Level 3 - Unit 9 - Drawing and Planning Software (4 credits)

Platinum - Unit 9 - Drawing and Planning Software

Relevant LINKS


Handbook home page


The candidate can organise and explain information when creating drawing and plans, including the required shapes, adapting and using templates and combining different elements.  They should also be able to explain what constraints affect them based on laws and regulations.  The drawing and plans they create will then need to be manipulated and edited so that they can be presented.  This processes needs to be quality controlled through feedback and acting on comments from a qualified audience.
A work activity will typically be ‘non-routine or unfamiliar’ because the task or context is likely to require some preparation, clarification or research to separate the components and to identify what factors need to be considered. For example, time available, audience needs, accessibility of source, types of content, message and meaning, before an approach can be planned; and the techniques required will involve a number of steps and at times be non-routine or unfamiliar. 
Example of context – an example might be creating a character for an animation using software designed for that purpose or a complex logo for an organisation.  Other examples might include designing a building for a new local sport centre or shopping centre.  This type of plan will involve the use of complex tools to ensure the scale is accurate.

Activities supporting the assessment of this unit

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 INGOTs.org 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 input, organise and combine information for drawings or plans

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

Candidates should be able to show that they have researched and checked what shapes and other artifacts they need for their designs
Evidence: will be provided by candidate's portfolios and assessor observations and feedback.
Additional information and guidance
The material collected and commented on here will depend on what type of path the candidates choose: drawing or plan.  Both will have their own conventions and symbols and also what can be used.  Most drawing software will have a range of industry standard shapes and forms, though there is no reason why they can't design their own, again depending on the nature of the work.  If they are creating a plan, such as a kitchen design for their own house, then they will need to use standard objects forms so that the plan can be understood and built.  It may be a case that they need to check with the end-user as to the conventions to use.  It may also depend on the design package they are using.  
Something like Gliffy drawing site will have a range of different tool groups Gliffy bar

1.2 I can evaluate templates and explain why and how they need to be changed to meet needs

Candidates should be able to work effectively with templates and other starting points.
Evidence: will be provided by candidate's portfolios, blogs or other media.
Additional information and guidance
Most drawing packages will have templates to allow candidates a starting point.  They could take existing material, such as images from Open clip art site and modify these, making sure to explain what they are doing and why.

1.3 I can select, adapt, create and use the appropriate shapes to meet needs, including shapes imported from other sources

Candidates should be able to demonstrate the basic skills of starting a design, including import and adaptation.
Evidence: candidates 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 un-group 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.  All of this just to illustrate that importing other objects is not always a simple and straight-forward process.

1.4 I can select, adapt, define and create appropriate templates and styles to meet needs

Candidates should be comfortable in adapting existing designs or generating their own original ones.  These must be to meet specified needs.
Evidence: will be provided by candidate's portfolios and assessor observations and feedback.
Additional information and guidance
If candidates are working with clients, these clients will have very particular needs.  In most cases, they may be persuaded by the candidate's experience, but will likely require the candidates to work to their ideas.  This will require a great deal of skill and flexibility.  Existing drawings or plans can be used as a template, but will need to be modified to suit.  In some cases, an original design will need to be created.  For example, if candidates are working for an SME (Small or Medium Enterprise) to create their employee flow-chart, they may be very specialised in the way they function.  This would require candidates to come up with their own designs and images to accurately represent what the company does.  They may start out with a generic company flow chart, but need to make significant additions and changes.

1.5 I can provide guidance on what copyright constraints apply to the use of own and others' shapes or other elements

Candidates should be able to create a detailed guide on legal issues.
Evidence: will be provided by candidate's guide.
Additional information and guidance
At this level it is not enough to identify that certain laws and restrictions exist, but candidates should be able to create a user guide for their chosen company and document how the law effects the company with specific examples.  A short guide or presentation (therefore combing Unit 7 or Unit 10) might be useful here.

1.6 I can combine information for drawings or plans including exporting outcomes to other software

Candidates should be able to combine mixed media and output the results in a useable form.
Evidence: will be provided by candidate's work and assessor observations, as well as customer feedback.
Additional information and guidance
The designs and plans that candidates create will probably be used in other situations.  They may be used for corporate web-sites or marketing material and will therefore need to be in a format that can be used outside the software used to create it.  candidates may need to liaise with web design companies or printers to make sure the output format is acceptable, including any requirements such as colour depths and file extensions.

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

Candidates should be able to manage their work effectively and efficiently.
Evidence: will be provided by candidate's work structure and assessor feedback.
Additional information and guidance
These days, candidates are likely to be working cross multiple platforms and devices.  It is therefore important that they can organise and access their work efficiently.  They may be using cloud based systems which will enhance their accessibility, but may restrict them in terms of import and export types.  If working with a client, they may well be restricted to what they can do in terms of file management and conventions for naming or storing.  They will need to document and comment on these guidelines and strictures.

2. Candidates will use tools and techniques to edit, manipulate, format and present drawings or plans

2.1 I can explain 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: will be provided by candidate's portfolios and assessor observations and feedback.
Additional information and guidance
In addition to the precision shown for this criterion as part of the Gold level guidance, candidates should also be able to give a detailed explanation as to why they use these tools and what advantages they give.  This will show a higher level of understanding and appreciation for the software tools and the skill of knowing why and when to use them for extra quality and control.

2.2 I can select and use appropriate software tools to manipulate and edit shapes and other elements with precision

Candidates should be able to demonstrate competence and confidence with their software choice.
Evidence: will be provided by candidate's portfolios and assessor observations and feedback.
Additional information and guidance
The candidates should be able, through the work they produce, to evidence their skill and appreciation of the software being used.  The output should be to a professional level and there should be no mistakes or anomalies.

2.3 I can select and use appropriate software tools to format shapes and other elements, including applying styles and colour schemes

Candidates should be able to produce an array of skilled materials.
Evidence: will be provided by candidate's portfolios and assessor observations and feedback.
Additional information and guidance
Candidates should demonstrate a consistency and level of quality throughout their work.  Any sub-elements need to have the same quality and attention to detail as all the main pieces so that all of their work fits together as a coherent whole.  If working with clients, they will be given a house style in terms of colours and styles (fonts etc), and this needs to be expertly applied throughout.

2.4 I can check drawings or plans meet needs, using IT tools and making corrections as necessary

Candidates should be able to use basic checking tools to ensure high quality.
Evidence: Assessor observations and feedback.
Additional information and guidance
The completed work should be the right dimensions and free of obvious errors such as grammar and spelling mistakes.  Candidates should demonstrate, though their work or reflections via a blog or portfolio, that they have applied their own quality checks and used available software tools to check for accuracy and quality where appropriate.

2.5 I can identify and respond to quality problems with drawings or plans to make sure they are fit for purpose and meet needs

Candidates should be able to respond to critical comments and act accordingly.
Evidence: will be provided by candidate responses to client feedback.
Additional information and guidance
The designs and plans will need to meet with approval from clients before they can be signed off.  Clients should be involved at every step of the process and when the final material is produced, they will have the opportunity for final feedback.  Candidates will need to act on this feedback accordingly.

2.6 I can explain what context the drawings and plans will be used in and how this will effect how they are presented

Candidates should be able to explain in detail the purpose of their designs and plans.
Evidence: will be provided by candidate's portfolios or presentations.
Additional information and guidance
Candidates need to write a summary of their work and how it matches the original brief.  They need to explain, in either written or verbal form, the key aspects of their work and match it to the purpose and expectations of their client.  If the designs will be used in specific contexts, it would be good for them to explain the restrictions of this context, such as design limits, style restrictions or file types.

2.7 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 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.