UNIT 2 Current affairs and public services

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					UNIT 2: Current affairs and public services
        (LEVEL 2)
Learning outcomes
By completing this unit the candidates will explore the concept of current affairs and will develop an
understanding of the impact of a current affair on the public services. It will enable the candidates
to gain experience in investigating and evaluating issues, and presenting their findings.

Candidates will produce evidence to meet the unit assessment objectives in order to show that

•      understand what is meant by ‘current affairs’
•      can investigate and research the relevant details and issues
•      understand the significant impact of a current affair on the public services
•      can summarise and present findings.

 Assessment objectives                 Knowledge, understanding and skills
 1 Take part in a                      Prepare for the discussion
   discussion about what is            • research topic
   meant by ‘current affairs’          • preparation of notes
   in relation to the
                                       Participation includes:
   uniformed public
   services                            • making contributions
                                       • responding to other contributions
                                       • contribute to moving the discussion forward
                                       • observe conventions of a discussion eg taking turns, allowing
                                          to finish
                                       Define current affairs
                                       • recent issues
                                       • impact on community
                                       • national/international
                                       • public interest
                                       • media attention
                                       • response of public services
 2 Investigate and                     History and origins
   summarise your                      • demonstrate knowledge of how or why the issues came to
   research into the                      public prominence
   specified current affair            Sources of information
   that has an impact on a
                                       • professional journals eg Police Review
   public service
                                       • newspapers
                                       • TV
                                       • internet
                                       • radio
                                       • CDRom                                   (continued overleaf)

OCR Level 2 Nationals in Public Services                                                                 1
Unit 2 - Current affairs and public services

 Assessment objectives                         Knowledge, understanding and skills
 2 Cont.                                       • periodicals
   Investigate and                             • research papers
   summarise your                              • published public enquiry papers
   research into the
                                               Summary includes:
   specified current affair
   that has an impact on a                     • sources of information (bibliography)
   public service                              • initial findings
                                               • identification of impact
                                               • annotations/summaries of key documents
 3 Describe how the                            Impacts
   identified current affair                   • operations (response/procedures/practice equipment/
   has impacted on the                            training/working practices)
   public services involved                    • political
                                               • public relations
                                               • public confidence/perception
                                               • resources (eg staff)
                                               • legislation
                                               • managing the media
                                               • media bias
                                               • morale
                                               • changes to legislation
                                               Short-term impacts
                                               Long-term impacts
 4 Explain the positive and                    •   public confidence
   negative effects that                       •   accountability
   media coverage of                           •   legislation
   current affairs has on
                                               •   public relations
   public services
                                               •   media bias
                                               •   change in policy
                                               •   impact on recruitment
 Assessment Objective 5 must include presentation of the information for Assessment
 Objectives 3 and 4
 5 Produce a report on                         •   language of report suitable for audience
   your findings in                            •   presentation of report is fit for purpose (eg accuracy of spelling,
   reference to the chosen                         punctuation and grammar)
   current affair                              •   findings are summarised
                                               •   sources of evidence clearly identified
                                               •   appropriate formats used (eg tables, charts, diagrams)
                                               •   use of appendices
                                               •   layout eg bullet points, sub-headings

2                                                                                    OCR Level 2 Nationals in Public Services
                                                                      Unit 2 – Current affairs and public services


This unit is centre assessed and externally moderated.

In order to achieve this unit candidates must produce a portfolio of evidence showing that they
have met all of the assessment objectives.

Portfolios of work must be produced independently. They will need to be made available, together
with witness statements and any other supporting documentation, to the OCR Visiting Moderator
when required.

Centres must confirm to OCR that the evidence produced by candidates is authentic. An OCR
Centre Authentication Form is provided in the Centre Handbook and includes a declaration for
assessors to sign. It is a requirement of the QCA Common Criteria for all Qualifications that proof
of authentication is received.

Guidance on assessment and evidence requirements
Tutors may choose a single case study for the assignment that focuses on one or more of the
public services. Tutors may give different case studies that reflect candidates’ interests eg Police,
Army, Fire Service.

Group discussions should be limited in size to maximise opportunities for contributions and to aid
the assessment of individual contribution by assessors. The use of audio/video recording should
be considered to aid production of the observation report.

Candidates will need to understand the conventions of writing a report for an intended audience
and how to change the style of report accordingly.

Evidence might include results of investigations, copy documents and notes from presentations,
discussions and research including, where applicable, sources of the information, by an indexed
portfolio accompanied by a written summary of the findings.

The summary should demonstrate the candidate understands the issues of the current affair
studied, and the background. The candidate should identify the specific issues relating to the
public service or services and the effect they are having at present on the service, and the likely
effects they may have in the future.

Candidates should be encouraged to research independently and keep abreast of recent progress
of current affairs by regular reference to newspapers, periodicals, inquiry reports and various
internet sites, although it is recognised that there may be some group work with some aspects of
the assignment.

Where group work or presentations have been undertaken, candidates should make clear their
input to the results. Some input from service personnel would be of benefit to outline how they
perceive the issues and how it affects them now or might affect them in the future. Opinion
surveys and other public documents can provide a variety of information relevant to the issues.
Group or class discussion is also to be encouraged which will help students arrive at constructive
summaries and conclusions.

Candidates should produce a written summary, addressing the various topics, demonstrating an
understanding of the background, immediate and future possible effects on a public service. The
summary should include and refer to a compilation of appropriate examples of material and/or
press cuttings, demonstrating some research from a variety of sources, into a relevant current
affair and should be appropriately indexed.

OCR Level 2 Nationals in Public Services                                                                        3
Unit 2 – Current affairs and public services

Signposting to Key Skills
        The unit contains opportunities for developing the Key Skill, and possibly for generating
        portfolio evidence, if teaching and learning is focused on that aim.

 Key Skill                                     Key Skill              Key Skill
 reference                                     reference              reference
 C2.1                                          N2.1                   IT2.1
 C2.2a                                         N2.2a                  IT2.2
 C2.2b                                         N2.2b                  IT2.3
 C2.3                                          N2.2c

Mapping to National Occupational Standards
There is no overlap between the National Occupational Standards and this unit.

This section provides suggestions of suitable resources. The list is neither prescriptive nor
exhaustive, and candidates should be encouraged to gather information from a variety of sources.
Some suggested resources are intended for Tutor use. The resources in this section were correct
at the time of production.

•       Newspapers
•       Previous news articles via relevant web page or CD rom
•       Appropriate service magazine or periodicals
•       Government and other official web sites (www.cre.gov.uk: www.eoc.gov.uk)
•       Local MP
•       Public Enquiry Report (web page or publication)
•       Public Opinion Surveys
•       Various television reports

4                                                                     OCR Level 2 Nationals in Public Services
                                                                                                                                    Unit 2 – Current affairs and public services

 Assessment                                Pass                                     Merit                                    Distinction
 AO1                                       Candidates show a basic                  Candidates show a sound level of         Candidates show a high level of
 Take part in a discussion about           understanding of current affairs         understanding of current affairs based   understanding of current affairs based
 what is meant by ‘current                 based on limited research and            on effective research and                on comprehensive research and
 affairs’ in relation to the               preparation. They observe                preparation. They make appropriate       preparation. They make appropriate
 uniformed public services                 conventions of a discussion and          contributions to the discussion. They    and valid contributions to the
                                           make limited contributions to the        observe conventions of a discussion      discussion. They observe
                                           discussion.                              and take an active role, confidently     conventions of a discussion and take
                                                                                    contributing to some parts of the        an active role, confidently
                                                                                    discussion.                              contributing to the discussion and
                                                                                                                             encouraging others to contribute.
 AO2                                       Candidates undertake basic               Candidates undertake appropriate         Candidates undertake extensive
 Investigate and summarise your            research on a current affair with        research on the specified current        relevant research on the specified
 research into the specified               superficial coverage of the range of     affair using a range of sources of       current affair using a wide range of
 current affair that has an impact         sources of information. The resource     information. The resource list will be   relevant sources of information. The
 on a public service                       list will be supported by source         detailed and supported by a              resource list will be detailed and
                                           documents that contain some              summary with a range of annotated        supported by a comprehensive
                                           appropriate candidate annotation with    source documents.                        summary including relevant
                                           a limited summary.                                                                annotated source documents.
 AO3                                       The candidates descriptions of the       Candidates describe the impact of the    Candidates describe in detail the
 Describe how the identified               impacts will be limited in both range    current affair accurately.               impact of the current affair and will
 current affair has impacted on            and detail.                                                                       include references to wider issues.
 the public services involved
 AO4                                       Candidates identify positive and         Candidates identify a range of           Candidates give a comprehensive
 Explain the positive and                  negative effects of the current affair   positive and negative effects of media   explanation of the positive and
 negative effects that media               and give a superficial explanation.      coverage and give a clear                negative effects of media coverage
 coverage of current affairs has                                                    explanation.                             and begin to make judgements.
 on public services
 AO5                                       Candidates produce a simple report. Candidates produce a well written             Candidates produce a professional,
 Produce a report on your                  The content and layout of the report is report presented in a consistent          consistent and well written report.
 findings in reference to the              basic.                                  layout. The content is accurate.          The content is appropriate and
 chosen current affair                                                                                                       accurate.

OCR Level 2 Nationals in Public Services                                                                                                                                      5