Entry 2 - Unit 5 - Using ICT: Safe Working Practices


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Activities supporting the assessment of this award

Assessor's guide to interpreting the criteria

General Information

  • The Bronze 2 Award is designed to provide progression from the Entry Level 1 Bronze award to Entry level 3 Award and as a foundation for Level 1 ICT user qualifications particularly the ITQ.

  • The definition of an entry level qualification is to recognise basic knowledge and skills and the ability to apply learning in everyday situations under direct guidance or supervision. Learning at this level involves building basic knowledge and skills and is not geared towards specific occupations. 

  • The criteria are designed to provide opportunities to promote numeracy, literacy and social skills as well as ICT capability and are fully compatible with the UK National Curriculum programmes of study.

  • The Bronze 2 Award is designed to promote a wider range of participation by providing coherent progression from the Bronze 1 to Bronze 3 and/or Silver Level 1 qualifications. We want especially to include people with special needs or specific learning difficulties and younger children. Contexts for learning should be chosen appropriately for the learner.

  • The specification for the Bronze 2,  Entry Level 2 Award provides an outcome framework for assessment and is not intended to dictate any particular context for learning and so can be used with young children or adults. The INGOTs family of qualifications are designed for personalising learning rather than targeting arbitrary groups. Assessors have discretion about the contexts used as long as the assessment criteria can be matched and the guidance below should be read with this in mind.


  • Standards must be confirmed by a trained Bronze Assessor or higher

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

  • It is expected that there will be routine evidence of work used for judging assessment outcomes in the candidates' records of their day to day work. Samples should be available at the annual visit and/or by video conference.

  • Different approaches to learning will be required in order to match differing needs, for example, the needs of children will be different from the needs of adults with learning disabilities.

  • Completing the criteria entitles the candidate to the Bronze 2 Award. In general, the candidate should demonstrate that matching criteria can be sustained over time with continued practice.

  • We expect at least 15 hours of guided study to be under-taken before the award is made assuming learners are new to computers but discretion can be used to take account of prior learning where this is sensible in individual cases. In terms of making the award, what matters is outcomes and competence.

Assessment Method

Assessors can use the criteria to determine levels of prior learning through dialog with the candidate, direct observation and any other appropriate and relevant evidence. They can score each of the criteria for each candidate N (No evidence), L (some progress but still lower than the level) S, secure at that level and this criterion, H, the candidate is performing beyond the required level. Candidates are required to achieve S or H on all the criteria to achieve the full award. This means they provide evidence of "Secure" competence across all the criteria. 

Expansion of the assessment criteria

The Entry 2 learner will understand and apply the best safety practices when operating computing equipment, from the environment around the devices, to the position and posture of operation.  They should also understand wider concerns such as security measures relating to on-line activities.
An activity will typically be ‘straightforward or routine’ because:
  • the task or context will be familiar and involve few factors (desktop computer, laptop, mobile phone, opening a document, selecting an object, naming keyboard, mouse, screen); and
  • the techniques used will be familiar or commonly undertaken with support from other more experienced people.

Learners should show willingness to be co-operative and respect the advice and support given by more experienced users.

1. The learner will know about health and safety measures that should be followed when using ICT equipment

1.1 I can outline safety checks that need to be made prior to using ICT equipment

Candidates should be able to identify the main causes of danger associated with ICT equipment and check their working conditions.
Evidence: Direct observation, planning and recording documents from day to day activities.
Additional information and guidance
A physical inspection by candidates of their working environment should be routine so that they can identify amd neutralise dangers.  Some of these will be electrical isues, such as faulty or exposed cables.  Others will be in the working environment.  If there is no adjustment in the chairs or desk, or if the monitors can not be adjusted to eye level etc.  It may be useful for candidates to devise and use their own check list for safety procedures, if they are not already available in their work environment.  Some less obvious checks might include:
  • there is sufficient space to work in a comfortable position, with opportunities for varying movements and posture.
  • lighting arrangements should be satisfactory and ensure an appropriate contrast between the display screen and the background environment. Glare and reflections (e.g. from windows or sunlights) should be avoided, with blinds (preferably vertical) used to prevent sunlight falling on display screens. Surfaces should have a matt finish to avoid glare and reflections.
  • noise levels created by workstation equipment should not be distracting to the user/operator.
  • no item of workstation equipment should generate excess heat that could cause user/operator discomfort.

1.2 I can state how often breaks should be taken when using a computer

Candidates should be able to state this information when questioned.
Evidence: Assessor feedback.
Additional information and guidance
For people who are required to look at computer screens for a long time, such as designers, it is often hard to incorporate breaks, in which case they may need to use utilities that force them.  In many cases, breaks should be at least every hour and often more.  Some users are encouraged to look away from the screen or close their eyes every 15 minutes just to break up the amount of exposure to a screen.

1.3 I can state a reason for taking breaks when using a computer

Candidates should be able to give a range of reasons.
Evidence: Direct observation, planning and recording documents from day to day activities.
Additional information and guidance
One key reason is that the Health and Safety at Work Act allows a break during a working day, but also working with computers you need to take regular breaks so as not to be stuck in the same position and to minimise the risk of something like RSI.  Some of the main health issues that require you to take a break are listed here.

1.4 I can demonstrate personal posture needed when using a desk top computer

Candidates should be able to show the correct posture.
Evidence: Direct observation.
Additional information and guidance
Candidates should be familiar with the best posture for working on ICT equipment and be able to demonstrate that they can apply it at all times.
Proper seating when working on ICT equipment

1.5 I can state where support can be obtained when adjustments are required for own safety and comfort

Candidates should be able to identify where in an organisation additional help with equipment can be found.
Evidence: Direct observation.
Additional information and guidance
It is enough at this level that candidates can identify where they would go for help if they are not able to adjust the working environment to their liking.

2. The learner will know about PINs and passwords

2.1 I can give examples of where PINs and passwords may be required

Candidates should be aware of the different uses for PIN numbers and passwords and give some examples from their own life.
Evidence: Direct observation and questioning.
Additional information and guidance
Most candidates should have some passwords for different access to elements of their life and some might have personal PIN numbers, especially if they use bank cards.  They may have other examples such as passwords or PIN numbers for their hand help devices or personal computers.  A range of examples will be helpful if candidates in a group fo not have enough to illustrate their reach and importance.  Some on-line banking systems now require a mixture or PIN numbers and passwords for additional levels of security.

2.2 I can state why PINs and passwords need to be secure

Candidates should be able to explain some of the threats to their personal identification elements that require them to be extra safe.
Evidence: Direct observation and questioning.
Additional information and guidance
Many people use easy to guess PINs and passwords, exactly for that reason, so that it is easy for them to remember.  However, because humans are very similar in their views and attitudes, it creates simple patterns in life such as popular pet names or popular numbers.  Therefore, a computer hacker can quickly and easily guess a password as the programs they use will run through a series of popular pet and other names until it comes on to the one you use.  Since most computers will be working at 3 billion checks per second, it will not take very long.  Candidates need to know that the added inconvenience of maintaining complex PINs and passwords is worth it to make sure they don't lose their personal property.

2.3 I can state how to keep PINs and passwords secure

Candidates should be able to say how they would make sure their details are secure.
Evidence: Direct observation and reflection.
Additional information and guidance
Candidates should be introduced to a wide a range of methods for maintaining their personal data.  This could be via routines, such as changing once a month or every 3 months.  It could be through keeping the information in a secure place or a combination of places.  They should also demonstrate that they will not tell people over the phone these details and will only divulge them in persona to people who need to know them.  In schools, this means not telling their friends etc.


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 dialog 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 should it be required by the Principal Assessor or their Account Manager/external moderator. Before authorizing certification, the Account Manager must be satisfied that the assessors judgements are sound.