Digital capability is the term we use to describe the skills and attitudes that individuals and organisations need if they are to thrive in today’s world.
  • At an individual level we define digital capabilities as those which equip someone to live, learn and work in a digital society.
  • At an organisational level we need to look beyond the capabilities of individuals and consider the extent to which the culture and infrastructure of an institution enables and motivates digital practices.

Individual digital capabilities

This short animation from the University of Derby explains why it is important for people to think about developing their digital capabilities.

What it means to be digitally capable will vary for each person. It will depend on the requirements of their role, their subject specialism, career choice, personal and other contextual factors.

Building digital capabilities: the six elements defined offers a framework that looks more closely at what this means for individuals:

Building digital capabilities: the six elements defined
Building digital capabilities: the six elements defined (this work is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA)

Download the full description in our framework Building digital capabilities: the six elements defined and start to explore the six elements of:

  • ICT Proficiency (functional skills)
  • Information, data and media literacies (critical use)
  • Digital creation, problem solving and innovation (creative production)
  • Digital communication, collaboration and partnership (participation)
  • Digital learning and development (development)
  • Digital identity and wellbeing (self-actualising)

We have also created a series of role profiles which contextualise the six elements for particular roles and provide a useful tool for reviewing skills individually or across teams.

See our role profiles for:

Organisational digital capability

Our digital capabilities framework for organisations explores the critical role that technologies play in supporting the core business functions of universities and colleges. Crucially, it also recognises that digitally capable staff and students are essential to organisational success and looks at ways in which organisations can support and encourage the development of individuals.

The digitally capable organisation
Developing digital capability: an organisational framework (this work is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA)

Download the full description in our framework Developing digital capability: an organisational framework and start to explore the six elements of:

  • Organisational digital culture
  • Content and information
  • Research and innovation
  • Communication
  • Learning, teaching and assessment
  • ICT infrastructure

This concept is explored in depth in our guide to Developing organisational approaches to digital capability