What are Functional Skills? 2018-06-21T15:21:56+00:00

Functional Skills

Functional Skills are the fundamental ENGLISH, MATHS and ICT skills that all adults and young people need to have for their working and personal lives. The 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 in their everyday lives.

English and maths are essential subjects that 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.

Find out more about the revised English and Maths Functional Skills Standards by selecting one of the adjacent links. The revised Functional Skills tests will come into force in September 2019. bksb’s FOCUS Functional Skills solution will reflect the changes to the new standards and tests.

Functional Skills Criteria

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

English Functional Skills Criteria
Maths Functional Skills Criteria
ICT Functional Skills Criteria

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 examinations are paper based. They are assessed internally and are moderated by the centre.

Both Level 1 and Level 2 can be taken online or as a paper exam. Online exams can be taken on demand, but where paper 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 assessment centre.

Functional Skills Reforms

Qualifications in English and mathematics are being reformed. New qualifications in English and mathematics will be introduced for first teaching in September 2019. You can find out more about the reforms, and how they will be implemented, by taking a look at the information published by DfE:

Implementing Functional Skills Reform: Find out more

Reforming Functional Skills Qualifications: Find out more

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 to achieve their qualifications. Our six-step process supports the teaching of vital transferable skills. It’s designed to help prepare learners for final assessments through a series of guided learning support and revision resources. Find out more.

  Initial Assessment

  Diagnostic Assessment

  Learning Resources

  Skill Checks

  Revision Scenarios

  Exam Practice

It works across desktop, tablet and mobile devices and has remote access for distance learning. It also keeps track of each learner’s progress.

Students celebrate functional skills success

How can bksb help?

In order to identify an achievable pathway for a learner, it is essential for an organisation to use a robust and consistent eLearning 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 2 platform, provide learners with the opportunity to improve their English and maths skills in a class situation or via distance learning. Tutors can track a learner’s progress through their individual programme.

The bksb assessments and resources can be used to prepare for qualifications from the main awarding organisations, including Pearson and City & Guilds.