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Keywords e.g. warehousing
Qualification Code e.g. 600/5640/X
Keywords e.g. warehousing
Unit Code e.g. Y/505/4889
Open Awards Unit ID e.g. CBF498
Keywords e.g. warehousing
Open Awards Unit Code e.g. UA33ART12
Open Awards Unit ID e.g. CBF521

Essential Digital Skills FAQs

You can browse our Frequently Asked Questions below. If you cannot find what you are looking for then please Contact us.

Each Qualification has been developed and designed so that 50 hours of Guided Learning (GLH) will be required. On the basis that the majority of the learning and preparation will be completed by the learner under the direction of a provider, each qualification is assigned a total of 60 hours of Total Qualification Time (TQT).

The EDS design principles do not require full coverage of the Skills Statements associated with each Skill Area at the level of the qualification.
Having considered the EDS National Standards Open Awards concluded that all the Skills Statements associated with each qualification level are relevant to the purpose. Therefore, each qualification will cover all the Skills Statements corresponding to the level of the respective qualification.
Further information can be found in the relevant Qualification Guide for each qualification.
Open Awards only offers on-screen assessment through our XAMS assessment platform. Assessments are available on-demand and must be scheduled through the XAMS platform 2 hours before the assessment is due to take place.
Paper-based assessments are only available for the knowledge-test and as part of an approved reasonable adjustment.
Learners are permitted to resit an external assessment where they are not successful. Resit charges will apply and be made upon the publication of results. A Provider can schedule a resit assessment in the XAMS system after a period of two weeks from the time that a learner's result is returned in the system. 
In the event of a resit learners must complete both assessment components (i.e., both knowledge test and practical task). They are not able to resit just one assessment component.

Yes all assessments at each level must be taken under controlled assessment conditions. Further guidance can be found on our Portal.

Providers must ensure that there are no conflicts of interest between the invigilator and learners by checking in advance of the assessment.
An Essential Digital Skills subject tutor must not be involved in the invigilation of that subject, even if they have not taught those candidates (i.e., an Essential Digital Skills tutor must not invigilate any Essential Digital Skills assessment regardless of the level they teach).
Following completion of marking and external quality assurance, learners’ results will be available to providers through XAMS. Approved college markers mark the completed assessments. Results will be available within 16 working days from the date both assessment component results have been submitted to Open Awards. On average, results are subsequently published within ten working days.
The only exception to these timescales are when we publish a new assessment version. These results are subject to a series of standardisation and awarding activities and, as such, results will be released in line with published windows.

For online assessments, centres can change the date and/or time of the assessment via the XAMS system. Changes for OA invigilated assessments require 5 days notice.

Essential Digital Skills registrations will last for 2 years. If your learner is unlikely to achieve the qualification within a 2 year period, please contact the team on or 0151 494 2072 to speak to a member of the team.

There is a compensatory approach to assessment within the qualification.
Each component is not required to be individually passed. Therefore, weaker performance on one component can be offset by stronger performance in the other component.
The pass marks are intended to ensure learners demonstrate a secure level of competence across all skill areas covered by the qualification.
Pass marks for Entry level and Level 1 assessments vary per assessment version (i.e., paired assessment components) and are set following quality assurance and awarding activities.
Each Entry level assessment is designed to enable a minimally competent learner to achieve a pass mark of around 29 out of 44.
Each Level 1 assessment is designed to enable a minimally competent learner to achieve a pass mark of around 35 out of 53.
However, the awarding process will determine specifically where the pass mark sits for each assessment version. Therefore, the pass mark may vary between assessments. 

The minimum age for this qualification is 16. A learner must be 16 years or older at the point of registration.

The assessment for the qualification at both Entry level and Level 1 is split into two (2) assessment components:
• Knowledge-based MCQ test.
• Task-based practical assessment
These assessments are paired and learners must attempt both assessment components.
The practical task is internally marked and internally quality assured by providers. Approved providers must ensure their markers and internal quality assurers have undertaken Open Awards standardisdation activity to ensure they are familiar with how to interpret the mark schemes. This must take place before markers start marking the practical assessment. All marking must be completed within the XAMS assessment platform. Markers will have access to both the mark schemes and the learner evidence within XAMS.
The knowledge assessment is externally marked automatically within the XAMS assessment platform.
Providers have the flexibility to allow learners to attempt the two components at times that best suit the learner. However, both components must be undertaken within 20 working days.
The exception is where a Provider opts to use Open Awards remote invigilation service. In this instance, the learner must undertake both components one after the other.
There is a sample assessment and associated mark schemes at each level available on our website.
Additional practice assessments are in development and will be available to our approved Providers via Open Awards secure portal.

If you don't agree with the result we issue, a learner or Provider can submit an enquiry about results (EA1 Form) to request an administrative check and/or review of marking. The fees outlined in our pricing information are refunded if the enquiry results in a change to results.

The internet must only be used in the performance task component. It must not be used for the knowledge component. This requirement is clearly stated on the assessment material and in our Qualification Guide.
Where the knowledge component is being taken within a ‘classroom’ environment, learners are required to undertake the assessment through the Safe Exam Browser which does not allow for internet access. This in line with Open Awards XAMS User Guide and Open Awards Instructions for Undertaking Controlled Assessment.
The exception would be in the event of the assessment being facilitated through remote invigilation where internet access is required to facilitate access to assessment. In this event, the controlled assessment environment would be established and maintained in line with Open Awards Instructions for Undertaking Controlled Assessment Remotely.

With approval from Open Awards, Providers can undertake the assessments using remote invigilation . In this event, the controlled assessment environment would be established and maintained in line with Open Awards Instructions for Undertaking Controlled Assessment Remotely.

Learners may need a headset with recordable microphone if they are undertaking the practical task component in a classroom-based invigilated session. This is to minimise distractions to other learners in the same session because there may be requirements to play audio and/or make a short voice recording.