Irish training company CHT is finalizing Mac-based courseware that Mac users can use to pick up ECDL qualifications.

Mac users - particularly in the education community - have been searching for a solution to help them acquire the key pan-European computer competency qualification on their chosen platform.

The European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) is becoming the prime qualification for computer competence. Until now, Mac users have been forced to develop their own ECDL courses, and to go through the test at the handful of ECDL centres that support Macs. ECDL is a popular qualification with over 900,000 candidates in 20 countries acquiring it so far.

Because the qualification is popular among employers, many UK secondary schools are offering ECDL as an option for pupils. The lack of Mac-friendly courseware meant schools using Macs have been under pressure to buy Microsoft Office or migrate to Wintel PCs.

Bias complaints A teacher told Macworld: "We're a Mac school that has been doing ECDL for three years, having to write our own tests and materials." Complaints to the British Computer Society (which administrates ECDL) of its bias towards Windows PCs have not been answered, he revealed.

CHT hopes to publish its Web site this weekend. The courseware is currently going through the final approvals process. It will be released first as a PDF through the company Web site, with printed copies to follow.

CHT's telephone number is 00353 1 626 77 88, but the number has been unavailable in recent weeks through a technical fault with the telephone provider. This fault is being repaired. The company should be contactable later this week.

Macworld is interested in stories about how Macs are used and the obstacles faced using them within the UK education community. If you're a teacher with a story to tell, leave a message on Macworld Online's forum.