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Functional Skills - Adult Pilots

Provider staff in the adult skills sector may have heard of Functional Skills but this is one area of development that has eluded the adult sector to date.  Functional Skills are the practical skills in English, ICT and mathematics, that allow individuals to work confidently, effectively and independently in life.

The qualifications have been piloted in various ways in the last two years and are part of the new Diplomas for 14-19 year olds, so the focus has realy been on schools and colleges.

The Adult Suitability Strand of the Functional Skills pilots began in February 2009. The pilots are due to run until August 2010 and are testing different approaches to ensure the qualifications are appropriate for adult learners in mainstream FE colleges, the workplace, prisons and adult and community learning settings. So far there is apparently quite wide support for the Functional Skills qualifications to replace our current Skills for Life awards.

The Qualifications and Curriculm Development Agency (QCDA) who are running the pilots, are currently looking for organisations to be involved in the adult pilots, so if you are interested in joining contact Terry Smith at QCDA. Further information about functional skills can be found on QCDA’s website.


As a footnote, our favourite awarding body, NCFE, are one of 11 awarding bodies who are offering the Functional Skills qualifications.

Note that QCDA was closed in 2012 - their web content is available on the National Archives website.

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