The ECDL as course has been sub-divided into two levels to categorize the level of difficulty and ease that each subject or module contains. As every learning process entails, the first level of the ECDL course dwells on the Foundational Level (or better known as the Level 1). This first level encompasses general concepts and ideas about how the computer system works and the positive impacts that it brings into the computing world and the industry as a whole. The second level which is the Advanced Level encompasses the specific application of the software in the industry and how you achieve the exact skills to answer that demand.
Looking at the two levels in a deeper perspective, Level 1 of the ECDL requires that the learner generally possesses an understanding about hardware and peripheral devices, software and its specific applications, intermediate networking and Internet skills, a bit of healthy and security measures that concern computing issues. These sets of knowledge that shall be learned in the first level will be useful in preparing the learner in appreciating the general environment of the whole computing world. Level 2 of the ECDL course on the other hand dwells more on studying and becoming an expert in the various types of software programs that are being utilized in the real industrial setting. Specifically, the learner shall be exposed with learning application software programs like word processors, spreadsheets, presentation, and database programs. Each of this software is powerful in its own merit, which makes it powerful in a specific application, thus the name application software.
These levels were put not placed into such perspective to threaten or discourage people from ever taking them. They were put a level to ensure that the category is properly understood by its learner.