Following the publication of the Ministerial Directive on 9 April 2020, NOCN is working with Ofqual to develop alternative arrangements for the awarding of Functional Skills Qualifications to enable learner progression in life and work within the current government guidance. For additional information please see government news awarding vocational and technical qualifications this summer.
Government guidelines set out in a Letter from Secretary of State for Education - VTQs that ‘assessments cannot proceed as planned this Spring and Summer’, and states the measures to be taken to reduce the impact of the pandemic. NOCN is implementing these measures and confirm that learners due to complete their Functional Skills assessments between March and July 2020, will not be expected to take their assessments. Instead NOCN will issue a calculated result.
This calculated result will be based on a range of evidence and data capture. NOCN will contact centres shortly to inform them about evidence requirements for impacted learners.
The above information applies to both legacy Functional Skills and reform Functional Skills Qualifications.
Centres who wish to carry out remote Speaking, Listening and Communication/Communicating qualifications, will be able to do so remotely as a temporary measure. NOCN are allowing remote assessment of Speaking, Listening and Communication/Communicating to take place with immediate effect.
Ofqual have confirmed that legacy Functional Skills qualifications certification date has been extended to 31 December 2020. This will give learners an opportunity to complete their qualification.
For more information see our Functional Skills Reform Update May 2020
NOCN Functional Skills maths, English and ICT qualifications have been designed to assist learners of all ages and levels to be able to confidently demonstrate the practical skills needed in real-life situations.
Our qualifications are high quality, recognised and respected by schools, colleges, training providers and employers. They can also form part of an Apprenticeship.
Our new Functional Skills maths, English and ICT qualifications are available at all 5 levels from Entry Level 1 to Level 2.
Our Functional Skills Key Information is available for recognised centres to provide information regarding reasonable adjustments, transfer of credits and feedback requests.
Our Functional Skills resources for English, maths and ICT are available via My NOCN for guidance and assessment preparation.
If your organisation wants to use these qualifications, it will need to become an NOCN centre or please call 0300 999 1177 for further information.
If you're interested in Essential Skills in Northern Ireland please visit
Helpful downloads for centres including: Reasonable Adjustment Application form, Transfer of Credit form and Feedback Report Request formFind out more