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Certa Qualification Purpose Statement
Certa Level 1 Certificate in IT User Skills (ITQ) (QCF)
600/9489/8 /
The Certa Level 1 Certificate in IT User Skills (ITQ) is a nationally recognised qualification. It enables learners with few or no formal qualifications to gain the knowledge and skills they need to progress to further learning in IT, eg, the Certa Level 2 Diploma in IT User Skills (ITQ). It also gives learners IT skills that they can apply at work and as part of their daily lives.
What does this qualification cover?
The Level 1 Certificate has 13 Credits so learners will need to study for up to 105 hours.
There is one mandatory unit of 3 credits, 'Improving Productivity Using IT'. This enables learners to plan which IT systems and software will meet their needs, and to try them out and evaluate them. The other 10 credits may be chosen from a wide range of IT units, so learners can build a programme that meets their individual needs. The units help learners develop the skills they need to progress to further learning in IT. They include units such as:
  • Database Software
  • Multimedia Software

  • Design Software
  • Presentation Software

  • IT Communications
  • Project Management Software

  • IT User Fundamentals
  • Spreadsheet Software

  • Imaging Software
  • Using Mobile IT Devices

What specific knowledge, skills and competences will the learner develop?
Learners will develop knowledge and understanding of the IT systems and software available to them, and how it can help improve their productivity. At the same time they will develop practical skills in a range of IT systems and software.
Who is this qualification for?
The Level 1 Certificate is for learners who want to learn some basic IT skills, eg, so they can progress to further learning at Level 2.
It is for learners who wish to develop their IT knowledge and skills, but who are not yet ready to study at Level 2. This may be because of they are still learning at school or college, or because of gaps in their skills or knowledge, perhaps because they are returning to study after some time.
Learners may be those who:
  • want to build confidence, skills, knowledge and understanding so they can progress to the next level in IT
  • plan to use IT as part of their job role in the future
  • need to update their IT skills to improve their chances of finding a job
  • are already in work and who want to build up their IT skills so they can get a better job
  • want to have their learning recognised by a formal qualification.
Are there any age restrictions?
The Certa Level 1 Certificate is for learners aged 14 years and over.
Do learners need any prior qualifications, attainment or experience?
There are no formal entry requirements.
How are learners assessed?
Tutors assess the Level 1 Certificate by a variety of tasks that learners build into a portfolio of work as their learning progresses. These will include practical assessments, such as building a spreadsheet, using a piece of software, or developing a powerpoint presentation.
All assessments will be in English (or British Sign Language by arrangement with Certa).
Are there different-sized versions of this qualification? If so, why should learners choose this one?
Learners should choose this Level 1 Certificate if they have not studied IT before, or have no formal qualifications in IT. It gives learners a solid foundation of knowledge and skills in IT at Level 1, enabling confident progression to Level 2.
Other qualifications in IT User Skills are shown in the table below. This Level 1 Certificate is shaded to show where it fits in the progression ladder.
LEVEL / SIZE / CREDITS / Maximum Learning Hours
Level 1 / Award / 9 / 75
Certificate / 13 / 105
Diploma / 37 / 300
Level 2 / Award / 10 / 75
Certificate / 16 / 125
Diploma / 38 / 300
Level 3 / Award / 12 / 95
Certificate / 25 / 200
Diploma / 39 / 310
The Certa Level 1 Certificate in IT User Skills (ITQ) will enable learners to progress to further learning in IT. For example, it leads to the Certa Level 2 Certificate in IT User Skills (ITQ).
Will the qualification lead to employment? If so, in which sector or job role, at what level?
This qualification is not available in an apprenticeship, and does not lead directly to employment. However, it will support learners who are wanting to develop IT skills that are useful in work, which may increase their chances of gaining employment in the future.
Learners who use the Certificate to progress to Level 2 may go on to train for a range of IT-related jobs, such as IT support worker, IT technician, IT help desk operative, systems support worker. More general work that may benefit include administrator, stock recorder, data input clerk, check-out operative, customer service support, sales support worker.
Will the qualification support progression to further learning?
The Level 1 Certificate enables learners to progress to further learning in IT, e.g., to the Certa Level 2 Certificate in IT User Skills (ITQ). From this, they could progress to a range of courses in IT at Level 3, and from there into further training in specialised IT areas, or into computing.
Learners can follow a personalised programme to help them prepare for learning at the next level, even if they have knowledge gaps, or have been out of education for some time.
The Level 1 Certificate enables progression to the following Certa Level 2 vocational qualifications:

 Certa Level 2 Diploma in IT User Skills (ITQ)

 Certa Level 2 Certificate in IT User Skills (ITQ)

 Certa Level 2 Diploma in Progression to Further Study in Computing

 Certa Level 2 Certificate in Progression

 Certa Level 2 Diploma in Work Preparation for ICT.

The Level 1 Certificate is the first step on a qualification ladder that can benefit learners no matter which employment sector they are aiming for. This is because IT skills are important in many job roles. Examples include:
  • progression into training in specialised IT areas, eg, to support a future job role
  • progression into computing, possibly in Higher Education, leading to a career in computing
  • training in IT as part of a Traineeship in which IT User Skills are an advantage, eg, engineering, construction, science, business
  • training in IT to support self-employment.

A number of Centres support this Level 1 Certificate, including those listed below.
  • Birley Community College (subcontractor of Sheffield City Council) UKPRN 10002244
  • Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council UKPRN 10002008
  • Open Door Adult Learning Centre UKPRN 10000688
The Centres are all based in Yorkshire and Humber, and are part of the Certa local learning community. The tutors attend regular training and best practice sessions. This enables them to learn from each other and from Certa, to maintain high standards for the course.
The Level 1 Certificate is part of the ITQ, a national Framework for recognising IT skills achievement that was developed with e-skills, the Sector Skills Council for Business, Information and Technology.
To find out if Certa offers this qualification near where you live, please contact
To find out more please go to:

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