Gold - Unit 18 - IT Software Fundamentals

Relevant LINKS


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This is the ability to use a range of appropriate predefined or commonly used software tools to develop and produce information for tasks and activities that are straightforward or routine. Any aspect that is unfamiliar will require support and advice from others.
Software tools and techniques will be defined as ‘basic’ because:
  • The range of data and information techniques supported are straightforward
  • The tools and functions involved will be pre-determined or commonly used
Example of context: Editing web pages in an e-portfolio, putting together a simple presentation for a purpose.

Activities supporting the assessment of this award

Assessor's guide to interpreting the criteria

General Information

QCF general description for Level 2 qualifications

  • Achievement at QCF level 2 (EQF Level 3) reflects the ability to select and use relevant knowledge, ideas, skills and procedures to complete well-defined tasks and address straightforward problems. It includes taking responsibility for completing tasks and procedures and exercising autonomy and judgement subject to overall direction or guidance.
  • Use understanding of facts, procedures and ideas to complete well-defined tasks and address straightforward problems. Interpret relevant information and ideas. Be aware of the types of information that are relevant to the area of study or work.

  • Complete well-defined, generally routine tasks and address straightforward problems. Select and use relevant skills and procedures. Identify, gather and use relevant information to inform actions. Identify how effective actions have been.

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


  • Standards must be confirmed by a trained Gold 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 2 learner 40 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.

Expansion of the assessment criteria

1. The candidate will select and use appropriate software applications to meet needs and solve problems.

1.1 I can describe what types of information are needed

The candidate should be able to identify and describe the following applications and associate them with uses. Word processor, spreadsheet, database, presentation software, web browser, e-mail client, smartphone app, Blog, video player, audio player, drawing program, painting program, 
Evidence: References in portfolios, centre based test, assessor questioning.  
Additional information and guidance
Candidates should be able to identify and describe the main features of any applications that they are using directly and other common software tools that might help improve their productivity. Assessors should ensure that candidates are aware that internet searches are likely to find free tools for most popular applications. For general productivity there is no shortage of free software with several choices for popular applications such as word processing and spreadsheets. 

1.2 I can select and use appropriate software applications to develop, produce and present different types of information to meet needs and solve problems

The candidate should provide evidence of use of at least 4 different applications. They should be able to routinely start up these applications and begin use for straight forward tasks. 

Evidence: Candidate project outcomes and documentation. Assessor observation. 
Additional information and guidance
In this context it is likely that the use of particular software applications is simple and straightforward and might be restricted to specific aspects. Typical applications will be text editing eg for a web page, image editing e.g. to trim to a particular size, simple drawings for diagrams and presentations, use of a web browser for searching and displaying information, presentation software for making a case for a line of action. 

2. The candidate will enter, develop combine and format different types of information to suit its meaning and purpose

2.1 I can enter, organise refine and format different types of information, applying editing techniques to meet needs.

Candidates should demonstrate capabilities of organising and formatting information in a range of simple circumstances for specific purposes.
Evidence: candidates' project content
Additional information and guidance
It is most likely that the evidence will come from several different software applications but at a lower level of detail than would be expected for units that are associated with a single software application. 

2.2 I can use appropriate techniques to combine image and text components

Candidates should edit information to improve and enhance their work.
Evidence: Candidates project content and documentation.
Additional information and guidance
typical examples might be to crop an image to a suitable size, scale it or tidy it up. Noise removal from an audio sample, editing text cut and pasted from a web page and adding a reference.  Candidates at this level should be able to independently evaluate and use tools to enhance their work without too much intervention.

2.3 I can combine information of different forms or from different sources

Candidates' work should include information taken legally from other places and/or of different types
Evidence: Candidates' documented projects
Additional information and guidance
Examples include combining text and graphics in a presentation, using clip art  combined with their own drawings, combining tables of data with text and diagrams. There should be a clear purpose to their work and some reasonable explanation of the reasons why they choose certain elements over others. 
2.4 I can select and use appropriate page layout to present information effectively
Candidates' work should evidence a good understanding of the right choice of package and layout for their specified purpose.
Evidence: Candidates' documented projects
Additional information and guidance
Examples will be from a range of materials and created examples and can be from other areas of the curriculum as deemed appropriate.. 
3. The candidate will present information in ways that are fit for purpose and audience

3.1 I can work accurately and proof-read, using software facilities where appropriate

Candidates should present work free from obvious technical errors, especially spelling, punctuation and numerical.
Evidence: Candidate project outcomes.
Additional information and guidance
Candidates should routinely check their work using spell check and peer review. It is very important to get other people to review and check work, responding positively to identified errors and responding appropriately and effectively. 
3.2 I can identify inconsistencies or quality issues with the presentation of information
Candidates should evidence some aspect of quality control in their own work.
Evidence: Candidate project outcomes and reflection in e-portfolios or blogs.
Additional information and guidance
This criterion is an extension of 3.1 and if they are employing some of the practices of 3.1, they will likely have evidence of quality control and some over site references of their work and the process of its creation. 

3.3 I can produce information that is fit for purpose and audience using commonly accepted layouts and conventions as appropriate

Candidates should produce information that is accessible and that satisfies their identified needs.
Evidence: Candidate project outcomes.
Additional information and guidance
There are two dimensions here. One is the content and the nature of the information. This should be accurate and valid as far as the subject matter is concerned. The second is the presentation of the information. The presentation tools should be appropriate to the audience and layout should contribute to making the information accessible, for example, including a paragraph structure, white space or other layout features.
4. The candidate will evaluate the selection and use of IT tools and facilities to present information

4.1 I can review and modify work as it progresses to ensure the result is fit for purpose and audience, and to inform future judgements

Candidates should use peer review and regular checks to ensure accuracy and validity of their work in relation to their planned aims.
Evidence: Candidate project outcomes and documentation.
Additional information and guidance
Candidates should routinely check their work using spell check and peer review. It is very important to make brief notes of changes and include these with evidence to demonstrate that review and modification has taken place.  This practice also makes it easier if the work is passed on to someone else to maintain.

4.2 I can review the effectiveness of the IT tools selected to meet needs in order to improve future work

Candidates should identify any strengths and weaknesses in the tools they have access to use and show awareness of the life span of work they create.
Evidence: Candidate project outcomes and associated documentation.
Additional information and guidance
Attributes of tools can include ease of use, cost, ability to accept and produce open content and any other strengths or weaknesses. Increasingly web tools allow sharing of information much more effectively than those tied to desktop. e.g. a PowerPoint file can be sent by e-mail to individuals but a Google on-line presentation can be shared with anyone with a browser. Assessors should encourage candidates to compare different tools and consider why they use them.

The assessor should keep a record of assessment judgements made for each candidate and make notes of any significant issues for any candidate. 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.