About Functional Skills

Functional Skills are the fundamental ENGLISH, ICT and MATHS skills that all adults and young people need to have for their working and personal lives.
These essential topics are included in most training and education programmes. They are a mandatory component of Diplomas, Foundation Learning Programmes and Apprenticeships and can be studied as stand-alone qualifications or as a stepping stone to GCSEs.

Functional Skills qualifications let people study in practical ways; applying core skills to real life situations so that the things they learn come in useful day after day, at work or home. These flexible courses have been championed by successive Governments committed to equipping young people and adults with the essential skills they need to succeed at work.

Find out more about the Functional Skills Standards by clicking one of the adjacent links. Alternatively, you can read about our Focus Functional Skills solution for online revision and assessment.

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 these 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 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 are externally assessed and moderated, and carried out in exam conditions at the centre.

All Maths and English Functional Skills qualifications are examined by a summative assessment which can be paper based or online. All candidates are allowed to use a calculator for Maths, while 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.

Focus Functional Skills – your eLearning solution

Focus Functional Skills is your own online teaching and learning resource, built to help learners improve essential English, maths and ICT skills needed for Functional Skills examinations. Our five-step process supports the teaching of vital transferable skills, including Functional Skills standards and the core curriculum. It’s designed to help prepare learners for final assessments through a series of guided learning support and tailored revision resources.

– Initial Assessment
– Diagnostic Assessment
– Learning Resources
– Skill Checks
– Revision Scenarios

It works across desktop, tablet and mobile devices and has remote access for distance learning. It also keeps track of the learner’s progress, for each candidate or their employer to review.

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 Focus 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