Functional Skills FAQs
The first teaching for Reformed Functional Skills qualifications in Maths and English (Entry Level 1 - Level 2) is from 1st September 2019.
The last date for registrations on the legacy functional skills qualifications in Maths and English (Entry Level 1- Level 2) is 31st August 2019.
You can continue to teach these learners to prepare them for assessments. The last date for assessment on the legacy qualifications is 30th June 2020. After this date, all learners will need to be registered on the reformed qualifications. Any learners starting their functional skills course after 1st September 2019 should be registered on the reformed qualifications and taught the new subject content.
For Levels 1 and 2, Open Awards offer both online and paper-based assessments. Online assessments are available on-demand and must be scheduled through the XAMS platform 48 hours before the assessment is due to take place. Paper-based assessments are available on a set-day every 6 weeks and must be scheduled through the XAMS platform at least 15 working days before the assessment is due to take place. Paper-based assessments will be posted securely to your centre 2 days before the scheduled date.
For Entry Level qualifications, assessments are available on-demand as paper-based assessments. Assessment must be scheduled on the XAMS platform at least 48 hours before the assessment is due to take place. You will then be able to download the assessment papers for your learners.
All paper-based assessments must be posted securely back to Open Awards Head Office.
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 learner can resit an assessment in the XAMS system after a period of two weeks from the time that a result is returned in the system. Once the time has elapsed the resit can be scheduled in the system in the usual way.
To achieve the qualification, learners must successfully pass all three assessment components at Level 1:
- One externally set and marked assessment in reading
- One externally set and marked assessment in writing
- One internally or externally set, and internally assessed assessment (comprising of two tasks) in speaking, listening and communicating (SLC)
Yes, the content has changed significantly from the legacy qualifications. Please view the individual qualification guides or the DfE Subject Content (English and Maths) to familiarise yourself with the updated content. Sample assessments have been provided to help you prepare your learners for the assessment of the new subject content.
Yes all assessments at all subjects and levels must be taken under controlled assessment conditions. Further guidance can be found here.
Centres must ensure that there are no conflicts of interest between the invigilator and learners by checking in advance of the assessment. This invigilator(s) must not be the same Functional Skills tutor used for the delivery of the relevant Functional Skills course the learner, or group of learners, is undertaking the assessment for.
Following completion of the marking process, learners’ results will be available to the centre through XAMS. Results for online assessments will be available within 16 working days from the date the assessment was taken and within 27 working days for paper-based assessments.