Qualification Specification

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1 BCS Level 2 ECDL Certificate in IT Application Skills (QCF) 600/6943/0 Version 1.4 March 2016.

2 Contents 1. About BCS 3 2. Equal Opportunities 3 3. Introduction to the qualification Qualification summary Purpose of the qualification Structure of the qualification Prior learning Learner progression 6 4. Units Guidance on the unit content Learning outcomes and assessment criteria 7 5. Assessment Summary of assessment methods Availability of assessments Grading Synoptic assessment Externally assessed units Specimen assessment materials Support materials Access to Assessment Contact Points 14

3 1. About BCS Our mission as BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, is to enable the information society. We promote wider social and economic progress through the advancement of information technology science and practice. We bring together industry, academics, practitioners and government to share knowledge, promote new thinking, information the design of new curricula, shape public policy and inform the public. Our vision is to be a world class organisation for IT. Our 70,000 strong membership includes practitioners, businesses, academics and students in the UK and internationally. We deliver a range of professional development tools for practitioners and employees. A leading IT qualification body, we offer a range of widely recognised qualifications. 2. Equal Opportunities BCS wishes to ensure good practice in the area of Equal Opportunity. Equality of opportunity extends to all aspects for the provision of BCS qualifications. Further information about our equal opportunities policy can be found on the Approved Centre Forum, a secure website for approved centres. BCS Level 2 ECDL Certificate in IT Application Skills V1.4 Page 3 of 14

4 3. Introduction to the qualification 3.1 Qualification summary Qualification Title QAN Accreditation Start BCS Level 2 ECDL Certificate in IT Application Skills (QCF) 600/6943/0 1 st August 2013 The BCS Level 2 ECDL Certificate in IT Application Skills qualification is a fixed selection of four level 2 application units developed by e-skills, the sector skills council for IT and Telecoms. All BCS qualifications are subject to our quality assurance and validation process. This ensures that new and revised qualifications are fit for purpose. Qualifications are reviewed to ensure the alignment of the qualification with agreed design principles, regulatory requirements and to ensure accuracy and consistency across units and qualifications. Through our quality assurance and validation process, we ensure the qualification, its units and assessments, are fit for purpose and can be delivered efficiently and reasonably by centres. 3.2 Purpose of the qualification This qualification is designed for young people who are looking to gain knowledge and skills of IT software applications to progress their learning in IT, or any subject where basic IT skills are required. This qualification covers core IT applications commonly used in many organisations around the world. Completing this qualification will improve the learner s understanding of these IT applications and teach them how to use the software efficiently. It will also teach them how to use a computer confidently and effectively, and encourages problem-solving, creativity and communication. BCS Level 2 ECDL Certificate in IT Application Skills V1.4 Page 4 of 14

5 3.3 Structure of the qualification The BCS Level 2 ECDL Certificate in IT Application Skills qualification structure is shown in the table below. This structure meets the requirements for a Level 2 Certificate in terms of the number of guided learning hours and credits from level 2 units; it includes the Improving Productivity using IT unit at level 2; and meets the required rule of combination. Mandatory Units Unit code Level Credit value Word Processing R/502/ Spreadsheet Software F/502/ Presentation Software M/502/ Improving Productivity using J/502/ IT Total Credits 16 Qualification Level 2 Descriptor Summary Achievement at level 2 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 Knowledge and understanding Application and action Autonomy and accountability 3.4 Prior learning 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 Exercise autonomy and judgement subject to overall direction or guidance There are no pre-requisites that a learner must achieve prior to taking this BCS Level 2 ECDL Certificate in IT Application Skills qualification, all knowledge, skills and understanding about the subject will be covered within the training. BCS Level 2 ECDL Certificate in IT Application Skills V1.4 Page 5 of 14

6 3.5 Learner progression Following completion of the BCS Level 2 ECDL Certificate in IT Application Skills qualification, learners can progress onto other QCF qualifications. In particular, ITQs are available in a number of sizes (Award, Certificate, and Diploma) and levels (Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3). The benefits of this are that learners can progress in two ways; either by working towards a larger qualification at the same level or by working towards a higher level qualification. This qualification and its credits can be used to contribute towards a larger ITQ qualification either at Level 2 or 3 or by size to an ITQ Diploma. 4. Units 4.1 Guidance on the unit content The units indicated below form the fixed units packaged for the purpose of obtaining the BCS Level 2 ECDL Certificate in IT Application Skills qualification. There is no specific order for completion of the units. However, it is recommended that the learner should complete the Improving Productivity using IT unit as the final unit as this brings together components from the Software Application units. Guided Unit Name (Level 2) Unit Code Unit Owner Learning Hours QCF Credits Improving Productivity using IT J/502/4156 e-skills UK 30 4 Presentation Software M/502/4622 The Sector Skills Council for 30 4 Spreadsheet Software F/502/4625 Business and Information 30 4 Word Processing Software R/502/4628 Technology 30 4 BCS Level 2 ECDL Certificate in IT Application Skills V1.4 Page 6 of 14

7 4.2 Learning outcomes and assessment criteria Improving Productivity using IT (J/502/4156) Learning outcomes The learner will Performance Criteria Plan, select and use appropriate IT systems and software for different purposes Review and adapt the ongoing use of IT tools and systems to make sure that activities are successful Develop and test solutions to improve the ongoing use of IT tools and systems Plan how to carry out tasks using IT to achieve the required purpose and outcome Select and use IT systems and software applications to complete planned tasks and produce effective outcomes Review ongoing use of IT tools and techniques and change the approach as needed Review outcomes to make sure they match requirements and are fit for purpose Develop solutions to improve own productivity in using IT Test solutions to ensure that they work as intended Assessment criteria The learner can Knowledge Describe the purpose for using IT Describe the methods, skills and resources required to complete the task successfully Describe any factors that may affect the task Describe how the purpose and outcomes have been met by the chosen IT systems and software applications Describe any legal or local guidelines or constraints that may apply to the task or activity Describe whether the IT tools selected were appropriate for the task and purpose Assess strengths and weaknesses of final work Describe ways to make further improvements to work Review the benefits and drawbacks of IT tools and systems used, in terms of productivity and efficiency Describe ways to improve productivity and efficiency Knowledge, skills and understanding required An intermediate user can plan and review their use of predefined or commonly used IT tools for activities that are at times non-routine or unfamiliar. As a result of reviewing their work, they will be able to devise solutions to use IT tools to improve productivity. Any aspect that is unfamiliar will require support and advice from other people. An activity will typically be nonroutine 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. BCS Level 2 ECDL Certificate in IT Application Skills V1.4 Page 7 of 14

8 M/502/4622 IT User Presentation Software Level 2 Learning outcomes The learner will Performance Criteria Assessment criteria The learner can Knowledge Input and combine Enter text and other information using Identify what types of information are text and other layouts appropriate to type of information required for the presentation information within Insert charts and tables into presentation Identify any constraints which may presentation slides slides affect the presentation Insert images, video or sound to enhance the presentation Organise and combine information of different forms or from different sources for presentations Store and retrieve presentation files effectively, in line with local guidelines and conventions where available Use presentation Select, change and use appropriate Identify what slide structure and software tools to templates for slides themes to use structure, edit and Select and use appropriate techniques to Identify what presentation effects to format slide format slides and presentations use to enhance the presentation sequences Select and use appropriate techniques to edit slides and presentations to meet needs Select and use animation and transition effects appropriately to enhance slide sequences Prepare slideshow Prepare slideshow for presentation for presentation Check presentation meets needs, using IT tools and making corrections as necessary Identify and respond to any quality problems with presentations to ensure that presentations meet needs Describe how to present slides to meet needs and communicate effectively Knowledge, skills and understanding required An intermediate user can select and use a wide range of intermediate presentation software tools and techniques effectively to produce presentations that are at times nonroutine or unfamiliar. Any aspect that is unfamiliar may require support and advice from others. Presentation tools and techniques will be described as intermediate because: 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. BCS Level 2 ECDL Certificate in IT Application Skills V1.4 Page 8 of 14

9 F/502/4625 IT User Spreadsheet Software Level 2 Learning outcomes The learner will Performance Criteria Use a spreadsheet to enter, edit and organise numerical and other data Select and use appropriate formulas and data analysis tools to meet requirements Select and use tools and techniques to present and format spreadsheet information Assessment criteria The learner can Knowledge Enter and edit numerical and other data accurately Combine and link data across worksheets Store and retrieve spreadsheet files effectively, in line with local guidelines and conventions where available Select and use a range of appropriate functions and formulas to meet calculation requirements Use a range of tools and techniques to analyse and manipulate data to meet requirements Select and use appropriate tools and techniques to format spreadsheet cells, rows, columns and worksheets Select and format appropriate chart or graph type to display selected information Select and use appropriate page layout to present and print spreadsheet information Check information meets needs, using spreadsheet tools and making corrections as necessary Respond appropriately to any problems with spreadsheets Identify what numerical and other information is needed in the spreadsheet and how it should be structured Identify which tools and techniques to use to analyse and manipulate data to meet requirements Plan how to present and format spreadsheet information effectively to meet needs Describe how to find errors in spreadsheet formulas Knowledge, skills and understanding required An intermediate user can select and use a wide range of intermediate spreadsheet software tools and techniques to produce, present and check spreadsheets that are at times non-routine or unfamiliar. Any aspect that is unfamiliar may require support and advice from others. Spreadsheet software tools and techniques will be defined as intermediate because: the range of data entry, manipulation and outputting techniques will be at times nonroutine or unfamiliar; the tools, formulas and functions needed to analyse and interpret the data requires knowledge and understanding (for example, mathematical, logical, statistical or financial); and the user will take some responsibility for setting up or developing the structure and functionality of the spreadsheet. BCS Level 2 ECDL Certificate in IT Application Skills V1.4 Page 9 of 14

10 R/502/4628 IT User Word Processing Software Level 2 Learning outcomes The learner will Performance Criteria Assessment criteria The learner can Knowledge Enter and Use appropriate techniques to enter text combine text and and other information accurately and other information efficiently accurately within Select and use appropriate templates for word processing different purposes documents Select and use a range of editing tools to Create and modify layout and structures for word process documents Use word processing software tools to format and present documents effectively to meet requirements amend document content Combine or merge information within a document from a range of sources Store and retrieve document and template files effectively, in line with local guidelines and conventions where available Create and modify columns, tables and forms to organise information Select and apply styles to text Select and use appropriate techniques to format characters and paragraphs Select and use appropriate page and section layouts to present and print documents Check documents meet needs, using IT tools and making corrections as necessary Respond appropriately to quality problems with documents so that outcomes meet needs Identify what types of information are needed in documents Identify when and how to combine and merge information from other software or other documents Identify the document requirements for structure and style Identify what templates and styles are available and when to use them Identify how the document should be formatted to aid meaning Describe and quality problems with documents Knowledge, skills and understanding required An intermediate user can select and use a range of intermediate word processing software tools and techniques to produce documents that are at times non-routine or unfamiliar. Any aspect that is unfamiliar may require support and advice from others. Word processing tools and techniques will be described as intermediate because: the software tools and functions will be at times non-routine or unfamiliar; the choice of techniques will need to take account of a number of factors or elements; and the user will take some responsibility for the inputting, manipulating and outputting of the information. BCS Level 2 ECDL Certificate in IT Application Skills V1.4 Page 10 of 14

11 5. Assessment 5.1 Summary of assessment methods All units within this qualification are tested in controlled exam conditions using automated testing (see sections 5.5/5.6). As part of the BCS Level 2 ECDL Certificate in IT Application Skills qualification all four units must be completed using external assessment, in the form of automated testing (section 5.6). This exceeds the DfE requirement for 50% of the qualification being externally assessed. 5.2 Availability of assessments To be able to offer BCS Qualifications you need to become a BCS Approved centre. All staff members who are involved in the management, invigilation and training must be registered with BCS. Suitably qualified individuals may be registered for more than one role. At least two members of staff must be registered with BCS in one of the roles in order for the centre to retain centre approval. 5.3 Grading The BCS Level 2 ECDL Certificate in IT Application Skills qualification has a four-tier grading structure, ranging from Pass to Distinction-star. This grading structure has been developed to ensure consistency across our range of qualifications and to differentiate this qualification (as a Vocational Qualification) from GCSE qualifications. To achieve a Pass, a learner must obtain an overall mark of 70% or above. To achieve a Merit, a learner must obtain an overall mark of 75% or above. To achieve a Distinction, a learner must obtain an overall mark of 80% or above. To achieve a Distinction*, a learner must obtain an overall mark of 85% or above. The qualification grade will be determined by the average score across all units within the qualification. The pass mark across all units, with the exception of Improving Productivity using IT, is 75% and each assessment is pass/fail. The Improving Productivity using IT unit carries a pass mark of 55% (see section 5.4). BCS Level 2 ECDL Certificate in IT Application Skills V1.4 Page 11 of 14

12 5.4 Synoptic assessment Synoptic assessment can be defined as a form of assessment which requires a learner to demonstrate that they can identify and use effectively, in an integrated way, an appropriate selection of skills, techniques, concepts, theories, and knowledge from across the whole vocational area, which are relevant to a key task. The synoptic assessment element of this qualification is covered within the Improving Productivity using IT unit. In order to reflect the standards of competence expected by industry and employers, assessment of the Improving Productivity using IT unit must demonstrate that learners can apply their relevant skills and knowledge to develop a specified outcome, product or solution. The learner must independently determine, select and apply the necessary IT tools and techniques to achieve their goal. Learners should use skills gained in previous units to complete scenarios which prove their understanding of using IT to improve productivity. To successfully pass the Improving Productivity using IT unit, and therefore the full qualification, learners are required to achieve at least 55% in order to pass this assessment. 5.5 Externally assessed units External tests from BCS come in the form of automated tests. The tests cover all the units within the qualification and offer instant results to the learner. As part of the BCS Level 2 ECDL Certificate in IT Application Skills qualification all of the units must be completed using external assessment in the form of automated testing. 5.6 Specimen assessment materials Sample tests and diagnostic tests are available for all units. Diagnostic tests provide detailed feedback, advising of areas for improvement. 5.7 Support materials BCS provides the following resources specifically for this qualification: Description Syllabus Sample tests Unit guidance Courseware How to access Available on website Available on website Available on website Available from approved third party providers (see BCS Level 2 ECDL Certificate in IT Application Skills V1.4 Page 12 of 14

13 5.8 Access to Assessment BCS seeks to provide equal Access to Assessment for all learners, ensuring that there are no unnecessary barriers to assessment and that any reasonable adjustments for learners preserve the validity, reliability and integrity of the qualification. We will consider requests from BCS approved centres for reasonable adjustments and special considerations to be approved for a learner. The decision will be based on the individual needs of the learner as assessed by suitably qualified professionals. In promoting this policy, BCS aims to ensure that a learner is not disadvantaged in relation to other learners and their certificate accurately reflects their attainment. Further information about our access to assessment policy can be found on the Approved Centre Forum. BCS Level 2 ECDL Certificate in IT Application Skills V1.4 Page 13 of 14

14 6. Contact Points BCS Qualifications Client Services is committed to providing you with professional service and support at all times through a single, dedicated point of contact. With a flexible and proactive approach, our team will work together with you to ensure we deliver quality solutions that are right for you. BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT First Floor, Block D, North Star House, North Star Avenue, Swindon SN2 1FA T: +44 (0) E: W: If you require this document in accessible format please call +44 (0) BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, is the business name of The British Computer Society (registered charity no ). BCS Level 2 ECDL Certificate in IT Application Skills V1.4 Page 14 of 14

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