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Functional skills

Last updated: 11 November 2009

Welcome to the functional skills section of the QCDA website

Functional skills are practical skills in English, information and communication technology (ICT) and mathematics that allow individuals to work confidently, effectively and independently in life.


Latest on functional skills from QCDA

Sir Alan Jones discusses functional skills

Sir Alan Jones, Chairman Emeritus of Toyota UK and Chairman of Semta discusses functional skills and the benefits they have the potential to bring to the UK and its employers.


Functional skills pilot pack now available online

The functional skills pilot pack, for centres taking part in the 2009/10 year of the functional skills pilot is now available for download online.

2009/10 functional skills pilot pack


Ofqual publish functional skills criteria

Following a consultation held over the summer by QCDA, Ofqual have now published the regulatory criteria for the non-pilot functional skills qualifications. The publication of the criteria is a key stage in the development the non-pilot qualifications, on which teaching begins in September 2010. Awarding organisations will now use the criteria to develop their qualifications for accreditation in spring 2010.

QCDA have published guidance for awarding organisations preparing functional skills qualifications.

Ofqual functional skills criteria


QCDA publish functional skills toolkit for exams office staff

A new toolkit for exams office staff administering functional skills qualifications is now available. The toolkit includes a checklist of activities for the exams office, an overview of awarding organisations on the pilot, case studies, a user guide to acquiring unique learner numbers through the MIAP service, and much more.

Functional skills toolkit


Functional skills available online

A functional skills short film, which illustrates some of the lessons learnt so far from the functional skills pilot is available on our website.

Functional skills video


Functional skills case studies

QCDA is keen to share the experiences of pilot centres and have produced a series of case studies which draw on pilot centre experiences.

'Delivering functional skills - lessons learnt from the pilot' provides an overview of how functional skills qualifications have been introduced into the curriculum in a range of centres, as well as learning points for you when introducing them into your organisation.  This document is available from the QCDA orderline and is also available to downloaded from the website.

Delivering functional skills - lessons learnt from the pilot

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