NVQ Level 3: Produce Documents in a Business Environment
Introduction to This Unit
This is a Group B optional unit at Level 3 with 4 credits. Candidates will have a thorough knowledge and hands-on skills related to the purpose of producing high-quality documents. They will need to know what resources are available in the organisation / company and how to use them, follow all the policies and procedures to produce documents, use resources effectively and stay by the specifications.
1.1 Give examples of different types of documents that may be produced for the business environment and explain different styles that can be used.
There are many different types of documents that may be produced in a business environment. These include: fax documents, business cards, memo, agendas, minutes, spreadsheets, analysis charts, data sheets, letters, slide shows and many more. They all have different purposes and uses;
These are used to give the customer information on how to contact the company. It can be small cards.
Another type of document used in business is a Fax document; These are very useful in business and are the fastest ways to transmit documents. These are in paper format, either in colour or black and white.
Agendas tell you what is going to take place. They help people get organised so that they know exactly what they should do and what is going to happen. These are in paper format when taken to meetings, and can be distributed electronically.
Memos are used for informal communication with an organisation and can be in either paper or electronic format.
These have details of what took place at a meeting. These can be printed off in paper for meetings and can be distributed electronically.
These can be used for various purposes, from statistical to analytical. These are in electronic formats, can be managed in same book or as different sheets according to needs.
These can be either graphs or diagrams that help to monitor performance statistics. These are also in electronic format and can be printed off in paper when required.
These sheets can be in either word or excel format. These can be used to collate particular data to be communicated within or out of organisations, or also to monitor statistics and performances.
These are documents used for different types of communications in all departments for various purposes. There are various types of letters, formal, informal, business etc.
These are PowerPoint documents and are used for demonstration purposes in meetings. These are in electronic format and can be printed off if need be.
1.2 Give examples and explain different formats used for text.
When you save a document you can set the file name and where you want to store the file on your computer.
You can change the file format as well. When changing the format, it is the design, the layout or the fonts that changes. It is a totally different format whereas the content remains the same.
Each word processor has its own storage format. Many text files use plain text (.txt), Rich Text Format (.rtf) as well as Microsoft Word (.doc) and now .docx. But there are facilities to import and export in Word format.
RTF files can be read by every word processing package and their size is smaller.
PDF is another portable file format that is not editable. However there are a few editable ones which allow for certain fields which have text boxes that allow inputting data. PDF files can be converted to word and formatted and then converted back to PDF if necessary. But PDFs are always used for finished documents that do not require further editing. If you are sending out documents out to others that do not require or should not be edited, it is best to send it out as PDF.
1.3 What is the purpose and benefits of producing high-quality and attractive documents?
The documents that you produce for your organisation are an image or representation of your organisation. So it automatically creates an impression on the reader about the standards of the organisation and how it values its customers. A good quality document also looks good on the reader's eyes, and is easy to follow and read.
Good quality documents attract customers and suppliers, thereby increasing the profit for the organisation. It helps with the improvement of various fields and increases creativity in what you do, which in turn will attract customers. A neatly produced document will have step by step explanation or plan or statistics of what is asked for and will help identify, manage and monitor risks. This will in turn help the organisation care and be responsible for their customers.
Also, the quality of your documents is a reflection of you.
2.1 Explain the different resources required to produce high-quality and attractive documents.
Resources you might need to produce high quality and attractive document are
1. A high quality photocopier and photocopier user so that you get a neat and clear print
2. A high quality printer for quality print outs
3. Scanner, so that you are able to scan documents in their original form.
4. Computer to process and operate all the above machines
5. High quality software i.e. Microsoft Word for word processing
6. A capable or qualified typist to produce the document so that the document is prepared in the required format and layout
7. Probably a cover or binding for that neat and finished look
1. Pictures to make documents look attractive and more friendly
2. Legible Font for everyone to read without any difficulty
3. Decent Font Size so that it is readable by everyone
4. Simple Layout for the neat and agreeable look.
2.2 In what ways can you use different resources to produce high-quality and attractive documents?
By using high-quality papers, quality laser jet printers and good editing software, a high-quality and attractive document can be produced.
2.3 Describe different types of technology available for inputting, formatting and editing text, and their main features.
The different technologies available for inputting, formatting and editing text are:
- Computer with monitor, keyboard and mouse or a Laptop
- Printer, scanner
- Word processing software
A normal or standard way of inputting text into a computer (or in olden days was a typewriter) is through a keyboard. It can be a wireless or wired keyboard or a touch-pad depending on the device you are using. In a keyboard, the user presses the specific key for each character that needs input and this is transferred on to the word processing software that is available, installed or being used on the device. Usually it is the Microsoft word application that is normally used for word processing in most organisations.
Another form of inputting text is through a scanner. Scanner can scan as JPEG or PDF, depending on the needs. Also scanned documents can be converted to word and changes made, in some cases. There is software available to achieve this.
Technology Available for Inputting Text
Keyboard (and mouse) are for manual entry of text. Can be slow and/or error prone depending on skill of keyboard operator. These are universally available and are usually supplied with a PC.
Documents are scanned using a scanner and then can be converted to text using optical character recognition software. The accuracy of the conversion depends on the quality of the system. Original document needs to be very clear and in a suitable font. Not all systems can cope with graphics on original.
Technology Available for Formatting and Editing Text
The simplest text editor available is the notepad. It can only be used for basic editing. you can not go for too many fashionable fonts or formats or insert characters. This is basically used for editing and correction and it does not occupy too much space in memory as its size is too small compared to other word processors.
When you need to go for fashionable styles and layouts, the best Word Processor to use will be Microsoft Word. It has a variety of i built features that allow for higher levels of editing, correction and text enhancement. It has innumerable choice of fonts, layouts, templates, functions, colours, etc available. Due to these advantages, the size of the file is relatively large when compared to notepad or word pad as all these formatting details are saved along with the characters.
Other software (spreadsheet, database applications) are used for sorting of text and other data. These are also used for statistical and analytical purposes.
3.1 What are the benefits of agreeing on the purpose, content, style, and deadlines for the production of documents?
- are written to a specific audience;
- have a consistent message
- should have information in the document that is easy to access, clear, accurate, and readable;
- Actually reach the intended audience.
- Should reach the intended audience on time
When you write documents or prepare documents, there always has to be a purpose. There also has to be a certain layout or style for the document depending on the purpose, there will be deadlines too for the document. So all these aspects have to be taken into account and agreed with your manager or the organisation or the team, whichever is the policy and procedure. This will decide if the document will be an exact replica of what is required for the organisation and will help you create one with no errors and one that is consistent with the requirements of audience you reach. So by planning all these well ahead, you finish preparing the document on time with minimal waste of time and errors.
3.2 Describe ways of organising content needed for documents.
Before you start work on a document you need to find out
- How the document is to be presented
- The information that is to be included.
- Who the document is for
- How long the document can be
- Purpose of the document
- What formats will be necessary
- Work out a rough draft
- Choose the correct language (formal / informal)
All the information needed to prepare the document should be stored safely with clear file names, a list or database of resources. How the finished document is presented and organised will depend on what the document is to be used for, the format and the content. So this must be agreed with the originator and updated regularly to make sure the finished product is fit for purpose. Sub-headings are useful so that a particular point of information is easy to find.
3.3 Describe the ways of integrating and laying out text and non-text.
Text and non - text can be integrated easily with Microsoft Office Word. Microsoft office word enables you to insert pictures, graphs, clip art and wrap text around and it helps you to work around with its different features to get that consistent format. There are a variety of different features that can be used too. Also there are various other office applications that help with integrating and laying out text and non-text, for example excel and PowerPoint, help with integrating text and non-text in spreadsheets and slides. Which ever application is used, the formatting and other processes have to be done, bearing in mind how you need the output document to look like.
3.4 How would you check completed documents for accuracy, such as spelling and grammar, punctuation, correctness? Why would you do this?
Most word processors have spell checkers. So as you type anything into a computer it will constantly be spell checking it. Spell checkers are not totally accurate and also if you type a different word instead of the one required, spell checker will not identify it. You will need a dictionary. The spell checker will not have all the words, so you will always have to need to add new words when you need them in the dictionary. Also words and names that you repeatedly use but not in the dictionary can be added to prevent spell checking them always.
After spell check is complete, it is good to do a grammar check too although the grammar checkers are not that good and will not pick out all the grammatical errors. So it is best to read the document yourself once or twice even after all these checks are done and if you can, it is good to get it read by another experienced person, because we always do not see all the errors in our own written document.
Accuracy and correctness are checked as documents are an image of the organisation and they have to be of high standard. It also helps the reader to easily understand what you are trying to explain or present.
3.5 Explain why you would store documents safely and securely. Give examples of how you would do this.
Important documents whether minor or major have to be stored securely and safely following the organisations policies and procedures. It can be either digital storage or physical storage depending on needs and taking into account its confidential nature. Digital storage can be the organisation's server, drive or flash drives which are all secure. Physical storage can be filing cabinets. Either way they are stored for future references and hence are important. One has to also abide by the Data Protection Act.
Files and records should be stored to comply with the regulations to ensure the safety of said documentation/data and is vital for a business to run smoothly. Information must be securely stored so it can not be disclosed to third parties without the relative permissions. It is important because any data that is not secure can be spread all over the internet. Also make sure you save your work and secure it properly.
Also you should always, save the changes to the document, drawing or spread sheet you are working on as often as possible- in the event of a power cut or computer crash.
Most businesses rely on electronic data these days and hence it is best to have a good backup solution. Our organisation does back up data every night to its server and possible to external media wherever necessary to avoid loss of data under unavoidable crashes.
3.6 What is the purpose of confidentiality and data protection when preparing documents?
The release of personal information can lead to serious consequences. There is probably no more important aspect of any business than data protection and confidentiality. It helps save the company, its values, and trust from customers.
3.7 What is the purpose and benefits of meeting deadlines?
It's important to meet deadlines because it saves time, money, and resources and we always want to be ahead of our competitors.
The purpose and benefits of meeting deadlines are you save on the financial things like cutting costs, and saves you precious time. If deadlines aren't met, you spend more money on the work that is pending completion and it affects the overall turnover thereby affecting your budget drastically.
Not meeting deadline indirectly affects various other inter-related departments too. Examples can be the finance department, the payroll department and the accounts department, and for sure all other departments that are connected. It then affects the overall income or profit for the organisation, which in turn will have an effect on employee salaries, pay rise and bonuses.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.