What are Functional Skills Qualifications?


What are Functional Skills?

Functional Skills Qualifications (FSQs) are qualifications in English, Mathematics and Digital Skills (ICT) that aim to equip you with the essential skills needed to operate confidently, effectively and independently in life, education and work.

These qualifications are designed to help l develop proficiency in these subjects, regardless of your career or life goals. They don’t just teach you the theoretical knowledge, but focus on the practical application of these skills in everyday life.

FSQs are available at various levels:

Entry Level (1, 2, and 3): These are the initial levels of FSQs, designed to build foundational skills in English, Mathematics and ICT.

Level 1: This level is equivalent to GCSE grades 3 to 1 (D to G). It focuses on the ability to apply practical skills to familiar, everyday situations.

Level 2: Equivalent to GCSE grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), this level requires learners to apply their skills to a variety of situations, often in the context of the workplace or education.

Why are FSQs needed?

FSQs provide a solid foundation for further learning and career development, equipping you with the skills employers look for, such as problem-solving, communication and the ability to work independently.

Moreover, they are recognized qualifications that can help you access higher education or secure employment. For those who did not achieve the desired grades at GCSE, FSQs offer an alternative route to demonstrate their abilities in these essential subjects. Having said that, not all higher education institutions accept functional skills qualifications, so it is recommended you check the entry requirements of the course you plan to study at university, before deciding on a Functional Skills or GCSE route.

Functional Skills Qualifications offer flexibility as the exams can be taken throughout the year (usually) and even on-screen sometimes. In terms of content, they teach you practical skills that are directly applicable to the real world. Whether you’re looking to progress in your career, continue your education or simply enhance your everyday skills, FSQs offer a flexible and accessible way to achieve your goals.

The full details of what is covered in functional skills qualifications can be found here:

You can find the syllabus by searching for ‘Functional Skills Maths/English/Digital specification’ and you can find on the gov.uk website.

Functional Skills Maths specification: Functional Skills Subject Content Mathematics (publishing.service.gov.uk)

Functional Skills English specification: Subject content functional skills: English (publishing.service.gov.uk)

Digital Functional Skills specification: Digital Functional Skills qualifications: subject content (publishing.service.gov.uk)

On marscademy.com you will find resources for each subject specification.


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