Silver - Unit 27 - Design Software

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Design Software at Silver Level requires the candidate to identify their design environment and research the most effective ways to meet user needs.  They will also need to identify and understand the legal aspects of what they do as well as the importance of correct file types.  This will ensure that the final products meet all local and national standards and can be used in a variety of presentations.  The candidates will also need to show a good understanding of design principles and demonstrate basic skills in using tools and techniques to enhance their designs.

A work activity will typically be ‘straightforward or routine’ because:

The task or context will be familiar and involve few variable aspects. The techniques used will be familiar or commonly undertaken.

Example of context – Providing graphic designs for a project brief such as house designs, games images or models.

Support for the assessment of this award

Example of typical IT work at this level (to follow)

Assessor's guide to interpreting the criteria

General Information

QCF general description for Level 1 qualifications

  • Achievement at QCF level 1 (EQF Level 2) reflects the ability to use relevant knowledge, skills and procedures to complete routine tasks. It includes responsibility for completing tasks and procedures subject to direction or guidance.
  • Use knowledge of facts, procedures and ideas to complete well-defined, routine tasks. Be aware of information relevant to the area of study or work

  • Complete well-defined routine tasks. Use relevant skills and procedures. Select and use relevant information. Identify whether actions have been effective.

  • Take responsibility for completing tasks and procedures subject to direction or guidance as needed


  • Standards must be confirmed by a trained Silver Level Assessor or higher

  • Assessors must at a minimum record assessment judgements as entries in the on-line mark book on the certification site.

  • Routine evidence of work used for judging assessment outcomes in the candidates' records of their day to day work will be available from their e-portfolios and on-line work. Assessors should ensure that relevant web pages are available to their account manager on request by supply of the URL.

  • When the candidate provides evidence of matching all the criteria to the specification subject to the guidance below, the assessor can request the award using the link on the certification site. The Account Manager will request a random sample of evidence from candidates' work that verifies the assessor's judgement.

  • When the Account Manager is satisfied that the evidence is sufficient to safely make an award, the candidate's success will be confirmed and the unit certificate will be printable from the web site.

  • This unit should take an average level 1 learner 30 hours of work to complete.

Assessment Method

Assessors can score each of the criteria L, S, H. N indicates no evidence and is the default starting position. L indicates some capability but secure capability has not yet been achieved and some help is still required. S indicates that the candidate can match the criterion to its required specification. H indicates performance that goes beyond the expected in at least some aspects. Candidates are required to achieve at least S on all the criteria to achieve the unit. Candidates should be helped and encouraged to reference their work to the assessment criteria using assessment for learning process. e.g. IPU 1.1.2 for IPU Level 1 criterion 1.2. This will make it easier to provide the evidence required for the QA procedures when requested by the Account Manager. There is support for this from learner account profiles on the INGOT web site. PLTS is used to denote where there are opportunities to develop personal learning and thinking skills.

Expansion of the assessment criteria

1. The candidate will identify what designs are needed

1.1 I can identify what designs are needed

At this level, candidates need to be able to find projects that require some form of design.

Evidence: Project plans and reflections in journals.

Additional information and guidance

Candidates should be able to investigate different areas and identify cases where a design would be needed.  This will likely go across multiple departments in their work as they may require a logo for a document they are producing or newsletter in English, or a logo for a mathematics web site.  They might require an infographic to be designed to illustrate some aspect of Physics ot other subject are they are studying.

1.2    I can obtain, input and prepare designs to meet needs
Candidates need to show they can gather the various materials needed to complete their designs.

Evidence: A plan or procedural document with notes on what they are doing.

Additional information and guidance

In many instances, the designs candidates create will be a remix of other designs.  They need to be careful about the format of the materials they collect to make sure they will be workable on their final designs.  Some images they collect that they wish to use may need to be re-formatted into a type that will work with what they need.  They may need to make a background transparent, for example, so that it can be overlaid.

1.3    I can identify what generic copyright and other constraints apply to the use of designs
Some understanding and application of the laws and regulations is required.

Evidence: Assessor witness statement or journal reflections.

Additional information and guidance

Collecting and manipulating designs will invariable mean using designs and images that are protected by copyright or use laws.  Candidates need to demonstrate their continual awareness of these laws and restrictions and adjust their practice to suit.  Just because it is easy to do, is no excuser in the eyes of the law and there are severe penalties that can be applied.

1.4    I can combine information of different types or from different sources for designs
Candidates demonstrate their ability to mix different elements.

Evidence: Finished work and assessor feedback.

Additional information and guidance

Candidates will need to mix elements of text, video amd graphics, as well as mixing different graphic elements into one place and show an ability to manage all of them in the appropriate way, including not copying and pasting pre-formatted text.  They should also show competence in being able to work with different graphic formats to achieve their intended outcomes.

1.5    I can identify the context in which the designs will be used
Candidates will need to demonstrate they have designed the graphics with the final output in mind.

Evidence: Final products and assessor feedback.  Journal reflections and customer feedback.

Additional information and guidance

If their design if for a website, then there should be some acknowledgment that the file format and quality is a factor.  If the graphic is for further manipulation across a multitude of page formats, then some scalable attributes will need to be evidenced.  Candidates need to be able to work in any final environment required from their clients.

1.6    I can identify which file format to use for saving and exchanging designs
Evidence of an understanding of file types and formats for purpose.

Evidence: Assessor witness statement and sample files with descriptors.

Additional information and guidance

Candidates might create a small database or table of file types and attributes and perhaps use cases as a guide to themselves and others.  One of the description fields could be a short statement about their suitability for transfer or exchange and how best to save them, for example, large video files will need large storage capacity devices.

1.7    I can store and retrieve files effectively, in line with local guidelines and conventions where available
Basic evidence of file management ability.

Evidence: Submission of evidence.

Additional information and guidance

Effective file management will be part of Unit 1, but there may be specific aspects for this Unit as the file types may be proprietary files with specialised software.  Candidates need to be able to submit their work for moderation by the assessor, so they can only do this with good file management skills.  They may need to abide by the centre policy in terms of size and naming conventions.

2. Use design software tools to create, manipulate and edit designs

2.1    I can use suitable tools and techniques to create designs

Evidence of good quality end products.

Evidence: Reflective logs and client feedback where possible.  User guide.

Additional information and guidance

Some evidence here of the candidates ability to use the chosen design software and all of the main tools to good effect.  They could produce a screen recorded session of their ability to use certain tools with some voice over explanation by themselves of why this is important.  They could also produce a short tool guide document to show they know how and when to use the tools.

2.2    I can use appropriate tools and techniques to manipulate and edit designs

Evidence of competence with the design software.

Evidence: Assessor witness statement and final product.

Additional information and guidance

A screen recording session with voice over would be useful evidence here, but candidates should at least be able to demonstrate that they met some proposed outcome in their designs and therefore used all the best tools and techniques to achieve the desired result.

2.3    I can check designs meet needs, using IT tools and making corrections as necessary
Evidence of feedback and modification

Evidence: Feedback from client and action taken.

Additional information and guidance

candidates should work with a client, which may be the centre, in order to gain feedback on their product.  They need to act on any feedback given and therefore illustrate an understanding of the design cycle.
The assessor should keep a record of assessment judgements made for each candidate guided by the above guidance. Criteria should be interpreted in the context of the general descriptors of QCF Level 1 qualifications.  They should make notes of any significant issues for any candidate and be in a position to advise candidates on suitable routes for progression. They must be prepared to enter into dialogue with their Account Manager and provide their assessment records to the Account Manager through the on-line mark book. They should be prepared to provide evidence as a basis for their judgements through reference to candidate e-portfolios. Before authorising certification, the Account Manager must be satisfied that the assessors judgements are sound. In the event of missing evidence, the assessor will be requested to gather appropriate information before the award can be made.