Gold Unit 17 - Video Software Guidance

Relevant LINKS


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

Video 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: Production of an advertisement ; remix of YouTube videos for a purpose, production of a video demonstrating how to use software tools.

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. Use video hardware and software to capture sequences

1.1  I can identify the combination of input device and video software to use to capture information, to avoid any compatibility issues.

Choice of hardware and software should enable the candidate to complete appropriate high quality products. Candidates need to be able to identify equipment that will satisfy this before starting to use it. 

Evidence: From candidates final products.

Additional information and guidance

The candidate should appreciate that proprietary data formats are not necessarily easy to convert to other formats and that any components in the system have to be able to understand or translate formats from other components. This is a good time to discuss video formats such as AVI, Flash, .mp4, WebM and Ogg.  Why are there so many and are there significant advantages of one over the others. HTML 5 is the future for the web and supports .mp4, WebM and Ogg. Research different equipment that uses different standards and see what will work together e.g. by producing a table. 

1.2 I can select and use an appropriate combination of input device and video software to record sequences.

Candidates should use the equipment identified to be productive.

Evidence: From candidates final projects.

Additional information and guidance

If candidates can produce sequences of video using the selected equipment they meet this criterion.

1.3 I can describe the impact file size and file format will have on saving sequences

​Candidates should write a description of some of their files including the size and formats including some implications.

Evidence: From candidate blogs, portfolios etc. 

Additional information and guidance

​Candidates will need to be aware of file types and any implications for conversion. Will converting to a different format reduce quality? Is the file size manageable for the envisaged application? Is it better to host video on a specialist site and just link to it or keep the file locally? Would it be possible to e-mail? Why might file transfers cause problems.

1.4 I can identify when to use different types of information coding and compression

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

Evidence: Candidates work at an appropriate resolution and quality for its file size

Additional information and guidance

Candidates should have a range of videos demonstrating different types of coding. They should appreciate the trade off between quality and file size and also that greater compression/decompression requires more processing. The greater the compression the more random the data i.e. it will be difficult to find any repeated patterns in the data. There is no advantage in e.g. Zipping a compressed video file. There will be no significant reduction in the file size.

1.5 I can store and retrieve sequences using appropriate file formats and compression, in line with local guidelines and conventions where available.

​Candidates should manage their video files appropriately.

Evidence: Candidates files and their locations

Additional information and guidance

​It is often better to store video files on a server and make links to them rather than moving the entire fila whenever it is needed. This saves bandwidth and local storage. Using sites like YouTube is a good example of this. As storage space becomes cheaper and file transfer faster, handling very large files becomes easier but it is still worth considering that downloading a whole video to eg a mobile device still has potential cost implications.

2. Use video software tools and techniques to combine and edit sequences

2.1 I can identify the sequences to add, keep and remove

Candidates will plan their final products starting with identification of the contents they need.

Evidence: Candidates' components that make up the final products.

Additional information and guidance
Candidates should keep the files and data/information they used to create their final project.
2.2 I can select and use appropriate video software tools to mark-up and edit sequences
This is self-explanatory.
Evidence: Candidate project files. Assessor observations. 
Additional information and guidance
​Tools might include cutting pasting, splicing adding an audio track, adding subtitles etc. They should include thse required to create an original work that goes beyond simple recording.
2.3 I can organise and combine information for sequences in line with any copyright constraints, including across different software
Final work should be achieved from combining sequences and should not infringe copyright. 
Evidence: Candidate project files. Assessor observations. 
Additional information and guidance
Candidates should appreciate basic copyright constraints including fair use and fair dealing. They should know what the public domain is and creative commons licensing. It is licensing that determines how work can be used.  
2.4 I can describe how copyright constraints affect use of own and others’ information

​Candidates should describe copyright and licensing in relation to their own work. This should be sufficient to demonstrate they understand the main issues related to restrictive and liberal licensing.

Evidence: Legal files submitted. 

Additional information and guidance
​Candidates should use peer review as well as software tools to help  check their work for copyright infringement. 

3. Play and present video sequences

3.1 I can describe the features and constraints of playback software and display devices

Candidates should provide evidence of describing the features of software they are using and why this makes it fit for purpose.

Evidence: Candidate portfolios of evidence.

Additional information and guidance
Typical features will be recording pausing, jumping to marker positions, editing with cuts and paste, multiple tracks, effects, sound dubbing, export filters to different formats. Can they get free software that does all they need or is it necessary to buy software with specific features because these are missing from the free versions?
3.2 I can select and use an appropriate combination of video playback software and display device to suit the file format
Candidates' projects should demonstrate that playback is possible and of appropriate quality for its purpose. 
Evidence: Candidates's project files 
Additional information and guidance
The most important issue here is to use appropriate formats for the media. If playback is on the web, HTML5 supported formats would be a good choice. If it is for a
specific environment e.g. YouTube, the format needs to be something that YouTube can cope with. If it is a one off for a particular local presentation the
format probably won't matter but using one of the HTML5 compatible formats is likely to provide more flexible options just in case. In the end it is in general
consumer interest to use an open format because then there is less chance of establishing a monopoly and reducing competition in the market. Reduced competition
in these contexts nearly always results in higher prices and reduced functionality and quality.
3.3 I can identify the settings which could be adjusted to improve the quality of presentations
Candidates should identify the settings that adjust quality of video presentations including recording at higher quality in the first place.
Evidence: Candidate project files.
Additional information and guidance
Typical quality adjustments are to remove noise from audio before adding sound tracks, recording at high quality, avoiding multiple file format changes, adjustments to brightness, sharpness, displaying images at different sizes and resolution. Changing frame rates.
3.4 I can adjust playback and display settings to enhance the quality of the presentation

​This is taking 3.3 and applying the techniques to actually improve the output.

Evidence: Final production files that are of appropriate quality.

Additional information and guidance
​Candidates should produce final output that is free from quality issues that could be resolved using the software tools available to 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.