About Functional Skills

Functional Skills are qualifications that offer learners the opportunity to study English, maths and ICT in a more practical way. Teaching is applied to real life situations so that knowledge can be more easily applied in day to day tasks. Functional Skills can be studied as stand-alone qualifications or as a stepping stone to GCSE. They are also a mandatory component of Diplomas, Foundation Learning Programmes and Apprenticeships.

Functional Skills qualifications were originally piloted by the Labour Government in 2007, and now support the Coalition Government’s commitment to a more flexible curriculum and exams system.

Find out more about the Functional Skills Standards by clicking one of the adjacent links.

How are Functional Skills Assessed?

Functional Skills assessments are graded as either a ‘pass’ or ‘fail’. There are no proxies and no portfolio elements for Functional Skills qualifications.

All Entry Level Functional Skills examinations are paper based. They are assessed internally and are moderated by the centre.

Level 1 and Level 2 Functional Skills assessments can be taken online or as a paper based exam. Online exams can be taken on demand, but where paper based assessments are used, the exams must be taken during set weeks, in accordance with the awarding body calendar. Level 1 and Level 2 assessments are externally assessed and moderated, and carried out in exam conditions at the centre.

All Maths Functional Skills qualifications are examined by a summative assessment which can be paper based or online. All candidates are allowed to use a calculator. All English Functional Skills qualifications are examined by a summative assessment which can be paper based or online. English speaking and listening components are internally assessed but externally moderated. All ICT Functional Skills assessments require the use of a computer with Internet access – there is no paper based alternative.

How can bksb help?

In order to identify an achievable Functional Skills pathway for a learner, it is essential for an organisation to use a robust and consistent Functional Skills package to identify levels of learner achievement. At bksb we offer a comprehensive Functional Skills package to assess and improve learners' skills.

Our Initial Assessment  provides an accessible tool for tutors to identify a learner's working level in a subject. This determined level combined with the results from our Diagnostic Assessment provides an analysis of a learner’s strengths and weaknesses. This data gives tutors the key information needed to begin to track a learner’s journey.

Our interactive resourcesskill checks and revision scenarios , hosted from the bksbLIVE platform, provide learners with the opportunity to improve their English, maths and ICT skills in a class situation or via distance learning. Tutors can track a learner’s progress through their individual programme.

Click on the icons below to find out more about the Functional Skills standards/criteria relating to English, maths and ICT.

Functional Skills Standards English  

Functional Skills Standards Maths 

Functional Skills Standards ICT