How are Pearson Edexcel Functional Skills assessed?

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Functional Skills assessment can be either onscreen or paper-based. This table summarises how Pearson Edexcel Functional Skills are assessed:





Entry Levels 1-3

Internally assessed, externally verified. Can be contextualised by the centre. Available on demand. 

Onscreen On Demand Levels 1 and 2

Assessments available on demand with a minimum of 2 hours' notice.


The window of the test is 4 hours either side of the start time. Internet access required to download the assessments, but can be run offline.


Externally set and verified.





Paper Based  On Demand Levels 1 and 2

Assessments available with 14 days’ notice. Can be run at a time to suit the centre and learner.


Assessments are live from the moment they arrive in the centre and stay live for 5 days after the booked time and date.


Learners who take the assessment at a different time to the rest of the cohort do NOT need to be isolated


Externally set and verified.

Assessments available on demand.


Test paper and data files downloaded and retained securely. Evidence uploaded electronically.


Internet connection required for part of test. Single test, taken on computer using standard desktop software. 


Externally set and verified.

Remote Invigilation Onscreen Levels 1 and 2

Assessments available with 7 days' notice. Centre needs to be pre-approved to offer. Assessments are live for 1 hour prior to the test and 3 hours after.


No download of assessment required but internet access is. The assessment is run in the learners' home or workplace.


Externally set and verified.


Pearson Edexcel Functional Skills Test Inspections

Pearson reserves the right to visit centres running our Functional Skills qualifications at any time, unannounced, to inspect the arrangements made for the security of confidential examination material and for the conduct of the examinations to ensure the quality and integrity of testing, and to give you and your learners added confidence in the way these tests are conducted.

Please ensure you run Functional Skills tests in line with our requirements listed in the Pearson Edexcel Functional Skills Instructions for the Conduct of Examinations (PDF, 0.9 MB) document and be compliant with JCQ Instructions for Conducting Examinations (PDF, 0.8 MB).

Further support and guidance

If you have any queries regarding these processes, please email

Invigilation and Assessment Exceptions

We are allowing SLC assessments to be conducted remotely using appropriate technologies. All remote assessments must be recorded and a Pearson Standards Verifier may ask to attend a live assessment as part of our monitoring activities.

We have published additional guidance on our website for Level 1 and 2 (PDF | 65 KB) as well as for Entry Level (PDF | 120 KB) assessments.

Invigilation of Functional Skills tests should normally be conducted by the centre. However, if this is not possible you can request an exception to this meaning an employer can act as the invigilator for the test.  

The centre remains responsible for the training of the invigilator and must make clear in any request: how they will manage this process and ensure employer invigilators are fully trained; how the assessment is still being conducted in an appropriate setting; how completed assessments can be kept secure and returned to the centre to be shared securely with the awarding body for marking and how any other associated risks related to this exception will be managed to ensure the assessment is still completed securely.

To request an exceptional arrangement, you must contact us using the Invigilation Exemption Request Form

Further details on our standard invigilation rules are in our Instructions for conducting examinations guidance (PDF | 606 KB).

In exceptional circumstances, where a learner is unwell and is unable to attend, we will allow centres to extend the ‘5-day window’ for PBOD tests up to 14 days. Centres must request this extension and outline how they will ensure all PBOD materials are retained securely during the 14-day period to manage any risks to the security of the assessment during that time.

To request an extension to the ‘5-day window’ you must contact us using the Invigilation Exemption Request Form

Further details on paper-based on demand assessment rules are in our Instructions for conducting examinations guidance (PDF | 600 KB).

What support is available to help me deliver Pearson Edexcel Functional Skills?

There's a comprehensive range of support, including a wide range of teaching and learning materials, training and podcasts.

Where can I find out more?

For more detailed information, see the individual subject pages or read our FAQs