Appendix B: Existing skills definitions, frameworks and models used to inform the development of the draft national framework

CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) Information Literacy Skills and Competences 

As the professional body responsible for the information profession, CILIP defined information literacy and the associated skills and competencies in a way that is understandable by all information-using communities in the UK.

JISC i-Skills Model

Compiled for all those with a responsibility for developing staff in further and higher education to help:  

  • Define i-skills 
  • Understand why they are important for individuals and institutions 
  • Recognise i-skills in context 
  • Make a start on an i-skills staff development plan 
  • Develop ideas to help you deliver i-skills provision for your own institution 


Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework

There are 12 levels within the Framework which indicate the complexity of learning, and credit points which show the volume of learning undertaken to achieve the qualification.

SQA Core Skills Framework: an introduction

Each Core Skill, and its components, can be assessed at each of five levels (Access 2, Access 3, Intermediate 1, Intermediate 2 and Higher — SCQF levels 2 – 6). This is a brief description of each component and the range activities that its assessment will involve at the different levels.

N.B. The core skills have subsequently been updated and relaunched National Qualifications Core Skills Units March 2008

SQA National Unit Qualification –  Information Handling Skills DF9J 11 (Intermediate Level 2)

Involves forty hours of learning and the following four outcomes:

1. Plan an information task.
2. Identify a range of information sources and use them to investigate a chosen information task.
3. Evaluate the selected information.
4. Review search results and suggest possible improvements.

The unit provided automatic certification for:

 Complete Core Skills for the Unit: 

  • Problem Solving Intermediate 2


Additional Core Skills Components for the Unit:

  •  Critical Thinking Intermediate 2
  • Reviewing and Evaluating Intermediate 2
  • Planning and Organising Intermediate 2

To accompany the unit specification there is a national assessment (NAB) available which has two parts to it. The first part is the practical abilities assessment where the candidate has to successfully undertake the four unit outcomes and gather evidence for their portfolio. The information task can be chosen from a range of scenarios including an open option where the unit qualification could be used in conjunction with another qualification for example the investigative part of a subject national unit qualification (Modern Studies Intermediate 11 or Higher English). To help the candidate record some of their evidence including their thinking and actions there are four log books, one for each outcome. The second part consists of thirty multiple choice questions which tests their knowledge and understanding.


The qualification was later renamed as Information Literacy Skills F1P3 11  

City of Edinburgh ExPLORE Model                                         

ExPLORE is an information literacy model which provides a framework and support materials to help students become skilled at ‘knowing when and why you need information, where to find it, and how to evaluate, use and communicate it in an ethical manner’ (CILIP, 2006) 

It recognises:

  • The National Priorities in Education, particularly No. 5 Learning for Life, ‘To equip pupils with the foundation skills, attitudes and expectations necessary to prosper in a changing society and to encourage creativity and ambition.’
  • The need to support learning to students at different ages and stages, allowing flexibility. It recognises the same pupil will achieve skills at different levels within one school year.
  • The 5-14 programme, guidelines & strands: basic core skill competencies at which pupils can aim level by level (especially connects to English Language, Environmental Studies, and ICT).
  • The 3-18 Curriculum for Excellence: placing ‘the pupil at the centre of the curriculum’, rather than viewing outcomes as ‘based on subjects in their own right’, so that ‘learning is about preparing young people to be successful learners, confident individuals, effective contributors and responsible citizens.’ [Scottish Executive 3-18 Curriculum review, May 2005]

It nurtures

  • Critical thinking by appraising and evaluating sources of information
  • Creative thinking by fostering confidence in the use and application of several resource media
  • Independent learning by recognising achievement on a basis of continuous improvement and formative assessment methods
  • A learning culture for life by showing the transferability of every skills to any enquiry

North Ayrshire’s Information Literacy Toolkit

Toolkit developed by North Ayrshire Education Resources provides a progressive outline of the literacy and information literacy skills expected at levels A – E within the 5 -14 curriculum and provides a range of generic classroom materials to reinforce skills being taught by teachers and the primary education Resource Co-ordinators in North Ayrshire Council. Launched in May 2005 the toolkit has been rolled out within North Ayrshire and is now available for sale to other local authorities. 

Australian and New Zealand Information Literacy Framework

The Australian and New Zealand information literacy framework is derived from the Association of College and Research Libraries’ (ACRL) Information literacy competency standards for higher education. It provides the principles, standards and practice that can support information literacy education in all education sectors.

SCONUL Seven Pillars Model

The Seven Pillars model was designed to be a practical working model which would facilitate further development of ideas amongst practitioners in the field and would hopefully stimulate debate about the ideas and about how those ideas might be used by library and other staff in higher education concerned with the development of students’ skills. The model combines ideas about the range of skills involved with both the need to clarify and illustrate the relationship between information skills and IT skills, and the idea of progression in higher education embodied in the development of the curriculum through first-year undergraduate up to postgraduate and research-level scholarship.

University of Abertay Dundee Information Literacy Framework

Following a recommendation of the University Quality Enhancement Committee, in March 2004, the University Senate formally approved the UAD Information Literacy Framework. This requires the integration of Information Literacy learning outcomes into all undergraduate programmes, across all four Schools. The framework is based upon The Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL) Seven Pillars model. For more details see

N.B. 2008/2009 The SCONUL working group on information literacy is working on a number of initiatives including the impact of the seven pillars model on the design and delivery of information literacy across the UK.  



Loughborough University Library adopted and modified the SCONUL Seven Pillars Model for their Information Literacies: IL competencies  see also Information Literacy: embedding IL into the curriculum.

Christine Irving – text created for draft framework 18/06/2008 links updated 15/07/2009

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