Update (21 October 2015)

Please read the important information below if you intend to run Pearson Edexcel Functional Skills paper-based (series-based) qualifications.

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At Pearson, we believe in maintaining the appropriate standards for our qualifications and providing equal opportunity for all. With this in mind, we will be introducing some changes to how we monitor our Pearson Edexcel Functional Skills paper-based (series-based) qualifications, which will start from 9 November 2015. Test inspections will initially be introduced on a trial basis for the November series to allow us to evaluate their impact.

Simplifying the test notification process

Our aim is to make it easier for you to notify us of the tests you are running at your centre. Currently, you notify us of tests by emailing fs-schedules@pearson.com. However, we are keen to minimise the administrative burden on your centre, so we are now introducing a Functional Skills Test Notification Form for you to complete and submit by 2 November 2015.

We understand that you may not be able to confirm exact learner names in advance, so we require you to submit only the following information:

  1. your centre details
  2. qualification title of the test
  3. exams officer contact details
  4. test date, time and venue
  5. estimated number of learners expected.

Important points to note

If more than one qualification test is scheduled on any given day or you are running tests at different venues then you will need to submit a new Functional Skills Test Notification Form for each qualification test.

If, for any particular reason, the Functional Skills qualifications test is cancelled or rescheduled, please let us know at least 24 hours prior to the scheduled test by emailing vqtestinspections@pearson.com with the reason for cancelling or rescheduling the test.

Test inspection visits

Unannounced test inspection visits may take place at your centre in the November series this year. On the day of a test, you may be visited by one of our appointed test inspectors. The test inspector will be in possession of a test inspector ID letter which will allow you to verify their identity. We want to ensure there is minimum disruption to your business. Please allow the test inspector access to your test venue, and provide them with the information they require.

The delivery of Pearson Edexcel Functional Skills paper-based (series-based) qualifications are included in the Pearson Edexcel Functional Skills Instructions for Conducting Examinations and JCQ Instructions for Conducting Examinations documents.

The test inspector will complete a test inspection visit report which will outline the findings from the test inspection visit. You will be issued with a copy of the test inspection visit report within five working days of the visit.

Please ensure that your exams officer and invigilators are aware of this process and understand that they may receive an inspection visit.

Monitoring of the test dates

It is important that you inform us of all test dates and venues for Functional Skills paper-based (series-based) qualifications that are taking place from 9 November 2015 onwards. We will be monitoring notified test dates against tests taken. We will follow up with you where we believe a test has been taken without notifying us.

Feedback

We will evaluate the Functional Skills test inspections process at the end of the November series test window and we'll communicate the findings with you in December 2015. In order for us to evaluate the process, we would welcome your feedback. Please email us at vqtestinspections@pearson.com.

Further support or guidance

If you have any initial queries regarding these processes, please contact us or email vqtestinspections@pearson.com. You can also refer to our frequently asked questions section below.

QCA Code

Qualification

500/8700/9

Pearson Edexcel Functional Skills qualification in English at Level 1

500/8683/2

Pearson Edexcel Functional Skills qualification in English at Level 2

500/8906/7

Pearson Edexcel Functional Skills qualification in Mathematics at Level 1

500/8907/9

Pearson Edexcel Functional Skills qualification in Mathematics at Level 2

Frequently asked questions

You should carry on arranging your tests as normal. Please notify us of any tests you are running from 2 November for Pearson Edexcel Functional Skills paper-based (series-based) qualifications.

Yes, all subjects - English, Maths, ICT are included. Only the Speaking, Listening and Communication component is excluded from the test inspections programme.

No. You need to inform us of all planned test dates at Levels 1 and 2 for all subjects except the Speaking, Listening and Communication component.

No, it affects only paper-based tests for Pearson Edexcel Functional Skills qualifications.

No. You should now complete the Functional Skills Test Notification form.

Yes. We understand that you'll not always know which learners will be taking the test on a particular date. You only need to notify us of the test date and venue, and inform us of estimated numbers.

No. Once you have informed us of the test date, you should proceed with the test as normal.

You should complete one form for each test and indicate on the form the estimated numbers of students starting the test at each start time.

Yes. You should email us at vqtestinspections@pearson.com if you need to cancel the test, or reschedule the test date or venue at least 24 hours prior to the test.

You should email us at vqtestinspections@pearson.com if you need to cancel the test, or reschedule the test date or venue at least 24 hours prior to the test.

You should email us at vqtestinspections@pearson.com if you need to cancel the test, or reschedule the test date or venue at least 24 hours prior to the test.

Some centres may be visited more than once.

You will be contacted so we can confirm that you understand the requirements of the test inspections process. It is a requirement for you to complete the form.

If malpractice is found during a visit, a formal investigation will take place.

These visits will ensure that centres are delivering vocational tests in line with our requirements and will also help protect the integrity of the qualification.

All centres in the UK that offer Pearson Edexcel Functional Skills paper-based (series-based) qualifications are included in the test inspections process.

No. All centres in the UK that offer Pearson Edexcel Functional Skills paper-based (series-based) qualifications are included in the test inspection process.

You will receive a report within five working days of the visit. 

The visit will be unannounced and you won't receive any notification of a visit.

You will be asked to provide your exams officer's name on the Functional Skills test notification form. This information is required so that the test inspector has someone to contact and liaise with.

You need to complete the Functional Skills Test Notification form.

The form must be submitted at least 5 days in advance of the Pearson Edexcel Functional Skills paper-based (series-based) qualifications test. However, you can submit the form earlier than this.