New Qualifications in English and Mathematics Skills

Monday 4 February 2013


NOCN has developed new qualifications for adults (16+) in Mathematics and English to replace the Adult Literacy and Numeracy qualifications at Level 1 and 2.  These qualifications are designed to support learners to progress to Functional Skills or GCSE qualifications in English or Mathematics. 

Partnership with ForSkills

We are working in partnership with ForSkills who are a major supplier of onscreen and paper based initial and diagnostic assessment tools mapped to Maths, English and ICT resources.  Currently their materials are mapped to the Functional Skills standards and the Adult Literacy and Numeracy curriculum.  We are working with ForSkills to map the diagnostic assessments and learning materials to our new qualifications.  Any NOCN centre wishing to use ForSkills resources is eligible to a 20% discount on any ForSkills product.  See their website for information about their products:

What do the qualifications look like?

NOCN’s new five credit Awards (40-45 GLH) are designed to enable learners to fill the Maths or English gaps that have been identified through diagnostic assessment. 

The one credit mandatory unit covers:

  • Initial assessment
  • Diagnostic assessment
  • Setting maths or English targets in an individual learning plan

The targets set enable the tutor and learner to choose additional units that cover a range of specific maths or English skills such as reading, writing, data handling, percentages or using formula to gain the remaining four credits for the Award. 

How are the units assessed?

All units are internally assessed.  Learners can either build a portfolio of work or complete a summative assessment.  NOCN has produced benchmark assessments and guidance for all the units which centres can use to develop their own assessments that must be agreed with NOCN before use. 

Offering the Qualifications

NOCN is delighted to announce that the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) has agreed to fund the new qualifications in Maths and English through the Innovation Code until the qualifications are fully accredited.  Once accredited, the qualifications and also individual units will be funded through SFA.

Please note the NOCN Level 1 Award in Mathematics Skills (QCF) is fully accredited and is available for centres to offer from 1 February 2013 and the Level 2 Award in Mathematics Skills (QCF) and the Level 1 and 2 Awards in English Skills (QCF) are available from 1 March 2013. 

Centres already offering any of the Skills for Life qualifications (Adult Literacy and Numeracy, Functional Skills or ESOL) may apply for fasttrack approval FREE OF CHARGE to run the new qualifications.  Please send the completed form to

(NOCN Fast Track Approval Application Form English and Maths)

NOCN centres who do not currently offer NOCN Skills for Life qualifications may apply to add the qualification/programme using the normal Additional Qualification Approval and New Course Notification Form which should be returned to .  The usual charge of £25 will apply.  In the qualifications section of the form, please quote these titles:

NOCN Level 1 Award in English Skills (QCF)

NOCN Level 2 Award in English Skills (QCF)

NOCN Level 1 Award in Mathematics Skills (QCF)

NOCN Level 2 Award in Mathematics Skills (QCF)

If you are not an NOCN centre, you must complete a New Business Enquiry form which can be requested from

How much do the qualifications cost?

Registration onto each qualification/approved programme costs £25 per learner in line with our normal tariff.

Further information can be requested through


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