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Virtual Assistant Distance Learning Course Plus ECDL - Distance

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  • Academic Title
    On successful completion of the assignments you will receive a UK Open Learning Diploma. Also if you decide to complete the ECDL exams then you will gain a nationally recognised qualification.
  • Course description

    Tutor Support

    You can contact your tutor by e-mail or post. This will last for one full year from the day you receive the course, to complete this course it will take in the region of 90 study hours which can be spread over a 12 month period to suit the student.

    Course Guide:

    We advise students to read through the full course before attempting any assignments. After you have completed one assignments you send that off to your tutor for marking by e-mail and wait for your results.


    Students can gain a pass, fail or re-submit.

    A pass means that you can move onto the next section, a fail asks you to submit another answer as there was not sufficient information included and a re-submit will ask you to include a little bit more information (your tutor will give you a few pointers as how to improve your work.) There is no word count for these assignments however you must prove to the tutor that you have fully understood the question asked.

    How this Course works

    This is a self-study course includes the Approved ECDL Interactive Learning which covers the entire ECDL syllabus which can be run from your PC. You can start and stop the course and complete it at your own pace. When you have completed the course you can then sit the exam in one of the many assessment centres across the UK.

    The Virtual Assistant section is paper based and comes in a study folder.

    Course Syllabus – Virtual Assistant Section

    Unit 1:         What is a Virtual Assistant?
    • What is a Virtual Assistant?
    • Who uses a Virtual Assistant and Why?
    • What tasks can a Virtual Assistant do?
    • What skills will a Virtual Assistant need?
    • Issues to Consider When Setting up a Home Office
    • What organisations are available to Virtual Assistants?

    Unit 2:         How You to Market yourself as a VA?
    • Tips on where to Market your Business
    • How to write a Marketing Plan
    • Marketing in other Countries

    Unit 3:         Starting Your Own Business – Decisions
    • How to succeed with your business
    • How to start up your new business
    • Getting the right mindset

    Unit 4:         Starting a Business from Scratch
    • Why start a Business from Scratch
    • Buying an Existing Business
    • Buying a Franchise

    Unit 5:         Recruiting Staff
    • How to Recruit Staff
    • The Process in Recruiting

    Unit 6:         Dealing with Staff
    • Introduction to Dealing with Staff
    • Paying Staff
    • Training & Development
    • The Law
    • Discrimination
    • Health & Safety
    • Trade Unions
    • Taxation

    Unit 7:         Fraud & Theft
    • Protect Your Business: Stop Fraud before It Starts
    • Theft of money...
    • Theft of inventory or equipment...
    • Theft of intellectual property.

    Unit 8:         The Business Plan
    • Understand the role of the business plan
    • Reasons for developing a business plan
    • Identify sources to get help in developing a business plan
    • Identify the type of information to include in a business plan
    • Prepare an outline of a business plan

    Unit 9:         Customer Care an Introduction
    • What is Customer Care?
    • Defining Customer Care
    • Characteristics of Effective Customer Care

    Unit 10: Customer Care and the Benefits
    • Increase in profits
    • Customer loyalty and long –term profitability
    • Fewer complaints
    • Staff know what is expected of them
    • More pleasant work environment
    • Customer integration and specialisation

    Unit 11: Considering a Policy & Plan?
    • Who are our current and potential customers, their characteristics and needs?
    • Staff interfacing with customers
    • What tangible or intangible assets does the company currently have?
    • Competitor Characteristics
    • Improvements and Additions To Customer Care And Service

    Unit 12: Customer Care and You
    • The Right Attitude
    • Looking and Sounding Right
    • Having the Right Information
    • Keeping Control
    • Working within a Team
    • Customer Complaints
    • Answering the Phone
    • A Checklist

    Unit 13: Customer Care and Service Plans
    • Contents of The Plan
    • The Advantages of Planning
    • Objectives, Strategies And Tactics
    • Forecast or Assumptions Of Outcomes
    • A Simple Case on Customer Care Planning
    • Company Polices
    • People Make A Plan Work
    • Current Customer Care and Services

    Unit 14: Basics of the Internet
    • Internet Basics
    • How the Internet Works
    • Internet Access
    • Understanding Email
    • About the Web
    • Internet Safety
    • Learning about Viruses

    Unit 15: Creating a Web Site
    • Introduction
    • Graphic Design
    • Web site Content
    • Navigation
    • Key Points to Remember

    Unit 16:       Meetings Skills
    • Introduction
    • Why do we have meetings?
    • Important things to know about meetings
    • How to plan a meeting
    • How to run a meeting

    Unit 17: Introduction to Conflict Management
    • What do organisations use conflict management for?
    • Important things to know about "conflict" and "conflict management":
    • How to identify signs and stages of conflict
    • How to build teamwork and co-operation
    • How to manage and resolve conflict situations
    • Outline for a Mediation Session
    • Mediation Guidelines

    Unit 18: Introduction to Planning
    • What do you use planning and evaluation for?
    • Important things to know about planning and evaluation
    • How to ensure planning is useful and contributes to effective results
    • How to plan – 8 basic planning steps

    Unit 19: Introduction to Proof Reading
    • Introduction
    • What is Proof Reading?
    • Tips on Proof Reading

    Unit 20: Managing Stress
    • Introduction
    • What is Stress?
    • Symptoms of Stress
    • Causes of Stress
    • How to Reduce Stress

    Unit 21: Managing your Time
    • Introduction
    • Managing Time step 1
    • Managing Time step 2
    • Schedules

    Unit 22: Small Business Bookkeeping
    • Introduction
    • Three Steps to Keeping Your Books
    • Bookkeeping Systems, Software and Method
    • Accounting Terms Every Business person Should Know

    Unit 23: Inland Revenue Requirements
    • What type of Business are you?
    • Registering as self-employed
    • How to pay your Class 2 National Insurance contributions (NICs)
    • Basic Tax Records you must keep.

    Course Syllabus – ECDL

    European Computing

    Driving Licence V5 Essentials and Extra

    ECDL is the international standard in end-user computer skills.

    The ECDL Syllabus consists of 7 modules which define the skills and competencies necessary to be a proficient user of a computer and common computer applications.

    In order to achieve the ECDL certification, individuals must pass a test for each of the 7 modules. ECDL Module 1 is a theoretical test of computing knowledge at a general level, while modules 2-7 are predominantly practical skills tests.

    Individuals who have achieved the ECDL / ICDL certification can successfully demonstrate their competence in the use of a computer and common computer applications.

    Module 1: Security for IT Users

    This module enables candidates to gain an understanding of the necessity for hardware and data security. On completion of this module each candidate will:
    • Know what ‘spam’ and how to protect against unwanted messages,
    • Understand what malicious programs are, such as viruses and spyware
    • Understand how to protect against malicious programs and intrusions
    • Understand that passwords and PINs help to protect information from the risk of unauthorised access
    • Understand what a public network is and the best practices when using an unsecure network
    • Know what Bluetooth is and understand how to prevent unauthorised access to a Bluetooth device by others
    • Understand the vulnerability of  portable storage devices
    • Understand the IT security guidelines and privacy policies within your organisation
    • Understand the need to, and importance of, backing up data, and how to store data securely

    Module 2: IT User Fundamentals

    This module requires candidates to demonstrate knowledge and competence in using the common functions of a personal computer and its operating system. It teaches how to adjust the main settings, use the built-in help features and deal with an application that is not responding.

    Candidates will learn to operate effectively within the desktop environment and work with desktop icons and windows. This module addresses how to manage and organise files and directories/folders, and how to duplicate, move and delete files and directories/folders, and compress and extract files.

    On completion of this module each candidate will be able to:
    • Use the main features of the operating system including adjusting the main computer settings and using built-in help features
    • Operate the computer desktop effectively and work in a graphical user environment
    • Understand about the main concepts of file management and be able to efficiently organise files and folders so that they are easy to identify and find
    • Understand best Health and Safety practices when using a PC
    • Identify the main purposes of data protection

    Module 3: Word Processing

    This module enables candidates to demonstrate the ability to use a word processing application to accomplish everyday tasks associated with creating, formatting and finishing small-sized word processing documents such as letters and other everyday documents.

    Candidates will be able to duplicate and move text within and between documents. They gain competence in using some of the features associated with word processing applications such as creating standard tables, using pictures and images within a document, and using mail merge tools.

    On completion of this module each candidate will be able to:
    • Work with documents and save them in different file formats
    • Choose built-in options such as the Help function to enhance productivity
    • Create and edit small-sized word processing documents that will be ready to share and distribute
    • Apply different formats to documents to enhance them before distribution and recognise good practice in choosing the appropriate formatting options
    • Insert tables, images and drawn objects into documents
    • Prepare documents for mail merge operations
    • Adjust document page settings and check and correct spelling before finally printing documents

    Module 4: Spreadsheets

    This module enables candidates to understand the concept of spreadsheets and to demonstrate the ability to use a spreadsheet application. 

    Candidates will understand and be able to accomplish tasks associated with developing, formatting, modifying and using a spreadsheet of limited scope ready for distribution.

    They will also be able to generate and apply standard mathematical and logical formulas using standard formulas and functions, and demonstrate competence in creating and formatting graphs or charts.

    On completion of this module each candidate will be able to:
    • Work with spreadsheets and save them in different file formats
    • Choose built-in options such as the Help function within the application to enhance productivity
    • Enter data into cells and use good practice in creating lists; Select, sort and copy, move and delete data
    • Edit rows and columns in a worksheet; Copy, move, delete, and appropriately rename worksheets
    • Create mathematical and logical formulas using standard spreadsheet functions; Use good practice in formula creation and recognise error values in formulas
    • Format numbers and text content in a spreadsheet
    • Choose, create, and format charts to communicate information meaningfully
    • Adjust spreadsheet page settings and check and correct spreadsheet content before finally printing spreadsheets

    Module 5: Using Databases

    This module enables candidates to understand some of the main concepts of databases and demonstrate the ability to use a database application. 

    This includes creating and modifying tables, queries, forms and reports, and preparing outputs ready for distribution, as well as learning to relate tables and to retrieve and manipulate information from a database by using query and sort tools.

    On completion of this module each candidate will be able to:
    • Understand what a database is and how it is organised and operated
    • Create a simple database and view the database content in various modes
    • Create a table, define and modify fields and their properties, and enter and edit data in a table
    • Sort and filter a table or form and create, modify, and run queries to retrieve specific information from a database
    • Understand what a form is and create a form to enter, modify, and delete records and data
    • Create routine reports and prepare outputs ready for distribution

    Module 6: Presentation

    This module enables candidates to demonstrate competence in using presentation tools on a computer. Candidates will be able to accomplish tasks such as creating, formatting, modifying and preparing presentations using different slide layouts for display and printed distribution.

    They will also learn to duplicate and move text, pictures, images and charts within the presentation and between presentations, as well as be able to accomplish common operations with images, charts and drawn objects and to use various slide show effects.

    On completion of this module each candidate will be able to:
    • Work with presentations and save them in different file formats
    • Choose built-in options such as the Help function within the application to enhance productivity
    • Understand different presentation views and when to use them, choose different slide layouts and designs
    • Enter, edit, and format text in presentations. Recognise good practice in applying unique titles to slides
    • Choose, create, and format charts to communicate information meaningfully
    • Insert and edit pictures, images, and drawn objects
    • Apply animation and transition effects to presentations and check and correct presentation content before finally printing and giving presentations      

    Module 7: Using Email and the Internet This module is divided into two sections. The first section on the Internet requires candidates to understand some of the concepts and terms associated with using the browsing the web, and to appreciate some of the security considerations. In the second section, Using Email, candidates will learn to understand some of the concepts of electronic mail (email), and gain the ability to use email software to send and receive messages, and to attach files to mail messages. On completion of this module each candidate will be able to:

    Understand what the Internet is and common terms associated with it, and be aware of some security considerations when using the Internet
    • Accomplish everyday web browsing tasks including changing browser settings
    • Search for information and complete and submit web-based forms
    • Save web pages, download files from the web, and copy web content into a document
    • Understand what email is, know some advantages and disadvantages of its use, and be aware of other communication options
    • Be aware of network etiquette and security considerations when using email
    • Create, spell check and send email; Reply to and forward email, handle file attachments and print an email
    • Be aware of ways to enhance productivity when working with email software and to organise and manage email

    Improving Productivity Using IT

    The use of IT tools and systems can improve the productivity and efficiency of activities in a variety of contexts. The Improving Productivity Using IT module teaches candidates to plan, select, and use appropriate IT systems and software for different purposes, and to evaluate the selection and use of IT tools to ensure their solutions are successful. The module also helps candidates to research and develop solutions that make a demonstrable improvement to the use of IT tools and systems.

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