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JRC; LIfeComp

The European competence framework: The LifeComp (JRC)

In our rapidly changing societies, citizens need to develop competences which allow them to successfully manage the challenges posed by the many transitions taking place in their work, in their personal spheres, and in society (JRC, 2020).

The 22 July 2020, an important and timely framework was launched by the European Commission’s Joint Research Center (JRC), the LifeComp, the European competence framework on Personal, Social and Learning to Learn.  JRC has developed several competence frameworks, the "Comp" family by #DigComp#DigCompEdu#DigCompOrg#SELFIE,#Entrecomp, and now, #LifeComp.

Maybe, one of the previous most wellknown one is the DigComp 2.0 framework, which identifies the key components of digital competence in 5 areas which can be summarized as:1) Information and data literacy, 2) Communication and collaboration, 3) Digital content creation, 4) Safety, and 5) Problem solving, and problably also #SELFIE

This framework is really welcomed and I really hope It will be implemented and in use for Education and training. Its really urgent to change perspectives and to transform Education into these directions.


The Joint Research Centre (JRC) developed the LifeComp framework on behalf of, and in collaboration with the Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport, and Culture (DG EAC). This is the third competence framework for individuals the JRC has contributed to develop, following the already consolidated Digital Competence Framework for Citizens, also known as DigComp, and the Entrepreneurship Competence Framework, EntreComp. JRC believe that LifeComp is a crucial complement to these and other frameworks, and maybe even constitutes the base line, as it deals with life skills – the skills and competences that everybody should continually develop throughout life. The LifeComp framework is a conceptual reference framework; more work will be needed to put the framework into practice, and to guide stakeholders on its implementation. 

The JRC report is part of their research on ‘Learning and Skills for the Digital Era’. Since 2005, more than 25 major studies have been undertaken in this area, resulting in more than 120 publications. More information on all of our studies can be found on the JRC Science hub

As according to the researchers LifeComp competences are teachable. They can be learned through formal or informal education.

"It is possible to teach a person to be a critical thinker, to control their emotions or to become more empathetic towards others. These skills are fundamental for people to be able to determine their own career paths and for their own well-being"

The researchers thus hope that the formalization of the skills into a framework will encourage schools and teachers to devote more time for them in the learning programmes.

The LifeComp framework is well aligned with the UNESCO initiative Futures of Education: Learning to become, which goes beyond  the UNESCO SDGs and education for all, and targeting for education 2050. The Initiatives rethinks how knowledge and learning can shape the future of humanity and the planet. The Futures of education initiative goes beyond the SDG and target for Education 2050. This initiative aims to rethink education and shape the future. The initiative catalyzes a global debate on how knowledge, education and learning must be rethought in a world of increasing complexity, uncertainty and precariousness.

Overview of the LifeComp framework

The LifeComp framework is a flexible tool that can be adapted to different learning settings, and target groups to support the development of the Personal, Social and Learning to Learn competences in a sociocultural context. Both formal, non-formal, and informal education can contribute to the acquisition of these competences.

As a rule, the definition of "competence" includes knowledge, skills and attitudes. However, a holistic perspective that understands the interdependence between the elements of the framework as a complex ecosystem can be more effective. Indeed, the key competence comprises elements with different profiles and characteristics. For example, some focus on attitudes as dispositions and orientations for action; others represent a range of competences. 

To cope with a given situation, individuals activate a range of competences that vary according to the requirements of the situation. All the competences included in the framework are therefore equally relevant, necessary, interrelated and interconnected and should be treated as parts of a whole.

Based on this framework, these are the nine skills that can help people of all ages to manage the challenges and changes in their personal and professional lives. 

The Personal domain includes 

  1. Self-regulation: Awareness and management of emotions, thoughts and behaviour
  2. Flexibility: Ability to manage transitions and uncertainty, and to face challenges
  3. Wellbeing: Pursuit of life satisfaction, care of physical, mental and social health, and adoption of a sustainable lifestyle

The Social domain includes:

  1. Empathy: The understanding of another person’s emotions, experiences and values, and the provision of appropriate responses
  2. Communication: Use of relevant communication strategies, domain-specific codes and tools depending on the context and the content
  3. Collaboration: Engagement in group activity and teamwork acknowledging and respecting others

The Learning to learn domain includes:

  1. Growth mindset: Belief in one’s and others’ potential to continuously learn and progress
  2. Critical thinking: Assessment of information and arguments to support reasoned conclusions and develop innovative solutions
  3. Managing learning: The planning, organizing, monitoring and reviewing of one's own learning

The LifeComp framework emphasizes the importance of social and personal skills. It aims to systemize the strengthening of these competences through education and lifelong learning.

The domains are shown in Table 2, and as a visualized metaphor as a glance as in Figure 5, and as the LifeComp Ecosystem in Figure 6. It is important to take a holistic approach and to see the ecosystem of the LifeComp,

Source: Sala, A., Punie, Y., Garkov, V. and Cabrera Giraldez, M., LifeComp: The European Framework for Personal, Social and Learning to Learn Key Competence, EUR 30246 EN, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, 2020, ISBN 978-92-76-19418-7 (online),978-92-76-19417-0 (print), doi:10.2760/302967 (online),10.2760/922681 (print), JRC120911

A Blogpost on this theme has been published 26 July 2020 at the DISK project Blog, as this project deals with Digital comptences and Digital Survival Kit for Digital Immigrants.