Start IT - for IT Users (4249)

About these qualifications

New to IT? With the Award and Certificate for IT Users you can build your skills and gain the confidence you need to work effectively with computers.

These practical qualifications offer a flexible approach - you can choose to learn about word processing, spreadsheets and email or choose units covering specialist programmes for design and imaging or audio or video editing.

Start IT (iTQ) is based on National Standards developed in collaboration with e-skills UK.

Who are they for

The Award in Online basics backs Government's initiative to aid the digitally excluded, offering a basic introduction to email, the Internet and being safe online.

The Award for IT Users is ideal for anyone new to the world of computing. This first step in understanding IT can aid progression on to further qualifications.

The Award for IT Users (Microsoft Digital Literacy) is ideal for anyone new to the world of computing who wishes to follow the Microsoft Digital Literacy learning programme. This first step in understanding IT can aid progression on to further qualifications.

The Certificate for IT Users is for anyone who works, or wants to work, with computers and has little or no experience with IT.

No prior qualifications are required.

General Information

Available in following countries

  • England
  • Wales
  • Scotland
  • Northern Ireland

SmartScreen available for this qualification

SmartScreen is our online portal for tutor, assessors and learners that provides unit-specific support materials and tutor forums to complement the delivery and learning experience.


Learning Assistant available for this qualification

Learning Assistant is an innovative and cost effective e-portfolio solution that allows colleges and training providers to dramatically improve the delivery of their vocational qualifications.

Learning Assistant

Information & documentation

For Centres

To offer this qualification please submit an application and we’ll help you get set up - you can become a City & Guilds qualification provider within 30 days.


Assessment Materials

If we have downloadable assessment materials they will be listed here or under the qualification level tabs above. Passwords for any protected documents can be retrieved by logging in to and visiting the relevant qualification catalogue page. Passwords are securely stored under the Administration section.

Centre Documents

If we have documents for Centres available for download, they will be listed here or in the tabs above.

What's involved in delivering this course?

To deliver the Award and Certificate you'll need to provide your learners with a suitable learning environment.

You'll assess learners using practical assignments or multiple-choice tests or portfolio of work depending on the learner's needs and units they choose.

You must ensure learners can access sufficient IT equipment to cover all of the practical activities - this might be at the centre or in their workplace.

The equipment should replicate equipment found in a normal working environment, with a standard operating system and some common productivity software tools installed.

You can get fast-track approval if you offer the Certificate in Start IT (4248).

To find all the resource requirements for assessment and delivery, download the qualification handbook from the centre documents section.

For everyone

Additional Documents

If we have documents for Centres available for download, they will be listed here or in the tabs above.

For Learners

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What's involved in studying this course?

You'll cover things like:

  • Computer Basics
  • Computer Security and Privacy
  • Use of Mobile Technology
  • Word processing
  • Spreadsheets.

For a full list of units, including optional units, please see the qualification handbook for more details.

Centres may choose to teach in group sessions or use a variety of materials to allow for individual study. In addition, the learning need not take place in a centre, but can be part of an employer training programme.

You'll be assessed using practical assignments, multiple choice tests or portfolio of evidence. The methods of assessing you will depend on the units taken and whether you are part of a taught class, working on a project or learning through

Is this Level right for me?

Entry Level 3
You have little or no IT experience and would like to gain confidence in using computers and the latest IT technology. You might also be looking to gain the background knowledge you need to progress on to and complete a Level 1 qualification for IT users.

What careers can this lead to?

Start IT (ITQ) can help provide the confidence to use IT within the workplace, at home or progress to further learning.

If you'd like to get ahead in your career by advancing your IT skills even further, you might consider progressing on to one of these Level 1 qualifications:

  • Award in IT Systems Support - PC Maintenance (7276-11)
  • iTQ Award/Certificate/Diploma for IT Users (7574-01).