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Functional Skills FAQ’s
Can past live assessments be used as practice materials?
No, you cannot keep and use live assessments as practice materials. All unused live assessments must be returned. OCR provides two past papers for each subject and level, all of which are available free of charge on the website.

Are there any proxy exemptions?
There are no proxies for Functional Skills.

Are there any exemptions for learners on apprenticeship frameworks?
Learners will satisfy the apprenticeship requirement for the relevant Functional Skills qualification if they have achieved either:

• Within the previous 5 years and before September 2012:
Key Skills Communication at the equivalent level or GCSE English (Grades A*-C) or A level or AS Level English Language, English Literature, or English Language and Literature (Grades A-E); Key Skills Application of Number at the equivalent level or GCSE Mathematics (Grades A*-C) or A level or AS level Mathematics, Pure Mathematics, or Further Mathematics (Grades A-E), Key Skills ICT at the equivalent level or GCSE ICT (Grades A*-C) or A level or AS level ICT; or,

• Beyond the previous 5 years:
GCSE or O level English (Grades A*-A) or A level or AS Level English Language, English Literature, or English Language and Literature (Grades A*-A); GCSE or O level Mathematics (Grades A*-A) or A level or AS level Mathematics, Pure Mathematics, or Further Mathematics (Grades A*-A), GCSE or O Level ICT (Grades A*-A) or A level or AS level ICT (Grades A*/A).

For further information, please contact the relevant Sector Skills Council.

Can bilingual dictionaries be used?
Yes, but the learner must write their response in English.

My learners have failed, what post assessment services are available?
Please request an individual or group results enquiry. For more information please visit post-results services on the OCR website.

Is it acceptable to write responses in pencil?
Learners will not be penalised for writing in pencil; however there is a risk that the answers could be smudged or illegible. For these reasons we would advise against using pencil.

What access arrangements are available?
Please refer to the JCQ Access Arrangements, Reasonable Adjustments and Special Consideration document.

Do UCAS points apply?
Yes, each Functional Skill achieved at Level 2 is worth 10 points.

For admission to HE from 2011 onwards, UCAS Tariff points will only be allocated to level 2 qualifications if both the following criteria are met:

• They are broad skills qualifications - Core Skills, Essential Skills, Essential Skills Wales, Functional Skills, Key Skills.
• They are being studied as part of a wider composite qualification, such as Diplomas or Welsh Baccalaureate.

What resources are available on the OCR website?
We provide a full range of resources to support delivery of functional skills. These include:
• Activity banks
• Exemplar materials
• Past papers
• Examiner reports
• Centre reports

Can teaching take place in the same week as an exam?
Teaching can take place for any candidates who are not taking the exam in that week. The only candidates affected by this ruling are those who will be taking the exam in the same week, so that they do not receive any unfair advantage over other candidates also taking the exam in the same week.

Can I enter a learner on the day of the paper-based assessment?
Yes, please refer to the section titled "Adding 'pirate' candidates" found in the Functional Skills Admin Guide.

Are late entries accepted (i.e. if not a 'pirate' candidate)?
It is not OCR's policy to accept late entries for functional skills.

Can I withdraw a candidate entry once it is made?
No withdrawals are allowed once entries have been made.

Where can I find information about setting up an examination room?
Refer to the JCQ Regulations document, which can be found on the JCQ website.

I have received the assessment material for a test session, how soon can these be opened?
JCQ regulations state that all assessment materials must be kept securely and only opened when the assessment is due to take place. The exams officer may open the packages to check that all the question papers and resource booklets ordered have been received. Once this check is done, everything must be resealed and kept securely.

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