Supporting Functional Skills providers through COVID-19

We are bringing together resources and information to support your delivery, assessment and certification of Functional Skills to enable your learners to continue their progress in life and work.

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We are working with Ofqual to develop the fairest and most effective alternative arrangements for the assessment of Functional Skills. This alternative solution will allow you to continue with your delivery as smoothly and easily as possible to allow learners to achieve their Functional Skills qualifications, given the current government guidance.

Ofqual will be producing specific advice which will allow us to implement these alternative arrangements and we will be in touch with you to confirm the details as soon as they are available.

View webinar on calculated grades

COVID-19 Amendments to normal examination conditions

This table below provides an overview of the amendments we are making, by exception, to our normal examination conditions for Pearson Functional Skills to enable learners to complete their assessments.

Process

Mitigation 

Further information 

Invigilation of Work based learners taking external assessments

Under normal circumstances, invigilation of Functional Skills tests must be conducted by the centre. However, if this is not possible due to COVID 19 restrictions 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 this form

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

Speaking, Listening and Communication (SLC) assessment  

 

 

 

 

 

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.  

 

 

 

 

Paper based on demand 5 day ‘window’ 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In exceptional circumstances, where a learner has to self-isolate due to COVID 19, 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’ because a learner is self-isolating and cannot take the assessment within the normal 5-day period you must contact us using this form

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

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We are working with colleagues in Ofqual, the Department for Education (DfE) and the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) and monitoring the situation closely.

Read more about the FAQs here

The topic-based content covers key areas within the new specifications and includes materials for Entry Level 3, Level 1 and Level 2. We’ve identified the main problem areas that can hold learners back as well as new or challenging content in the reformed qualifications, so our resources will enable practitioners to work closely with learners to help them progress through difficult areas of the syllabus with confidence. 

Learn more about ActiveLearn for Functional Skills English and Mathematics

Request free 90 day access to Functional Skills Revision Guides

These short and easy to digest online lessons have been broken down into specific areas of learning. Targeting such areas that are either new to the qualifications through the reform or areas which have proved challenging in the past.

Current lessons that are available are list below. Continue to check back to our website for any further additions.

  • Functional Skills Maths | Level 1 | Bearings
  • Functional Skills Maths | Level 2 | Estimating Mean from Grouped Frequency
  • Functional Skills English | All Levels | Spelling Strategies

View the lessons

 

We have provided some guidance to support you in administering assessments in this way.