The ECDL syllabus is the framework of the entire ECDL program which covers seven volumes. These volumes are divided in theoretical module which is the first module and the practical module which encompass modules 2 to 7. The ECDL syllabus is constantly being updated to catch up with current software development as well as discoveries of new techniques and technologies for some computer applications.
The current version of ECDL syllabus is ECDL version 5.0. However, in the United Kingdom, the latest version is ECDL 4.5. The peculiarity however of the British version is it has an added module for using IT. In other countries, ECDL version 4.0 of the syllabus is still in effect. But this might change in due time because the ECDL Foundation already authorized the distribution of ECDL syllabus version 5.0 to its recognized courseware vendors.
Past and current ECDL syllabus has very little differences. That’s because the software or applications actually do not have major updates. So the instructions and methodologies remain the same as well as the basic techniques in handling office applications. The changes to the syllabus are actually small upgrades to keep up with the upgrades of each computer application.
For candidates of ECDL certification, it would still best to get materials that conform to the 4.0, 4.5, and 5.0 versions of the syllabus. In this way they can get accurate instructional materials that can help them during the actual exams. So, before candidates purchase sample modules, tests, or reference workbook, it is advisable to look at the version of the material. Anything below the 4.0 version would be very outdated and will not help at all.