Ashley Goldman

Functional Skills Assessments



I hope you can help?

We are trying to find out if it's 100% necessary that an apprentice who has grade 4 English and Maths GCSEs or C grade and above, must take an English and Maths assessment via something like BKSB prior to starting or during their apprenticeship?

Many thanks


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Not a funding requirement because they're exempt, but our friends at Ofsted probably interested to know how you're assessing E&M for all learners.

Ashley Goldman

Thanks Steve

Thats all embedded currently within our programmes but we have heard conflicting stories about initial assessment.

Kind Regards

Shabir Siddiq


My understanding is that immaterial of them having GCSE A-C/9-4 everyone had to undergo the initial assessment which had to be evidenced. They did not have to do any follow up learning as they had certificates but a record of the initial assessment had to be in their evidence file.

Has this changed?

Dan Hodgetts

Steve is right, consider separating out the question into Compliance and Quality

Compliance = no funding or audit requirement to evidence initial assessment for learners who present exemption evidence. 

Quality =

1) how do you know the learner has the requisite level of E/M to meet the required level of the Apprenticeship;

2) what would be your teaching & learning response to a learner who has exemptions but achieved =<L1 in their I/A (consider learners who have exemption evidence from many years ago, how do you know their level of E/M hasn't lapsed?);

3) does your Apprenticeship have an entry criteria (ie L4+ Apprenticeship = minimum  L2 standard in E/M - is this based on exemption evidence of I/A results?  No right or wrong answer to this, but consider that the higher the apprenticeship level, the greater potential it has to be more academic/stretching in nature and therefore may require a requisite level of Functional Skill - if that's the case how will you assess this without doing an I/A?

On whole the majority of the Providers I know do an I/A irrespective of prior attainment and decide on the best route forward from there on a individual learner basis

(and of course Steveh hit the nail on the head....consider our friends at Ofsted !!)



Shabir Siddiq if you look at the evidence reqs it says:

Support for English and maths
P354 Where applicable, the evidence pack must include the following:
P354.1 Details of how English and maths will be delivered, including a plan of
delivery and evidence of delivery taking place against that plan.
P354.2 All initial assessments for English and maths, including evidence of prior

So you only need the evidence of IA where you're claiming funding for English and/or maths. 


(as an aside, I see the @ s are working properly now, thanks Kuldip!)