What are CLAiT courses?
Alistair Stafford

What are CLAiT courses?


First published date November 25 2013 Amended date October 05 2015

Computers are a massive part of our lives. Whether it’s to watch the latest videos online, browse the shopping websites for a bargain or work on your latest project for work, we’ve become increasingly dependent on IT in everyday life. Feel that you don’t have the knowledge to get the most out of your PC? Then a CLAiT course could be for you.

CLAiT stands for ‘Computer Literacy and Information Technology’ and it sits within ITQ, a widely recognised IT qualification. Think it would be a useful course for you? Our CLAiT FAQs reveal more about what to expect...


How many people have a CLAiT qualification?

Despite most of the UK’s working population never having formal IT training, it’s believed that over 2.5million people in the UK have gained one of the available CLAiT qualifications.


Do I need any prior IT experience?

Whether you’re a regular user or a computing novice, CLAiT course could be suitable for you. The ITQ qualifications are split into ability-based levels, so level one will teach you how to deal with some of the more basic tasks, such as creating and saving a file, while levels  two and three go on to teach more difficult skills.


Why do I need an IT qualification?

Even if you are a computer whizz-kid and use one on a daily basis, by not having a formal IT qualification you could be being left behind in the jobs market. With three quarters of the UK working population regularly using computers, having the ability to perform IT skills is important.


Where can I study CLAiT?

There are numerous colleges across the UK that offer CLAiT courses, but for those looking to combine studying with other commitments, online CLAiT courses mean you can gain your qualification from home. The cost of studying a course varies depending on the level you choose to study and at which centre you plan to gain your qualification.


Are all CLAiT courses the same?

The programme is split in to three ability and experience based levels. The lowest of those is the level 1 or ‘new’ stage, which acts as a foundation stage and gives student the very basics about computing. From there, students can go on and study the level 2 ‘plus’ route, which goes into more detail on using programmes like word processing and Excel. The most challenging route is the level 3 ‘advanced’ option, which is designed to give extra knowledge and skills to those who already use computers regularly.


What are the CLAiT courses worth?

Level one ITQ is roughly the same level of difficulty as a GCSE D - G, with level two roughly equating to a GCSE A*- C.  They are all IT User qualifications. The advanced level three option, is roughly the same level of difficulty as an NVQ level 3 or A Level.


Do I have to follow to complete a particular level?

No, the course is flexible and allows you to pick and choose which modules you wish to study. So, you can select individual units, combine elements of different levels or just complete all modules in one level, the choice is yours. To get a completed qualification though, you will need to have completed the requirements for one of the three levels.


How does CLAiT differ from ECDL?

Some of you may be more familiar with the ECDL, the European Computer Driving Licence that also teaches you a wide range of different IT User skills. Both are based on the same underpinning standards with three levels of difficulty but the way they are assessed is different.  The CLAiT assignments will help you contextualise your learning, which could help you when you come to use these skills at work. The ECDL FAQs will tell you more about the specifics of that programme.

The two courses teach students very similar skills using basic programmes, but one difference is that although CLAiT classifies itself as internationally recognised, it is less known outside the UK compared to the ECDL.


Alistair Stafford

With a BA in Journalism, Alistair has a passion for writing, especially if it's got anything to do with football or other sports. In his spare time, he's big on exercise and he once completed the London Marathon.