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Delivering the Reformed Functional Skills

Delivering the Reformed Functional Skills

Skillsfirst have issued an email to customers about examinations for Functional Skills in the current COVID-19 pandemic, along with contact details for any queries. Click the button below to read the message.

Changes to the administration and invigilation of Functional Skills paper-based and on-screen exams

Skillsfirst often hosts workshop series to assist assessors, trainers, tutors, managers, etc. with the delivery of the Reformed Functional Skills qualifications. To see what workshops are currently available, or to register for a workshop, click the button below and complete the booking form on the page.

 

Final Legacy Maths and English exam dates have been announced. Please click here for full information.

Following a request from Ofqual, all Functional Skills awarding organisations have agreed to adopt a joint rule for the invigilation of Functional Skills paper-based and on-screen exams, effective from 1st September 2019.

The head of centre must ensure that:

Administration of exams

(‘Administration’ includes initial receipt of confidential materials, secure storage, movement and preparation of materials for scheduled assessments, and registration, secure storage and return of materials to the awarding organisation after scheduled exams are completed).

No tutor of a Functional Skills qualification can be involved in the administration of the assessment materials for level 1 and 2 exams in that subject, regardless of the level they teach.

Invigilation of exams

A centre must ensure that it has a suitable invigilator available for all level 1 and 2 Functional Skills exams.

A Functional Skills subject tutor must not be involved in the invigilation of that subject, even if they have not taught those candidates (i.e. a Functional Skills English tutor must not invigilate any Functional Skills English exam and a Functional Skills Maths tutor must not invigilate any Functional Skills Maths exam, regardless of the level they teach). In addition, no centre staff with a vested interest in the learner’s result of the assessment(s) should invigilate exams.

The reformed Functional Skills qualifications in English and Mathematics Levels 1 and 2 will be available from 1st September 2019

Centres wishing to offer the Reformed Functional Skills qualifications in English and mathematics Levels 1 and 2 will need to submit a Qualification Approval Application Form, together with a declaration form (download here) in QMIS in preparation for first teaching on 1 September 2019.

If your centre is approved to offer the current Functional Skills English and Maths Levels 1 and 2 qualifications, are not subject to any sanctions, centre policies are up to date in QMIS, together with centre staff CVs, CPD and copy certificates, it will not be necessary for Skillsfirst to carry out an approval visit.

The qualification titles and qualification numbers are as follows:

Qualification Title Skillsfirst qualification number Regulator QAN
Skillsfirst Level 1 Functional Skills Qualification in English RFSE1 603/4608/5
Skillsfirst Level 2 Functional Skills Qualification in English RFSE2 603/4606/1
Skillsfirst Level 1 Functional Skills Qualification in Mathematics RFSM1 603/4807/0
Skillsfirst Level 2 Functional Skills Qualification in Mathematics RFSM2 603/4808/2

Sample assessment materials

To access Skillsfirst’s sample assessment materials, qualification handbooks and other supporting documentation for the reformed Functional Skills English and Mathematics Levels 1 and 2 please follow the link here

Issuing results for assessments

To ensure you have confidence in the results Skillsfirst issue, they apply quality assurance measures to their assessments. These measures, which include standardisation and awarding panels to set pass thresholds, add additional time to the marking process.

With this in mind, initially exam results will be issued within 32 days of the assessment date (or successful upload). Please note, this is the maximum timeframe and they will take all reasonable steps to publish results earlier.

Once all assessments have been rolled out and quality assured, Skillsfirst aim to issue results on a weekly basis.

The calendar for paper-based assessments, including the set day for assessment and the date for results to be published, can be viewed on the Skillsfirst website.

Important notice – Centre staff taking assessments

To help awarding organisations manage risk and ensure a robust quality assurance process, Ofqual have asked us to ensure that centres do not register or schedule exams for their own staff during the rollout period (anticipated to be a minimum of six months from 1st September 2019).

The identification of staff members taking our reformed qualifications during this period will be treated as a non-compliance in line with Skillsfirst’s Sanctions Policy. Should this information create an issue for your centre, please contact the Functional Skills Co-ordinators on 0121 270 5100 (Option 1) or exams@skillsfirst.co.uk to discuss further.

Skillsfirst’s Instructions for Conducting Controlled Assessments

If you have any questions relating to VTCT’s Functional Skills provision, you can contact VTCT Customer Support

Final Legacy Maths and English exam dates

The final dates learners will be able to sit a Skillsfirst legacy Functional Skills Maths, English Reading or English Writing Level 1 or 2 exam is specified below. This includes resits.

Qualification Paper-based final assessment dates On-screen final assessment dates
FS Qualification in English Level 1 – FSE01 30th June 2020 19th August 2020
FS Qualification in English Level 2 – FSE02 30th June 2020 19th August 2020
FS Qualification in Mathematics Level 1 – FSM01 29th June 2020 19th August 2020
FS Qualification in Mathematics Level 2 – FSM02 29th June 2020 19th August 2020

Deadline for Speaking, Listening and Communication result claims

The final date for Speaking, Listening and Communication result claims to be submitted to Skillsfirst is Friday 21st August 2020.

Final certification date  

The final certification date for legacy Functional Skills English and Maths Level 1 and 2 qualifications is Monday 31st August 2020.

We are not permitted to certificate learners after this date.