The Online Essentials module covers the main concepts and skills needed to use the internet and email – including web browsing, effective information search, and online communication.

Using online tools and services to find and share information is an important part of working life. This module develops the skills and knowledge that support these activities, focusing on browsing, searching, and communicating.

This module is suitable for a wide range of candidates who want to access and use the internet effectively and securely.

Develop the skills needed to use the internet and email to find and share information.

Module overview

CategorySkill set
Web browsing concepts
  • Key concepts
  • Security and safety
Web browsing
  • Using the web browser
  • Tools and settings
  • Bookmarks
  • Web outputs
Web-based information
  • Search
  • Critical evaluation
  • Copyright, data protection
Communication concepts
  • Online communities
  • Communication tools
  • E-mail concepts
Using e-mail
  • Sending e-mail
  • Receiving e-mail
  • Tools and settings
  • Organising emails
  • Using calendars
  • Introducing files and folders

Main learning outcomes

Successful candidates will be able to use computers and devices to carry out essential everyday tasks. After passing this module, candidates will be familiar with computer operating systems and their peripherals and software. They will be able to:

  • understand the key concepts of browsing the internet
  • recognise good practice in safety and security online
  • know how to search for online information and critically evaluate web content
  • understand the concept of online communities, communications, and email
  • know how to send, receive, and manage emails

Why certify with ICDL?

  • ICDL certification is internationally recognised by employers and institutions.
  • ICDL modules are developed with input from computer users, subject matter experts, and practising professionals from all over the world.
  • The regularly updated syllabus content reflects day-to-day tasks and responsibilities typical of job roles.
  • ICDL modules focus on skills acquisition as well as an understanding of concepts.
  • ICDL syllabus content is vendor-independent so that skills and knowledge are transferable.
  • ICDL has rigorous Quality Assurance Standards (QAS) and regular quality audits are conducted internally and externally.


The detailed syllabus for the Online Essentials module is publicly available, so that there is complete clarity about what is covered.

The syllabus document, which sets out the specific skills and knowledge that you will learn and against which you will be certified, can be downloaded here.

Sample tests

Do you want to better understand the Online Essentials module and how we test skills and knowledge

Try out the Online Essentials sample tests here to get a feel for the coverage of the module, or practice before your certification test.

Offer ICDL in your organisation

You can use ICDL as a training centre, a school or college, or for your own staff within your organisation.

To offer ICDL certification, you should contact the local ICDL operator in your territory.

You can find contact details for all ICDL operators on our ‘ICDL in your territory‘ page.

Find an ICDL course near you

Certifying your digital skills with ICDL is simple:

  1. Assess your existing skills with a Diagnostic Test
  2. Build your skills during a course or through learning in your own time
  3. Certify your skills and earn an ICDL certificate

ICDL Diagnostic Tests, Certification Tests, and courses are available through a network of test centres around Asia.

To get started, find an ICDL Accredited Test Centre near you


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