Functional Skills are fundamental skills we all need to be successful at work and in life These skills include English and Maths. Almost every job requires the ability to communicate and use numbers confidently, along with the capacity to problem solve.

English and maths are essential subjects that are included in most training and education programmes. They are a required component of Diplomas, Foundation Learning Programmes and Apprenticeships. Functional Skills can be studied as stand-alone qualifications or as a stepping stone to GCSEs.

“Functional skills are practical skills in English, mathematics and information and communication technology (ICT) that allow individuals to operate confidently, effectively and independently in life and work.” Department for Education and Skills

Functional Skills Levels

Functional Skills qualifications are available at Entry 1, Entry 2, Entry 3, Level 1 and Level 2. As an approximate comparison, Entry Level 1 – 3 is below GCSE level, Level 1 is comparable to GCSE grades 1 – 3, and Level 2 is comparable to GCSE grade 4.

How are Functional Skills assessed?

Functional Skills assessments are graded as either a ‘pass’ or ‘fail’. There are portfolios or coursework elements for Functional Skills qualifications. All Entry Level assessments are assessed internally and are moderated by the centre. Both Level 1 and Level 2 can be taken online or as a paper exam.  Level 1 and Level 2 are externally assessed and carried out in exam conditions at the assessment centre.