Free digital training in the North East

Looking to brush up your IT skills, or wanting to upskill IT skills in your workforce?

New College Durham is keen to support the North East workforce to develop digital skills. We are able to offer free digital training to you if you are employed and live in the North East.

Undertake a range of short or longer courses delivered on-line or using a workbook, with support from professionally trained tutors.


Next event: Thursday 4 March 4pm-6pm 

Events will run weekly until the end of April 2021.

There are a range of free courses available:


+ BCS Entry Level Award in Computer and Online Basics

Computer Basics

  • Be able to identify and use a computer
  • Understand key components of an operating system
  • Be able to identify and use a software application

Online Basics

  • Use an online IT System to meet needs
  • Search for and use internet-based information
  • Use email to communicate and exchange information.


+ Smart Digital

This brand-new qualification is due to launch soon. You will:

  • Understand and manage your digital identity, protecting data and devices
  • Know how to use devices and applications responsibly and securely
  • Create online accounts and use or manage common applications
  • Find and organise information online and create research outputs such as reports
  • Apply more advanced research skills to create a variety of content as part of a broader project.


+ BCS ECDL Single Units at Levels 1, 2 and 3

See table below for list of units for each level and their Credit Value:

Unit Level 1 Level 2 Level 3
Database Software 3* 4 6*
Improving Productivity using IT 3 4 5*
IT Security for Users 1    
IT User Fundamentals  3    
Presentation Software 3 4 6*
Project Management Software   4  
Spreadsheet Software 3 4 6
Using Collaborative Technologies 3*    
Using Internet and Email 5    
Word Processing Software 3 4 6*



+ ECDL qualifications

ECDL Essentials (Level 1):

  • IT User Fundamentals
  • Using Email and the Internet
  • IT Security for Users

ECDL Flexi:

  • Level 1, select a combination of units from the table above that add up to at least 9 credits
  • Level 2, select a combination of units from the table above that add up to at least 10 credits

ECDL Extra (Level 2):

  • Word Processing Software
  • Spreadsheet Software
  • Presentation Software
  • Improving Productivity Using IT


+ Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS)

Single Application Vendor qualifications, choose from:

  • PowerPoint Associate (Level 2)
  • Word Associate (Level 2)
  • Excel Associate (Level 2)
  • Outlook Associate (Level 2)
  • Word Expert (Level 3)
  • Excel Expert (Level 3)

ECDL Advanced (Level 3)

Single units that build on Level 2 learning, choose from:

  • Word Processing Software
  • Spreadsheet Software
  • Presentation Software
  • Database Software
  • Improving Productivity Using IT.



Please pre-register and join us for a virtual information event to find out more and to enrol.

Events take place weekly on Thursdays, between 4-6pm. Registration closes at 9am the Tuesday before each event.

Upcoming dates:

  • Thursday 11 March 2021
  • Thursday 18 March 2021
  • Thursday 25 March 2021
  • Thursday 01 April 2021
  • Thursday 08 April 2021
  • Thursday 15 April 2021
  • Thursday 22 April 2021
  • Thursday 29 April 2021


Register now here 



For group registrations

If you have a co-hort of staff you would like to register, please contact Veronica Spowart, to discuss your requirements:

Veronica Spowart

Advanced Curriculum Manager: Computing & Digital Industries

0191 375 4987


There are no financial costs, all training, registration and certification costs are supported by the European Social Fund. 

This fantastic opportunity is also available to people that may be accessing the Governments Furlough Scheme. 


If you have any issues registering, please contact us on 0191 375 4000 and we can register you.