Will Fitzgerald: Importance of ICDL for the Defence Forces


Keeping your IT skills up to date is important for all IT professionals, regardless of the industry where those skills are put to use.

Flight Sergeant Will Fitzgerald, Chief Information Technologies Instructor at the Defence Forces, has offered some thoughts on the integration of ICDL into the Irish Defence Forces and how important it is for their personal development.


According to Flight Sgt. Fitzgerald, “the Defence Forces have an ongoing requirement for its personnel to be highly trained as computer and system users in an environment where competence in IT is essential for mission accomplishment” Will began. For the Defence Forces, the probability of mission success, as well as a mission’s overall efficiency, can be improved through rigorous training in IT skills. Their chosen training solution was ICDL.

“Validation of [our] competency in IT skills is achieved through completion of the ICDL program. A large number of personnel annually undertake ICDL training within numerous Defence Forces Training Institutions / Schools, on board Naval Ships and in overseas mission areas.”

The benefits of ICDL are numerous, according to Flight Sgt. Fitzgerald: “ICDL is highly convenient and practical. The full-time instructor-led course takes just 4 weeks to complete and a number of personnel deployed on overseas United Nations missions also undertake self-directed learning using CBT/ e-Learning content. Other learners in Ireland undertake the e-Learning programme. This level of flexibility facilitates on-demand learning at the learner’s pace – an essential feature for us.”

The Defence Forces appreciate the flexibility that ICDL has given them to upskill uniformly across their organisation. “To date, the Defence Forces have qualified several thousand personnel with ICDL. Throughout the years, ICDL has become a much sought after and valuable award, and we are proud to support it. It has helped us improve many aspects of our daily operations to date, and will continue to do so”.