Platinum - Unit 2 - Web Site Software

Relevant LINKS


Handbook home page


The candidate will select and use a wide range of website software tools and techniques to produce multiple-page websites. Website software tools and techniques will be defined as ‘advanced’ because the software tools and functions involved will at times be non-routine or unfamiliar. The choice and use of development techniques will need to take account of a number of factors or elements and the candidate will take full responsibility for planning the website, creating or altering the template, inputting, manipulating, linking and uploading the content.
Examples of context: Create a complex web site with interactive features and multimedia elements to a professional standard

Example of work at this level (to follow)

Assessor's guide to interpreting the criteria

General Information

QCF general description for Level 3 qualifications

  • Achievement at QCF level 3 (EQF Level 4) reflects the ability to identify and use relevant understanding, methods and skills to complete tasks and address problems that, while well defined, have a measure of complexity. It includes taking responsibility for initiating and completing tasks and procedures as well as exercising autonomy and judgment within limited parameters. It also reflects awareness of different perspectives or approaches within an area of study or work.
  • Use factual, procedural and theoretical understanding to complete tasks and address problems that, while well defined, may be complex and non-routine.

  • Address problems that, while well defined, may be complex and non-routine.  Identify, select and use appropriate skills, methods and procedures.  Use appropriate investigation to inform actions.  Review how effective methods and actions have been.

  • Take responsibility for initiating and completing tasks and procedures, including, where relevant, responsibility for supervising or guiding others.  Exercise autonomy and judgement within limited parameters information and ideas


  • Standards must be confirmed by a trained Platinum 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 and files 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 3 learner 50 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. Candidates will create structures and styles and use them to produce websites

1.1 I can determine what website content and layout will be needed for each page and for the site

Candidates should be able to fully plan out their website and justify their design and content choices
Evidence: will be provided directly from the presentation of work in web pages and their reflections in e-portfolios and blogs
Additional information and guidance
Candidates should be able to demonstrate a clear and precise method of research and evaluation in the initial design of their intended web ages.  This can be achieve through a range of methods, such as sketches about layouts and designs; screen captures with notes of sample sites they like or dislike; video logs of what sites they have used and what features they would like to incorporate into their own designs.  This process should clearly show that they are aware of their possibilities and perhaps also of any limitations.  It is no good going overboard on design needs if they can never be met as this will ultimately jeopardise the project overall.

1.2 I can plan and create web page templates to layout content

Candidates should be able to show they are capable of creating and defining temples and what the advantages of this approach might be
Evidence: will be provided directly from the presentation of work in web page templates with notes about the reasons.
Additional information and guidance
Some candidates might use pre-set systems such as CMS (Content management Systems) for their web sites, but they wil still need to modify the templates to match the needs of their users. Systems such as Wordpress or Drupal, for example, can be used and the templates can be modified to suit the needs of the end user.  These systems have many sites that have free templates with instructions and guidance on how to modify them further, though licenses need to be considered.  However, when using more traditional web design software such as Adobe products, candidates need to plan how best to layout the information on their pages and templates create a level of consistency which makes the web pages more engaging. Candidates can use a variety of methods to flesh out their designs, analogue or digital, and show some level of progression from crude initial ideas to more functional plans.  Some consideration also needs to be shown for the type of content and increasingly plans should be conscious of responsive designs so that web pages work as expected on small mobile devices as well as full desktop browsers.

1.3 I can select and use website features and structures to enhance website navigation and functionality

Candidates should be able to show a good awareness of the features and functions they choose for their sites so as to enhance the sites.

Evidence: Evidence from assessor statements and reflections on their choices

Additional information and guidance
While some web site features are undoubtedly impressive and engaging, they may be totally inappropriate for the intended audience and need to be avoided.  Candidates need to show a good level of awareness that the features they choose and use will actually improve the user experience and not distract from what is trying to be conveyed.  Some structures, as indicated earlier, may work well on large and modern desktop computers with wide-screens, but be completely unusable on mobile devices.  If this is your key target audience, then you have not designed the structure effectively.  It would be useful to explore as many features and structures as possible in order to get a good idea of the best options before committing to any one thing.

1.4 I can create, select and use styles to enhance website consistency and readability

Candidates should be able to show a range of tested styles and notes about their effectiveness or otherwise in relation to their overall design

Evidence: Evidence from content of their web pages describing these factors and considerations in their planning

Additional information and guidance
What is a web "style".  Candidates should be able to show that they have explored a range of web sites and have made notes and reflections on the various styles.  Some of the styles will be ones that they are keen to use in their own projects and they can then focus on finding out how the styles are made and how they might replicate them for themselves.  They should show that they can evaluate other sites for consistent display of information and navigational techniques and that they can relate these to a design purpose.  The choice of styles, such as fonts and colours, should relate to the overall readability of the site.  In some instances, they may be restricted as they may be designing sites for companies that have their own "house style", which determines the font family to use and colour ranges.  However, they may be able to advise the clients of departures from this, particularly where this style has been determined for the area od traditional publishing where these restrictions might not be so problematic.

1.5 I can provide guidance on laws, guidelines and constraints that affect the content and use of websites

Candidates should be able to provide evidence that they understand various laws and guidelines that affect how content is displayed and consumed

Evidence: A detailed set of written documents showing the range of laws and guidelines and the candidates note son how they impact their designs
Additional information and guidance
Candidates should show a good awareness of the main restrictions on designs, such as accessibility laws and regulations for people with disabilities, but should also show a good understanding of wider issues and not discriminate against people or cause distress as their work is visible to a global audience, even though the content might be more local in nature.  If they are designing the site for a client, they should clearly document any of these considerations for their client so that the client is aware of the need for their design changes and implantation of accessibility features.

1.6 I can explain what access issues may need to be taken into account

Candidates should demonstrate a detailed level of understanding of the range of access issues that will affect their site's use
Evidence: Evidence from content of their web pages and reflections on their research into accessibility laws and regulations
Additional information and guidance 
Candidates should show evidence of making appropriate choices in their pages with consideration to a range of accessibility concerns their end users might exhibit.  There are plenty of web sites that can be used for research such as the WC3 site.  They might also show a consideration of compromises they might need to make.

1.7 I can explain when and why to use different file types for saving content

Candidates should explain what file constraints their users might encounter and how they will address these to the best of their ability

Evidence: Evidence from documented evaluations
Additional information and guidance
Most candidates will be operating in school or college networks with a decent connection speed and possibly modern computers, but this isn't the same for everyone.  Most internet based solutions should aim to cater for the lowest possible criteria.  Many people do not have high speed connections which means graphic heavy sites full of HD video might look great on the local network but are unworkable in most cases.  Candidates should explain and deploy standard file types that will allow all users to access their content and used compression technologies where appropriate.  They might also consider linking to custom sites for video delivery etc.  Even the UK government now advocates the use of open standards for file delivery so as not to exclude people with proprietary and expensive office packages, though recently this may no longer be the case.

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

Candidates should demonstrate that they can use local networks efficiently and effectively

Evidence: Evidence from assessor and work
Additional information and guidance
Candidates should demonstrate that they abide by any local acceptable use policy and that they can store their files with the right names and in the right places.

2. Candidates will select and use website software tools and features to develop multiple page websites with multimedia and interactive features

2.1 I can prepare content for web pages so that it is ready for editing and formatting

Candidates should be able to provide evidence of preparing the materials they need to construct their sites

Evidence: Finished content and assessor witness statements
Additional information and guidance
The primary focus here is for candidates to show an awareness of the restraints on their content, such as size and type, and do some initial preparation so that when they construct the actual site they are not distracted by formatting and editing issues which will slow down the process.

2.2 I can organise and combine information needed for web pages in line with any copyright constraints, including across different software

Evaluation should show a clear description and reference of any software or material used and any copyright or legal restrictions applied.

Evidence: Evidence from documented description conforming to the criterion and guidance
Additional information and guidance
Candidates should 

2.3 I can select and use appropriate editing and formatting techniques to aid meaning

Candidates should provide evidence that they have thought carefully about their audience and chosen the right look and feel.
Evidence: Evidence from documented test procedures and feedback
Additional information and guidance
Candidates should have developed a specification of their project based on the needs of their clients or customers.  These specification elements can be used as a guide to make sure that the finished website is fit for purpose.  In many cases, web designers tend ot over edit and format their work.  If you look at the BBC site, or many modern web sites, they are more or less black text ona white background.  Candidates should make sure that elements such as correct and easy to read fonts and colour schemes are chosen carefully, especially to assist people with visual difficulties.  Any images used must have Alt Text built in to them to aide people who can not see the images and have screen readers for example.

2.4 I can select and use appropriate programming and development techniques to add features and enhance websites

Candidates should be able to work with advanced programming techniques and features to make their websites have maximum visual impact.
Evidence: Evidence from customer feedback and website effects
Additional information and guidance
Candidates should be comfortable using advanced programming for websites such as incorporating JavaScript or other interactive programming techniques.  Basic websites are not sufficient at Level 3 as candidate's work is supposed to be at a professional level.  If they are using php and database driven websites, they must be comfortable creating their own elements to capture and manipulate data for these systems.  They could use php or java based systems to create forms which collect some information from the end users for example.  Candidates might be able to explore add on code for adding mouse roll over features or pop out images to their sites.

2.5 I can select and use file formats that make information easier to download

Websites should include the ability to download documents or images etc..

Evidence: Evidence from third party feedback of the functionality
Additional information and guidance
Candidates should incorporate some document management features into their system and be aware that there will be different needs.  If you look at any government web site you will see that they will have a range of document types, including Microsoft proprietary formats as well as open formats such as .odt.  In addition, they will have pdf files as the Adobe reader, or similar, is freely available.  If they have any images for download they will need to have a range for formats or some explanation as to why they have a specific one only.  The web is about openness and sharing, so open standards should be preferred wherever possible.

2.5 I can check web pages meet needs, using IT tools and making corrections as necessary

Websites should be free from any mistakes such as spelling or grammar issues and should not have dead links or other issues.

Evidence: Evidence from third party feedback of the functionality and testing check lists
Additional information and guidance
Candidates should make sure that the website they release on the Internet is fully tested and professional and does not include elements that do not work, especially if they only work on certain browsers as they were not tested across multiple platforms.  They should be free from any spelling or grammar errors.

3. Candidates will publish and test multiple page websites with multimedia and interactive features

3.1 I can select and use appropriate testing methods to check that all elements and features of complex websites are working as planned

The candidate should be able to use a testing plan and various tools, browsers and other software to make sure their website works fully.
Evidence: Portfolio with testing plan and outcomes.
Additional information and guidance
Any interactive elements, such as JavaScript or Flash, need to be tested, as does other multimedia such as embedded video.  In many cases these might be linked to other sites.  This is useful, but assumes the other site will always be available.  Testing must make sure that accessibility features works, such as alt text for screen readers and they need to check with people with something like colour blindness to make sure the information is accessible.  As stated earlier, the website will be used on multiple platforms and devices and wherever possible it should be checked for this.  Most people now access web information on smart phones so a smart phone emulator can be used to make sure it works on all devices. 

3.2 I can identify and quality problems with websites and explain how to respond to them

The candidate should provide evidence that they have issued and received some feedback from potential customers and fixed any problems found.

Evidence: Evidence of feedback forms and quality testing procedures.
Additional information and guidance
It is always necessary to involve a range of people in testing websites as it is easy for one person to miss things.  Ideally, the usability testers should be people who have an interest in the content as they will best be able to judge how effectively it transmits the information.  Any problems they find must be documented and fixed.  In cases where the problem is beyond the candidate's control, such as using third party interactive code, they need to say how they might fix it.

3.3 I can select and use an appropriate programme to upload and publish the website and make sure that it will download

The candidate should be familiar with efficient ways to maintain their web sites such as ftp programmes and version control software.
Evidence: Evidence through documentation and portfolio evidence.
Additional information and guidance
A web site is an ever evolving thing and candidates should be able to control the web site.  Most professional web site designers will have a local area on their development machine which is broken down into the core code and web pages, programming languages, images and other media files.
This local version should be syncronised with the remote version and there are various tools to use to do this.  Web based design packages will often include built in ftp (File Transfer Protocol) suites to manage web content and make sure that the uploaded version are current and that no old code or images are on th site.  Free software such as Filezilla is useful for uploading large and complex web sites and allows some control over how it is controlled and maintained.

3.4 I can respond appropriately to quality problems with websites to ensure outcomes are fit for purpose

The candidate should make a final quality control check to make sure the website meets the brief.
Evidence: Evidence through documented evaluation.
Additional information and guidance
The website should be professional level and must be thoroughly checked and documented.  It would be ideal to have a feedback form from a client to show that they are happy with the final outcome and it is what they wanted.

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 through reference to candidate e-portfolios and through signed witness statements associated with the criteria matching marks in the on-line markbook. Before authorizing certification, the Account Manager must be satisfied that the assessors judgements are sound.