Unit of competency details

ICAU1128B - Operate a personal computer (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to ICAICT101A - Operate a personal computerThis unit replaces ICAU1128B Operate a personal computer 17/Jul/2011
Is superseded by and equivalent to ICAICT201A - Use computer operating systems and hardwareOutcomes deemed equivalent to combined units. Prerequisite unit removed. Added application of unit. Changes to range statement, required skills and knowledge and evidence guide. 17/Jul/2011

Release Status:
ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 08/Jul/2010

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
PUA00 - Public Safety Training PackagePublic Safety Training Package 8.1 
CPC08 - Construction, Plumbing and Services Training PackageConstruction, Plumbing and Services Training Package 6.0-7.0 
SIS10 - Sport, Fitness and Recreation Training PackageSport, Fitness and Recreation Training Package 1.2-1.3 
CPP07 - Property Services Training PackageProperty Services Training Package 7.0-12.0 
CHC08 - Community Services Training PackageCommunity Services Training Package 3.0-4.1 
ICA05 - Information and Communications Technology Training PackageInformation and Communications Technology Training Package 3.1 
DEF12 - Defence Training PackageDefence Training Package 1.0-2.0 
CUF07 - Screen and Media Training PackageScreen and Media Training Package 1.2 

Qualifications that include this unit

CodeSort Table listing Qualifications that include this unit by the Code columnTitleSort Table listing Qualifications that include this unit by the Title columnRelease
PUA20910 - Certificate II in Public Safety (Communications Operations)Certificate II in Public Safety (Communications Operations)
ICA10105 - Certificate I in Information TechnologyCertificate I in Information Technology
CPC50108 - Diploma of Building SurveyingDiploma of Building Surveying
SIS10110 - Certificate I in Sport and RecreationCertificate I in Sport and Recreation1-2 
DEF20912 - Certificate II in Communications OperationsCertificate II in Communications Operations1-2 
CPP20111 - Certificate II in Surveying and Spatial Information ServicesCertificate II in Surveying and Spatial Information Services
CPC60108 - Advanced Diploma of Building SurveyingAdvanced Diploma of Building Surveying
CHC30808 - Certificate III in Education SupportCertificate III in Education Support
CUF10107 - Certificate I in Creative IndustriesCertificate I in Creative Industries
Items per page 10 | 20 | 50 | 100
Displaying items 1 - 9 of 9


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  19/Jun/2008 
The content being displayed has been produced by a third party, while all attempts have been made to make this content as accessible as possible it cannot be guaranteed. If you are encountering issues following the content on this page please consider downloading the content in its original form

Modification History

Not Applicable

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit defines the competency required to operate a personal computer, including starting the PC, logging in, using and understanding desktop icons and their links to underlying programs, navigating a directory structure, saving work, printing, closing down the PC.

The following unit is linked and forms an appropriate cluster:

  • ICAU1129B Operate a word processing application

No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of publication.

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Refer to Unit Descriptor


Prerequisite units 

Employability Skills Information

Employability skills 

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

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. Start the computer

1.1. Check peripheral device  connections for correct position

1.2. Switch on power at both the power point and computer 

2. Access basic system information

2.1. Insert user name and password as prompted and note access, privacy, security and related conditions of use displayed on introductory screens

2.2. Navigate through the operating system  to access system information to identify system configuration and application versions in operation

2.3. Use on -line help functions  as required

3. Navigate and manipulate desktop environment

3.1. Create and customise desktop icons

3.2. Select, open and close desktop icons to access application programs 

3.3. Manipulate application windows and return desktop to original condition

4. Organise basic directory/folder structure and files

4.1. Create and name directories and subdirectories

4.2. Identify attributes  of directories

4.3. Move subdirectories between directories

4.4. Rename directories as required

4.5. Access directories and subdirectories via different paths

5. Organise files for user and/or organisation requirements

5.1. Use system browser  to search drives for specific files

5.2. Access the most commonly used types of files in the directories 

5.3. Select, open and rename groups of files as required

5.4. Move files between directories

5.5. Copy files to disk 

5.6. Restore deleted files as necessary

5.7. Erase and format disks  as necessary

6. Print information

6.1. Add a printer if required and ensure correct printer settings 

6.2. Change the default printer if appropriate

6.3. Print information from an installed printer

6.4. View and delete progress of print jobs as required

7. Shut down computer

7.1. Save any work to be retained and close all open application programs correctly

7.2. Shut down computer correctly

Required Skills and Knowledge


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

Required skills 

  • Saving and retrieving files to various locations
  • Mouse management (button usage) for different applications
  • Reading and writing at a level where basic workplace documents are understood
  • Ability to communicate with peers and supervisors
  • Seeking assistance and expert advice
  • Interpretation of user manuals and help functions
  • The ability to input user access details for accessing a personal computer (PC) (possibly a networked environment)

Required knowledge 

  • Basic keyboarding skills
  • Computer functions
  • Basic parts of a computer and various hardware components
  • Storage devices and basic categories
  • Basic software operation

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 following is essential:

  • Assessment must confirm the ability to use software, navigate around the desktop, use system features to perform tasks, and save results of work.

To demonstrate competency in this unit the person will require access to:

  • Personal computer
  • Printer
  • Mouse and keyboard
  • Monitor
  • Basic software

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Using a personal computer is an essential business function and basic core skill in most workplaces. Demonstration of this competency will require:

  • Knowledge of PC operations in a narrow range of areas
  • Basic PC practical skills
  • Performing a sequence of routine tasks after having received clear direction
  • Receiving and passing on messages and information.

The breadth, depth and complexity of knowledge and skills in this competency would prepare a person to perform a defined range of activities many of which may be routine and predictable.

Assessment must ensure:

  • Demonstration of knowledge by recall in a narrow range of areas; demonstrating basic practical skills, such as the use of relevant tools and applications; performing a sequence of routine tasks given clear direction; and receiving and passing on messages or information.

  • Applications may include a variety of employment related skills including preparatory access and participation skills, broad-based induction skills and/or specific workplace skills. They may also include participation in a team or work group.

Method of assessment 

The purpose of this unit is to define the standard of performance to be achieved in the workplace. In undertaking training and assessment activities related to this unit, consideration should be given to the implementation of appropriate diversity and accessibility practices in order to accommodate people who may have special needs. Additional guidance on these and related matters is provided in ICA05 Section 1

  • Competency in this unit should be assessed using summative assessment to ensure consistency of performance in a range of contexts. This unit can be assessed either in the workplace or in a simulated environment. However, simulated activities must closely reflect the workplace to enable full demonstration of competency.

  • Assessment will usually include observation of real or simulated work processes and procedures and/or performance in a project context as well as questioning on underpinning knowledge and skills. The questioning of team members, supervisors, subordinates, peers and clients where appropriate may provide valuable input to the assessment process. The interdependence of units for assessment purposes may vary with the particular project or scenario.

Guidance information for assessment 

Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role is recommended, for example:

  • ICAU1129B Operate a word processing application

An individual demonstrating this competency would be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge by recall in a narrow range of areas
  • Demonstrate basic practical skills, such as the use of relevant tools
  • Perform a sequence of routine tasks given clear direction
  • Receive and pass on messages and information
  • Maintain knowledge of industry products and services

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.

Peripheral device  may include but is not limited to:

  • mouse
  • keyboard
  • visual display unit
  • monitor
  • printer

Computer  may include:

  • laptops
  • workstations
  • servers
  • other devices

Application programs  may include:

  • database programs
  • word processors
  • email programs
  • internet browsers
  • system browsers
  • spreadsheets

Operating System  may include but is not limited to:

  • Linux 7.0 or above
  • Windows 2000 or above
  • Apple OS X or above

System information  may include but is not limited to:

  • hardware and software components that run a computer

On -line help functions 

  • An instruction manual or a portion of the manual, integrated into the program


  • Indicates several properties of the directory. For example, they indicate whether the directory is read-only, whether it needs to be backed up, and whether it is visible or hidden

System browser  may include but is not limited to:

  • Windows Explorer
  • Konqueror

Disks  may include but are not limited to:

  • floppy disks
  • CDs
  • CD-RW (compact disks-read write)
  • DVD RW
  • zip disks
  • flash drives
  • solid state hard drives

Printer settings  may include:

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

Information  may include but is not limited to:

  • documents
  • test pages
  • web pages
  • other output

Unit Sector(s)

Unit sector 


Co-requisite units

Co-requisite units 

Competency field

Competency field