News Articles

Here you can read full versions of articles we publish in our newsletters

January 2019

Changes to Speaking, Listening and Communication for Functional Skills Qualifications in English

We have listened to feedback and, as a result, FutureQuals are pleased to announce that we have made some changes to simplify the process centres complete in the XAMS platform for Speaking, Listening and Communication.

We have redeveloped and simplified the SLC interface that centre’s use when assigning a learner’s achievement outcome for the Speaking, Listening and Communication component for Functional Skills Qualifications in English at Level 1 and 2.

Centres will now only have to input data into one screen in the XMAS platform, which records the outcome of the learner’s achievement of the SLC assessment.

Centres will still need to complete records of the assessment and to support centres with this, we have created a new Record of Learner Achievement Form. This form allows assessors to easily capture individual learner outcomes against each of the skill standards. Centres can access the Record of Learner Achievement Forms for Level 1 and Level 2 on the FutureQuals website.

The individual Record of Learner Achievement Forms, along with any IQA reports are uploaded to the centre’s CentreHub365 Functional Skills folder for moderation by FutureQuals. Results and certificates are accessed and issued through QMIS as usual. Guidance documents are available to support centres through the transition to the SharePoint CentreHub365 site.

The Functional Skills qualification specification for English, the Functional Skills Operational Handbook, SLC Guidance and XAMS User Guide have all been updated and the new editions can now be found on the Functional Skills pages of the FutureQuals website. These changes are live for centres from 14 January 2019.

If you require further information, access to the SharePoint guidance document, questions regarding the changes or need help accessing your CentreHub365 site, then please contact our Customer Support team on 01530 836662.

December 2018

Changes to the delivery of our First Aid at Work qualifications

FutureQuals have launched a new Evidence Log for centres to use as part of the delivery of the Level 3 Award in Emergency First Aid at Work (L3AEFAW) and the Level 3 Award in First Aid at Work (L3AFAW).

This evidence log will help centres effectively capture learner knowledge, understanding competency and achievement. The Evidence Log is available to download from the CentreHub365 SharePoint site, that individuals from each centre delivering First Aid qualifications have been invited to access.

Centres are allowed to create their own assessment evidence log, however, they will need to have it approved for use by FutureQuals for use with their learners.  Centres wishing to use their own evidence logs, should complete the Evidence Log Approval Form and submit this and the centre-devised documentation to FutureQuals for these to be reviewed for compliance with the Learning Outcomes and Assessment Criterion.

As part of this and to help comparability and consistency, FutureQuals have introduced a new written multiple choice question assessment section for each of the two first aid qualifications. This helps consolidate learners’ knowledge and understanding of the Learning Outcomes and Assessment Criterion. New versions of the assessment materials will be uploaded on or around the 1st of each month to the CentreHub365 SharePoint site for use for the following four weeks.

To support centres using the new Evidence Log and assessment materials, we have created a new guidance document that should be used in conjunction with the updated specifications.

These changes will come into effect for all centres from the 1 January 2019.

Please contact our Customer Support team if you require any help or assistance in accessing the new CentreHub365 SharePoint site or about the new materials.

Implementation of new SharePoint document repository site which will replace Huddle

Over the last 6 months, we have been working hard with the new SharePoint Document Repository which will replace Huddle, this is a big milestone as we develop FutureQuals technology and implement new platforms and upgrades to our systems.

We are currently in the process of migrating users from Huddle to SharePoint which went live last week, throughout January and February you will be migrated to SharePoint, as part of this process your access to Huddle will be switched off in which you will then go live on SharePoint.

Please look out for an email from me Nate Daniels (Business Services Manager or our Customer Support Team) advising you that you have been migrated with instructions on next steps.

I have been working diligently to ensure a smooth transition from one system to another, we don’t expect this to impact you greatly as the new site should be easier to use.

The platform is using Office365 which makes it easier for users to log in as you can use your own Office365 login or Microsoft Account, You will only need to set up a new account if you don’t have either of the Microsoft accounts.

Key Features of the new system:

  • New look and feel
  • Easy to upload documents into the repository with simple drag and drop
  • Fast search functionality
  • Email notifications on file changes
  • Seamless integration with Microsoft Office

Further details and User Guides will be provided by email over the next few weeks.

If you experience any issues or have any questions as part of this migration please contact Customer Support at CustomerSupport@futurequals.com

November 2018

Functional Skills in English and Mathematics
As you may be aware, the government and Ofqual have taken the decision to reform Functional Skills provision (from Entry Level to Level 2). The consultation and engagement with stakeholders took place in 2017 and early 2018 and the outcomes of this, and the final subject criteria, conditions and guidance documents are now published on the Ofqual website: (https://www.gov.uk/education/functional-skills).

Functional Skills Qualifications are extremely important qualifications, providing alternative pathways for learners to GCSEs and play a crucial role in supporting young people and apprentices with their basic literacy and numeracy skills.

FutureQuals have been working in collaboration with two other Awarding Organisations, Open Awards and Skillsfirst Awards to jointly develop high quality assessment materials. By working together in this way, the consortium can maintain comparable and consistent outcomes for all our learners.

We have worked hard together over the last few months to develop new specifications and sample assessment materials for Level 1 and Level 2 Functional Skills in both English and Mathematics. We are delighted to confirm that these new qualifications have been submitted to Ofqual for approval. We are expecting to hear back from Ofqual with their decision outcome in the next 8 weeks.

These reformed Functional Skills Qualifications in English and Mathematics, will be offered by FutureQuals to all centres for first teaching and learner registration from 1 September 2019.

As a result of this, FutureQuals are required to withdraw the existing Functional Skills Qualifications we offer from Ofqual’s Register of Regulated Qualifications. These are:

  1. FAQ Functional Skills Qualification in English at Level 1 (FSEL1) – 603/1569/6
  2. FAQ Functional Skills Qualification in English at Level 2 (FSEL2) – 603/1570/2
  3. FAQ Functional Skills Qualification in Mathematics at Level 1 (FSML1) – 603/1565/9
  4. FAQ Functional Skills Qualification in Mathematics at Level 2 (FSML2) – 603/1566/0

These Functional Skills Qualifications will continue to be available for centres for registration until 31 August 2019. After this, there will be a period of time for final assessments and re-sits of these qualifications, before they are formally withdrawn on 31 August 2020.

The table below sets out the key dates:

Key milestone Date
Final registration for learners for current FSQs 31 August 2019
First registration for learners for new FSQs 1 September 2019
Final date for all written assessments for current FSQs 31 June 2020
Final date for all SLC assessments to be complete and submitted for moderation for current FSQs 31 July 2020
Final certification date for current FSQs 31 August 2020

Keep your eye on the FutureQuals website (https://www.futurequals.com/futurequals-functional-skills/) for more information about our new Functional Skills provision in the coming months.