Mac users will soon be able to pick up a key pan-European computer competency qualification, an ECDL certificate.

Scheduled for announcement at giant UK education and technology trade show, BETT 2007, the Digital Creator Award helps fill the gap in qualifications for Mac users.

It's a similar award to existing ECDL qualifications, but is based on multimedia - specifically iLife.

While full details haven't yet been revealed, the partners in the scheme include: the British Computer Society, Aston Swann, Ultralab, and Apple Distinguished Educator David Baugh. The Digital Creator Award is authorised by the ECDL Foundation.

The award is split into seven modules which can be taken as individual modules or all at once. They are audio, image, animation, moving-image language, video, sharing with optical media, and sharing with the internet.

The award will initially be aimed at schools, but the partners admit there is potential for its use in higher education, by school leavers seeking some kind of certification, as a precursor to professional media certification schemes, and by interested adults.

The certificate is awarded indpendently. People going for a certificate will receive courseware, sample files and software on a DVD. Assessment isn't test based: to pass, participants need to show they have understanding, skill and creative ability sufficient to meet set criteria.

To do this, they must be able to crop and edit digital video clips, place them into logical sequences and apply simple effects.

The award will be announced in January 2007, a training period begins in March with the scheme set to launch in UK schools in September next year.

(And in the spirit of cross platform access to qualifications and technology, PC users can also sit participate in the scheme, if they like).