Unit of competency details

ICAICT101A - Operate a personal computer (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Supersedes and is equivalent to ICAU1128B - Operate a personal computerThis unit replaces ICAU1128B Operate a personal computer 17/Jul/2011
Is superseded by and equivalent to ICTICT101 - Operate a personal computerUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages. Minor edits to clarify intent of performance criteria. 24/Mar/2015

Release Status:
ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 18/Jul/2011

Training packages that include this unit

CodeSort Table listing Training packages that include this unit by the Code columnTitleSort Table listing Training packages that include this unit by the Title columnRelease
SIS10 - Sport, Fitness and Recreation Training PackageSport, Fitness and Recreation Training Package 2.0-3.1 
CPP07 - Property Services Training PackageProperty Services Training Package 12.0-14.6 
ICA11 - Information and Communications Technology Training PackageInformation and Communications Technology Training Package 1.0-2.0 
CUA11 - Live Performance Training PackageLive Performance Training Package 1.0 
CHC08 - Community Services Training PackageCommunity Services Training Package 4.0-4.2 
CUA - Creative Arts and Culture Training PackageCreative Arts and Culture Training Package 1.0 

Accredited courses that have this unit in the completion mapping

CodeSort Table listing Accredited courses that have this unit in the completion mapping by the Code columnTitleSort Table listing Accredited courses that have this unit in the completion mapping by the Title column
10076NAT - Certificate II in Foundations for Vocational and Further StudyCertificate II in Foundations for Vocational and Further Study 
10253NAT - Certificate II in Women's EducationCertificate II in Women's Education 
10266NAT - Certificate II in Education and Skills DevelopmentCertificate II in Education and Skills Development 
10096NAT - Certificate I in Preparation for Work and Study (Introductory)Certificate I in Preparation for Work and Study (Introductory) 
10097NAT - Certificate I in Preparation for Work and StudyCertificate I in Preparation for Work and Study 
10077NAT - Certificate II in Skills for Work and StudyCertificate II in Skills for Work and Study 
10089NAT - Certificate II in Skills for Work and TrainingCertificate II in Skills for Work and Training 
91454NSW - Certificate III in Preparation For Vocational And Further StudyCertificate III in Preparation For Vocational And Further Study 
10091NAT - Certificate III in Employment and TrainingCertificate III in Employment and Training 
10306NAT - Certificate II in Functional LiteracyCertificate II in Functional Literacy 
10217NAT - Certificate II in Aboriginal Language/sCertificate II in Aboriginal Language/s 
10218NAT - Certificate I in Aboriginal Language/sCertificate I in Aboriginal Language/s 
22263VIC - Certificate IV in Integrated TechnologiesCertificate IV in Integrated Technologies 


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 080905 Practical Computing Skills  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 080905 Practical Computing Skills  04/Nov/2011 
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Modification History




This version first released with ICA11 Information and Communications Technology Training Package version 1.0

Unit Descriptor

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to operate a personal computer (PC) in a home or small office environment.

This entry level unit provides the learner with information technology (IT) literacy skills in setting up a personal computer, accessing files with application programs, sending and retrieving emails, using the internet, using peripheral devices, such as printers, scanners, webcams and data projectors, applying basic security procedures and power-management settings, and backing up and shutting down a personal computer.

Application of the Unit

This unit applies to workers who require the IT literacy skills to operate a personal computer in a small office environment, such as hospitality industry, real estate office, medical centre and school office.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of endorsement but users should confirm requirements with the relevant federal, state or territory authority


Not applicable.

Employability Skills Information

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content


Performance Criteria 

Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised text is used, further information is detailed in the required skills and knowledge section and the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

Elements and Performance Criteria

1. Prepare to use the personal computer

1.1 Identify physical components  and associated peripheral devices  of the personal computer  to become familiar with the available network

1.2 Check physical connectivity  of devices to ensure correct operation and performance

1.3 Boot up and follow procedures  to activate the computer

2. Manage computer configurations

2.1 Alter the computer settings  to best suit the user

2.2 Configure power-management settings  to minimise power consumption as an environmentally sustainable measure

2.3 Identify operating system  and the application programs  loaded on the computer to determine computer capability

2.4 Conduct basic software installation and removal to improve computer capability

2.5 Navigate and manipulate desktop environment to create and customise desktop icons and access application programs

3. Access and use basic application programs

3.1 Open a folder with file documents containing basic office applications , make minor changes  and save in a different folder

3.2 Send and retrieve a simple email message using the desktop icon to communicate with other parties

3.3 Access the internet using the web browser to view and conduct basic web information search

3.4 Use firewall and antivirus and malware scans to reduce security risks and threats  in the system

4. Access and use basic peripheral devices

4.1 Access external storage devices to retrieve, copy, move and save information in different mediums and locations

4.2 Use printer settings  on an installed printer to print a document

4.3 Access audiovisual (AV) devices  to view and play a multimedia file

5. Shut down computer

5.1 Back up important documents and programs to minimise risk of data loss

5.2 Save any work to be retained and close open application programs

5.3 Shut down computer and switch off any unused peripheral devices

Required Skills and Knowledge

This section describes the skills and knowledge required for this unit.

Required skills 

  • communication skills to:
  • communicate with peers and supervisors
  • read and write basic workplace documents
  • seek assistance and expert advice
  • literacy skills to interpret user manuals and help functions
  • technical skills to:
  • apply basic keyboarding skills
  • apply power-management settings
  • back up and save information
  • input user-access details for accessing a PC
  • install and remove software
  • manage mouse for different applications
  • save and retrieve files to and from various locations
  • send and retrieve emails
  • use peripheral and storage devices
  • use the internet.

Required knowledge 

  • basic parts of a computer and various hardware components
  • basic software operation and application packages
  • basic computer functions, including security functions
  • peripheral devices
  • storage devices.

Evidence Guide

The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Overview of assessment 

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit 

Evidence of the ability to:

  • use hardware and software
  • navigate around the desktop
  • use system features to perform tasks
  • save results of work.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure access to:

  • appropriate learning and assessment support when required
  • personal computer, including printer, mouse, keyboard and monitor
  • use of basic software currently used in industry.

Where applicable, physical resources should include equipment modified for people with special needs.

Method of assessment 

A range of assessment methods should be used to assess practical skills and knowledge. The following examples are appropriate for this unit:

  • verbal or written questioning to assess candidate’s knowledge of PC operations
  • direct observation of candidate performing basic PC operations
  • direct observation of candidate performing a sequence of routine tasks following clear directions.

Guidance information for assessment 

Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role is recommended, where appropriate.

Assessment processes and techniques must be culturally appropriate, and suitable to the communication skill level, language, literacy and numeracy capacity of the candidate and the work being performed.

Indigenous people and other people from a non-English speaking background may need additional support.

In cases where practical assessment is used it should be combined with targeted questioning to assess required knowledge.

Range Statement

The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

Physical components  may include:

  • keyboard
  • monitor
  • mouse
  • processor.

Peripheral devices  may include:

  • AV device
  • external memory device
  • multicard reader and writer
  • network element:
  • broadband router
  • digital subscriber line (DSL) and cable modem
  • hub
  • wireless device
  • personal digital assistant (PDA) and MP3 player
  • printer
  • scanner
  • smartphone
  • tablet
  • uninterruptible power supply (UPS)
  • universal serial bus (USB) dongle, such as:
  • Bluetooth
  • flash memory
  • wireless device.

Personal computer  may include:

  • communications system
  • desktop
  • laptop
  • server
  • workstation.

Connectivity  may include:

  • AV connection
  • cable, wireless, infra-red or Bluetooth connection
  • internal connection or USB dongle
  • network or stand-alone computer
  • ports:
  • firewire
  • high definition multimedia interface (HDMI)
  • printer
  • USB.

Procedures  may include:

  • fingerscan
  • smartcard
  • user name and password.

Settings  may include:

  • monitor settings:
  • brightness
  • colour
  • contrast
  • mouse settings:
  • buttons
  • speed.

Power-management settings  after a period of non-use may include:

  • automatic power off
  • hibernation settings
  • monitor power-saver settings.

Operating system  may include:

  • open source
  • proprietary:
  • Mac
  • Unix or Linux
  • Windows.

Application programs  may include:

  • email
  • instant messaging
  • internet or web browsers
  • internet protocol (IP) voice applications, such as Skype
  • media players
  • office applications
  • power-management software
  • search engines
  • Windows Explorer.

Basic office applications  may include:

  • media files
  • PowerPoint
  • spreadsheets
  • word processor.

Minor changes  may include:

  • altering basic text
  • renaming documents.

Security risks and threats  may include:

  • security threats:
  • cookies media used for backup
  • pop-ups
  • screen visibility
  • spam
  • trojan horses
  • unauthorised access:
  • adware
  • hackers
  • identity fraud
  • malware
  • phishing
  • spyware
  • viruses
  • web browser risks
  • worms.

Storage devices  may include:

  • disks:
  • CD
  • DVD
  • blu-ray
  • flash drives
  • server
  • solid state hard drives
  • virtual devices.

Printer settings  may include:

  • cartridge type
  • layout
  • number of copies
  • orientation
  • paper size
  • paper tray.

Audiovisual devices  may include:

  • data projector
  • external monitor
  • headset
  • microphone
  • speakers
  • webcam or digital camera.

Unit Sector(s)

General ICT

Custom Content Section

Not applicable.