a range of short or longer courses delivered on-line or using a workbook, with support from professionally trained tutors.

Events will run weekly on a Thursday (at 4pm) until the end of June 2021.

There are a range of free courses available:

+ Essential Digital Skills Qualifications at Entry & Level 1 (EDSQ)

BCS have used the National Standards for Essential Digital Skills (developed by the Department for Education) to create the qualifications.

The qualifications are aimed at two levels:

  • Entry Level - qualifications designed for adults with no or little prior experience of using digital devices or the internet.
  • Level 1 - qualifications designed for adults with some experience of using digital devices and the internet but lacking secure basic digital skills.

 These BCS qualifications cover all five skills areas set out in the national standards:

  1. Using devices and handling information.
  2. Creating and editing.
  3. Communicating.
  4. Transactions.
  5. Being safe and responsible online.


+ BCS ECDL Single Units at Levels 1, 2 and 3

See table below for list of units for each level and their Credit Value:

Unit Level 1 Level 2 Level 3
Database Software 3* 4 6*
Improving Productivity using IT 3 4 5*
IT Security for Users 1    
IT User Fundamentals  3    
Presentation Software 3 4 6*
Project Management Software   4  
Spreadsheet Software 3 4 6
Using Collaborative Technologies 3*    
Using Internet and Email 5    
Word Processing Software 3 4 6*



+ ECDL qualifications

ECDL Essentials (Level 1):

  • IT User Fundamentals
  • Using Email and the Internet
  • IT Security for Users

ECDL Flexi:

  • Level 1, select a combination of units from the table above that add up to at least 9 credits
  • Level 2, select a combination of units from the table above that add up to at least 10 credits

ECDL Extra (Level 2):

  • Word Processing Software
  • Spreadsheet Software
  • Presentation Software
  • Improving Productivity Using IT


+ Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS)

Single Application Vendor qualifications, choose from:

  • PowerPoint Associate (Level 2)
  • Word Associate (Level 2)
  • Excel Associate (Level 2)
  • Outlook Associate (Level 2)
  • Word Expert (Level 3)
  • Excel Expert (Level 3)

ECDL Advanced (Level 3)

Single units that build on Level 2 learning, choose from:

  • Word Processing Software
  • Spreadsheet Software
  • Presentation Software
  • Database Software
  • Improving Productivity Using IT.



Please pre-register and join us for a virtual information event to find out more and to enrol.

Events take place weekly on Thursdays at 4pm. Registration closes at 9am the Wednesday before each event.

Upcoming dates:

  • Thursday 27 May 2021
  • Thursday 10 June 2021
  • Thursday 17 June 2021
  • Thursday 24 June 2021

Register now here 



For group registrations

If you have a co-hort of staff you would like to register, please contact Veronica Spowart, to discuss your requirements:

Veronica Spowart

Advanced Curriculum Manager: Computing & Digital Industries

0191 375 4987


There are no financial costs, all training, registration and certification costs are supported by the European Social Fund. 

This fantastic opportunity is also available to people that may be accessing the Governments Furlough Scheme. 


If you have any issues registering, please contact us on 0191 375 4000 and we can register you.