Gold Unit 9 - Drawing and Planning Software


Relevant LINKS


Handbook home page


This is the ability to use tools and techniques to produce drawings and plans that are at times multi-step or non-routine. Any aspects that are unfamiliar may require support and advice.

2D drawing and planning software tools and techniques will be be characterised by :
  • the software tools and functions used will be at times non-routine or unfamiliar;
  • the choice and use of input, manipulation and output techniques will need to take account of a number of factors or elements; and
  • the user will take some responsibility for inputting, structuring, editing and presenting the information, which at times may be non-routine or unfamiliar.
Examples of context: A mind map of pages for a company website; a company organisation chart or a flow chart to illustrate a business process, diagrams to illustrate a scientific investigation, scale diagram of a house plan and garden.

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 30 hours of work to complete.

Assessment Method

Assessors can  score each of the criteria N, L, S or H. N indicates no evidence. L indicates some capability but some help 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 a S on all the criteria to achieve the full award.

Expansion of the assessment criteria

1. Input, organise and combine information for drawings or plans

1.1  I can identify what types of shapes and other elements will be needed.

The candidate can identify a range of relevant shapes and objects to be included in their drawing, including,  for example, flow chart shapes, building plan shapes, lines, arrows, borders, backgrounds, clip art, text, numbers and polygons.

Evidence: From candidate drawings or centre devised test.

Additional information and guidance

At this level drawings should include a range of objects demonstrating that the candidate has identified suitable and relevant shapes. There is likely to be a combination of candidate produced shapes and those imported from other sources or pre-defined in the drawing software. 

1.2 I can review templates and describe how they need to be changed to meet needs.

Candidates should review e.g. the library to find suitable starting points for their work taking care that use of these is legal. Candidates should write or record a description of what needs to be done to any template in order to make it usable.

Evidence: Description in blog entry, podcast or other form of documentation

Additional information and guidance

​Reviews need to be documented descriptively, candidates should be familiar with techniques such as "ungrouping" drawings in order to edit them. Also possibilities for path editing using nodes in lines outlining shapes. Colour changes, positioning, orientation and scale are other common requirements.

1.3 I can select, input and use the appropriate shapes to meet needs, including importing shapes from other sources

​Candidates should select and input shapes using cut and paste, import or starting with an existing drawing and altering it. 

Evidence: From candidate drawings and assessor observations. 

Additional information and guidance

​Candidates will need to be aware of file types.  Drawing programs are fundamentally related to vector formats but they can usually export drawings as bitmaps (also known as raster graphics) It is important that candidates understand that in doing so the drawing will lose some of it's important properties such as scaling without loss of clarity and the ability to ungroup and break the drawing up into its component elements. The same is true of importing raster graphics. These simply become objects in the drawing and can not be edited in the same way as the drawing objects. There are a number of proprietary vector drawing formats and no guarantee that they will be supported by any particular application. Scalable Vector graphics is the agreed W3C standard but it is not fully supported by all web browsers yet. This means that at the time of writing it is probably better not to use them directly in web pages but produce jpgs or pngs from them. 

1.4 I can select, adapt and use appropriate templates or blank documents.

Candidates should produce original drawings from a combination of existing templates and objects and objects that they originate themselves. 

Evidence: Candidates drawings.

Additional information and guidance

Candidates should have a range of drawings or fewer more complex drawings that demonstrate combining existing and new elements.

1.5 I can identify what copyright constraints apply to the use of shapes or other elements.

Candidates should know that all existing drawings are subject to copyright and that they should check the license to be sure it si legal for them to use the material. 

Evidence: Candidates' drawings free from any illegal work. Centre devised test on copyright.

Additional information and guidance

​Copyright is governed by the license. Some drawings are in the public domain and these can be used without any further consideration. Drawings that are released under Creative Commons licenses are normally usable but each license has different conditions and needs to be checked.  Candidates should keep a note of the sources of drawings that they use so that they can verify that they were legally entitled to them.

1.6 I can combine information for drawings or plans including importing information produced using other software.

Candidates should combine a number of different elements from a range of sources

Evidence From candidate drawings and assessor observations. 

Additional information and guidance

This is really just taking 1.3 a stage further to combine elements in the drawing.

1.7 I can store and retrieve drawing files effectively, in line with local guidelines and conventions where available.

Candidates should be able to open, save, import and export files and keep them sensibly named in appropriate locations. They should relate this to the filetypes needed for interoperability.

Evidence: Assessor observations of candidates working with user directories and/or on-line accounts. 

Additional information and guidance

​Candidates should be confident to manage files including issues of compatibility.

2.  Use tools and techniques to edit, manipulate, format and present drawings or plans

2.1 I can identify what drafting guides to use so that the shapes and other elements are appropriately prepared.

Candidates should demonstrate that they can use a grid and page rulers to work with precision switching on "snap to grid" and switching it off again as appropriate. They should use alignment options and work with appropriate precision.

Evidence: Candidate drawings demonstrate the use of guides e.g. through precision in positioning of objects.

Additional information and guidance
A difference between this and Silver level is that drawings should have elements that require quantitative precision. Candidates should be proficient in the use of a grid and changing its dimensions and units. There should not be any obvious alignment irregularities where objects are aligned or spaced.
2.2 I can select and use appropriate software tools to manipulate and edit shapes and other elements with precision.
Candidates need to demonstrate that they can select group and ungroup objects, insert elements, delete, cut, copy, paste, drag and drop elements, use text effectively and align objects. They need to be able to use zoom to check precision, scale objects and colour them. 
Evidence: Candidate project files. Assessor observations. 
Additional information and guidance
The skills involved should result in more complex multi-object drawings. These should be attractively produced and with appropriate precision. Assessors should check skills such as drag select and CTRL Z to undo can be used routinely and final files should show evidence that the skills have been employed.
2.3 I can select and use appropriate software tools to format shapes and other elements, including applying styles and colour schemes.
Candidates must demonstrate that they can format text and graphics where appropriate using consistent font properties, paragraph styles, text blocks, tabs,  and bullets. They will demonstrate the capability of setting line properties such as  width, length, colour, endings, beginnings. They can make connections between
drawing elements: fill them add shadows, and corners
Evidence: Candidate project files. Assessor observations. 
Additional information and guidance
The skills involved should result in more complex multi-object drawings with good layout.
2.4 I can check drawings or plans meet needs, using IT tools and making corrections as necessary.

​Candidates should check all drawings for spelling, grammar and accuracy BEFORE submitting work.

Evidence: Error free drawings submitted. 

Additional information and guidance
​Candidates should use peer review as well as software tools to help quality check their work.
2.5 I can identify and respond to any quality problems with drawings or plans to make sure they meet needs.

Candidates should use peer review as well as their own checking to identify and fix problems with drawings and plans: eg formatting, styles, positioning, spelling etc

Evidence: Error free drawings submitted.

Additional information and guidance
Quality assurance is about systematic checking of the output. Recognising faults is important and individuals might assume something is fine when it isn't. For this reason, candidates should be encouraged to get other people to honestly review work and find and highlight errors. In this way final work should be free from any obvious errors. This is a much more realistic approach than controlled testing can achieve.
2.6 I can select and use appropriate presentation methods and accepted page layouts.
​Candidates should consider whether or not their work will be displayed only on screen or printed on paper and for what purpose.  They should also conform to any house styles or standards that are in operation.

Evidence: Assessor observations, files submitted together with any statement of purpose. 

Additional information and guidance
For work for screen only, resolution is not as important as for that intended to be printed. For this reason, an export to a .png or .jpg format might be justified when the work has been prepared for a web site. In such cases the dimensions of the drawing should be considered. Images bigger than 800 x 600 are unlikely to be needed and the smaller the image the faster it will load. For paper prints 300 dots per inch is an accepted resolution for professional standard printing but there could be circumstances where higher or lower resolutions are needed. In all cases, it is safest to save drawings in the original vector format so that images of different resolution can be derived from this to suite particular needs. As .svg becomes used more widely it should simplify these technical issues considerably because both screen and printed images can use the same format as the editors producing 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.