Update on our Functional Skills offer

Reformed Functional Skills qualifications

Remote invigilation

We’re delighted to let you know that we are proactively working on a remote invigilation solution for Functional Skills, with a view of making this available to all centres in early 2021. We are currently going through a phased roll-out of a pilot on this to ensure the system, process and support materials are all safe, sustainable, effective and created around your and your learners’ requirements. The valuable insight that we are collecting from centres and learners will ensure your experience is seamless from the start. If you want more information on this, please contact customer support on 0191 239 8000 or by emailing [email protected].

Paper-based external assessment

Reform Functional Skills paper-based windows for the 2020/21 session are within the external assessment timetable, which is available here.  

Online external assessments

From September 2020 we will be introducing new external assessment papers to our online reformed Functional Skills qualifications. As these assessments must pass through an awarding process, it means initially these results will be released on fixed dates depending on when the assessment was completed. Full details can be found below.

We are unable to advise if the learner has been allocated a new assessment in advance so will therefore have their results released on set dates as opposed to within 6 working days. Should you not receive the learners’ results within 6 working days after the assessment is uploaded, then results will be issued on the below advertised dates:

Online Assessment Date

Results Release Date

1 September – 30 September 2020

16 October 2020

1 October – 31 October 2020

20 November 2020

1 November – 30 November 2020

18 December 2020

1 December – 11 January 2021

5 February 2021*

*following this date, results will be issued within our 6 working day turnaround, subject to further awarding requirements.

Extension of exam support service for Functional Skills

We understand that ongoing restrictions as a result of the pandemic have resulted in disruption to assessments, particularly for Functional Skills. With this in mind, we’re pleased to confirm that the DfE Exam Support Service has been extended to include FSQs in apprenticeships, where assessments were planned to be delivered in the workplace. We recognise that many providers have experienced issues relating to accessibility, venues and invigilators and we hope that this will help. You can read more information on the government website here.

Legacy Functional Skills qualifications

Please find updated cut-off dates relating to legacy Functional  Skills below. These have been extended in order to allow sufficient time for existing learners to complete outstanding assessments, given the ongoing disruptions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.


Cut-off date

Last External Quality Assurer visit (including remote)

04 June 2021

Last external assessment - paper based*

30 June 2021

Last Paper Based Assessment booking**

18 June 2021

Last external assessment – online*

30 June 2021

Last certification date

31 July 2021

*all learners must complete the assessment by this date
**all learners must be booked by this date, no further bookings after this date will be accepted

No new registrations can be made on these qualifications and centres should register any new learners onto the new reformed qualifications which are available here.

Functional Skills in apprenticeships requirements

There have been additional flexibilities put in place for Functional Skills to make it easier for apprenticeships to continue and complete in a different way, in light of the challenges of the pandemic. The below temporary suspension applies to both standards and frameworks:

the rule requiring level 2 apprentices to study towards, and attempt, the Functional Skills assessments at level 2 is suspended temporarily.

  • Apprentices who are due to take their EPA up until 31 December 2020 should be passed through gateway to sit their EPA without the need to attempt the level 2 Functional Skills English and maths assessment.
  • Providers should retain evidence if an apprentice did not take the level 2 assessments due to coronavirus (COVID-19). A level 2 apprentice will still require a level 1 Functional Skills in English and/or maths in order to complete their apprenticeship.

For level 2 (intermediate) apprenticeships, apprentices must achieve a level 1 in both English and maths Functional Skills qualifications to complete their apprenticeship. Intermediate apprentices were also required to study towards, and attempt, the Functional Skills assessments at level 2.

Apprentices undertaking a level 3 or higher apprenticeship are still required to hold or achieve an approved level 2 functional skills English and maths qualification, before they can successfully complete their apprenticeship.

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