FutureQuals Functional Skills

A unique approach to learning

FutureQuals offer Functional Skills qualifications in English, Mathematics and ICT at Level 1 and Level 2 to approved Centres, Colleges and Training Providers.

FutureQuals Functional Skills Qualifications are innovative skills-based qualifications that support learners to operate effectively and confidently in education, employment and everyday life.

We have developed an approach that supports both quality and versatility in qualification design, so that we can deliver these skills effectively to the full spectrum of learners who require them, irrespective of their educational setting.

What you can expect from FutureQuals Functional Skills Qualifications

  • High quality, valid and reliable assessment materials including sample assessments, resources and guidance materials
  • Dedicated Functional Skills web pages
  • Accessible and engaging on-screen assessment
  • On-demand assessment
  • Fast results
  • Feedback about performance from each assessment series
  • Up-to-date information, advice and support from a well-informed and experienced customer support team.

Functional Skills Qualifications

Functional Skills are available across three subjects (Functional English; Functional Mathematics; and Functional ICT). FutureQuals offers Functional Skills at level 1 and 2.

The FutureQuals Functional Skills qualifications are designed to bring real-life into the learning environment. The qualifications and assessments explore relevant topics, in authentic scenarios, and deliver transferable knowledge, skills and understanding relevant to everyday life.

FutureQuals Functional Skills FAQ’s

What are Functional Skills Qualifications?

Functional Skills Qualifications are available in three subjects areas (English, Mathematics, and ICT). FutureQuals offers Functional Skills Qualifications at level 1 and 2.

The FutureQuals Functional Skills Qualifications are designed to bring real-life into the learning environment. The qualifications and assessments explore relevant topics, in authentic scenarios and deliver transferable knowledge, skills and understanding relevant to everyday life.

Who are Functional Skills available to?

Functional Skills Qualifications are available to all learners from the age of 14 upwards. Functional Skills Qualifications often appear as a required qualification as part of an apprenticeship framework.

How does the qualification delivery model operate?

The FutureQuals Functional Skills Qualifications are delivered by centres through a taught programme of 55 Guided Learning Hours.

Assessments are most commonly delivered online/onscreen, through the XAMS platform. However, a paper-based assessment can also be sat. Paper-based assessments take place in set windows, every six weeks.

The procedure for registering learners, scheduling and undertaking assessments can be found on the Functional Skills homepage.

What are the costs for Functional Skills?

The registration fees can be found on the qualification pages under the ‘Facts’ tab.

Can learners take practice tests?

Sample assessments are available on the FutureQuals website in both onscreen and paper-based formats.

When are results issued?

Once an assessment is completed, the learner submits their test for marking and awarding through the electronic platform XAMS. Centres will be issued with results within 16 working days. Learners will be certificated in line with the timescales published in our Centre Operations Manual.

How do I apply for a Reasonable Adjustment?

For details on how to apply for reasonable adjustments and special considerations, please see the FutureQuals Reasonable Adjustments and Special Considerations policy. This is available under the ‘Policies and procedures’ section of the FutureQuals website.

Do you provide paper based assessment?

Yes, FutureQuals offers paper-based assessments for reformed Functional Skills Qualifications. These assessments take place in a set window (every six weeks) throughout the year. Learners must be registered to undertake a paper-based assessment at least 15 working days prior to the assessment taking place.

A calendar of the assessment windows are available on the Functional Skills page.

Paper-based assessments are also available on receipt of a request for special consideration, if it will reduce the effect of a disability or difficulty that places a learner at a substantial disadvantage in an onscreen assessment situation. For further information please see the FutreQuals Reasonable Adjustments and Special Considerations policy.

Can bilingual dictionaries be used?

Yes, but only in the Functional Skills Qualifications: Reading assessments. Any form of dictionary is not permitted in the Functional Skills Qualifications: Writing assessments. This is because Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar are assessed.

Whether a earner uses a dictionary or not, they must complete their assessment response in English.

Where can I find information about setting up an examination room?

The JCQ Regulations provides this information and can be found on the JCQ website http://jcq.org.uk. FutureQuals also provides information about assessment conditions in the qualification specification and the Reformed Functional Skills Qualifications Operational Handbook, which can be downloaded from the FutureQuals website.

What is the guidance around invigilation of assessment sessions?

Learners must be directly supervised by an independent invigilator throughout an onscreen or paper-based assessment session.

Invigilation of assessments

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).

Administration of assessments

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. (‘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.)

Exceptions

A centre must ensure that it has a suitable invigilator available for all Level 1 and 2 Functional Skills exams. A centre must contact FutureQuals immediately if they cannot comply with these conditions.

If a learner fails, when can they resit?

Learners are permitted to resit an assessment in English, Mathematics and ICT, where they are not successful. Learners must wait at least two weeks before re-attempting the assessment.

It is the centres responsibility to prepare learners for assessment and ensure the approach to re-sits is appropriate.

How many times can a learner re-sit?

Learners are permitted to resit an assessment in English, Mathematics and ICT, where they are not successful. Learners are allowed three attempts at any Functional Skills Qualification.

If a learner requires additional attempts to pass the qualification(s) then a centre must apply to FutureQuals for further guidance. Learners should be discouraged from repeated resits and be provided with further teaching and learning to support successful achievement of the qualification(s).

How are Functional Skills graded?

Functional Skills are graded Pass or Fail.

Who will issue our certificates?

FutureQuals issue a certificate of achievement after an assessment has been marked and graded. This certificate includes the full qualification title and the titles of any components achieved. Certificates also include the regulator Ofqual’s logo.

What is the guidance for Functional Skills teaching staff?

Centre staff must meet the following minimum requirements:

Tutors to have relevant teaching experience and/or a qualification in the relevant subject area.

Not a mandatory requirement, but best practice: Assessors to hold the relevant D32/D33/A1/TAQA unit(s) and Level 3 Award in Education and Training.

Not a mandatory requirement, but best practice: Internal Verifiers to hold the relevant D34/V1/IQA unit(s).

Centres are responsible for ensuring that their staff have access to appropriate training and support. They are also responsible for notifying FutureQuals of any staff changes.

Speaking, Listening and Communicating is a fundamental part of Functional Skills Qualifications in English. This component (at Level 1 and Level 2) are internally marked by the centre and externally moderated by FutureQuals.

FutureQuals have developed a series of training and standardisation videos for approved centres to access. These videos are to help and support centres deliver the Speaking, Listening and Communicating component of Functional Skills Qualifications in English at Level 1 and Level 2. Centres need to complete the training exercises prior to undertaking live assessments. This is to ensure that the SLC component is being marked to the required standard by centres.

Approved centres can access the videos through the link below. Centres will require a password to take them through to the site.

The password can be obtained from our Customer Support team at customersupport@futurequals.com