Functional Skills and Core Maths

Updated 16 April

Functional Skills (3748 legacy) & (4748 reformed) –

Key dates for TAG eligibility submissions and results

Please find key dates for eligibility submissions, submissions of TAG results and results release.

Access key dates

Updated 16 April 2021

On Wednesday 24 March 2021, Ofqual published their decisions following the consultation around the arrangements for awarding Vocational, Technical and other General Qualifications for 2020/21 in the new “VTQ Contingency Regulatory Framework” (VCRF).

The full document can be found on the government website.

What does this mean for Functional Skills assessments?

For Functional Skills the framework outlines the following expectations for awarding these qualifications:

  • Awarding Organisations will continue to make assessments available to learners
  • City & Guilds’ on demand assessments for reformed and legacy Functional Skills (4748 & 3748) continue to be available to book and deliver as normal both on e-volve and paper.

    These assessments can be delivered as normal, face to face or remotely (please refer to our adaptations guidance). 

  • Where a learner is not able to safely access an assessment, either in person in line with public health guidance or, remotely, then the centre can apply for a Teacher Assessed Grade (TAG)

We have developed the process for centres to apply to be able to submit a TAG for a learner where delay is not an option and all opportunities for an exam to be taken either in person or remotely have been exhausted.

Teacher Assessed Grades – guidance

This guidance covers the assessment arrangements for all Entry 1 – Level 2 Functional Skills, for maths, English and ICT. It provides an overview of the process, and gives guidance and requirements around eligibility criteria, sources of evidence and grading.

Access the guidance

Teacher Assessed Grades – system and process guidance

This guidance supports with the process that needs to be completed for each qualification type for Teacher Assessed Grades for Functional Skills, ESOL Skills for Life, Essential Skills Wales and Essential Skills Northern Ireland. It also provides a step-by step approach to submitting your eligibility booking request on Walled Garden and the Eligibility Rationale form (where applicable).

Access the guidance

TAG Eligibility Rationale Forms

Please complete the relevant Eligibility Rationale Form if you are intending to apply for Teacher Assessed Grades (TAGs) for Functional Skills in 2021.

Functional Skills Entry Levels

Functional Skills Levels 1 and 2


Thank you if you joined our webinar on 8 April. Please find links to a recording of the session and the slides below:

Watch recording

Download the slides

Functional Skills Timeline

For an overview of the alternative arrangements timescales, please refer to the Functional Skills Timeline.

Download the timeline

If you have any questions, please contact our Functional Skills team as

Updated 12 January - Test Centres – Accessing an exam at a Pilot Centre

We have launched a Functional Skills Exams Invigilation Service to allow learners to take exams at a dedicated Covid-19 secure site, allowing level 1 and 2 maths, reading, writing and ICT exams to be administered safely and securely.

Our exam administration will be carried out in line with Covid-19 safety measures - the safety of candidate and City & Guilds staff takes absolute priority. Every precaution is being taken to ensure that exams are administered based on existing regulations.

We currently have three live sites available in Birmingham, Bristol and London. The London site will be available until the end of April.

City & Guilds Exam centres

We will be operating an initial three exam centres for the Functional Skills Exam service. These are based in London, Birmingham and Bristol.

London exam centre
5-6 Giltspur Street,

Birmingham exam centre
Fairgate House
205 Kings Road
Tyseley, Birmingham
West Midlands
B11 2AA

Bristol exam centre
22-28 Queen Ann Road
Barton Hill

If you wish to use the Functional Skills Exam Service should contact us at 

Exams and attendance at any City & Guilds’ exam centre must be booked in advance. Learners are not permitted to drop in to take tests.

Details of the booking process, centre responsibilities, learner information, access arrangements, fees and Covid-19 risk assessment information can be found in the Centre guidance that is available below;

Read the centre guidance

Updated 11 January 2021 - Important updates for Functional Skills and End-Point Assessment

Updated 11 January – The Department for Education (DfE) and the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) have recently published updated guidance on the delivery of apprenticeships and Functional Skills assessments in light of the new lockdown restrictions.

The guidance covers some key areas such as the extensions to apprenticeships flexibilities until 31 August 2021 from the Institute of Apprenticeships and Technical Education, and Functional Skills requirements (please see pages 15/16 in the link below).

View the latest guidance from DFE and ESFA

On 14 October 2020 it was confirmed that extensions to Legacy Functional Skills would be put in place to 31 July 2021. The temporary suspension of the rule requiring level 2 apprentices to study towards, and attempt, level 2 functional skills exams to 31 March 2021 was also confirmed.

Read the guidance

19 November 2020 - Functional Skills - Exam Support Service (ESS)

The ESFA announced on Friday 13 November that the DfE’s Exam Support Service (ESS) has been extended to include Functional Skills in apprenticeships, where assessments were planned to be delivered in the workplace.

The current government advice on Covid-19 confirms that travel for education, training and assessment is allowable under current restrictions, and the Exam Support Service provides financial support for providers with essential additional costs associated with running exams. In this case apprenticeship training providers will be able to access the service to book sites and invigilators for Functional Skills exams and claim costs for eligible apprentices.

To be eligible, the apprentice must:

  • have been expecting to take their FSQ assessment in the workplace
  • have a planned end date between 1 August – 31 December 2020
  • not be otherwise able to access an FSQ assessment.

Read the full announcement

Read the full guidance on the Exam Support Service

Guidance is due to be updated in November to include Functional Skills and information about eligibility and the claiming process.

If you are considering using an external venue and would like some support from us with this, please let us know by filling out the form.

Fill out the form

21 October 2020 - New assessment mitigation guidance now available

Please visit our FY20/21 Adaptations webpage to access the new Functional Skills guidance document.

Updated 29 September 2020 - Functional Skills testing

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues, we understand the challenges that you and your learners may be facing with regard to testing and assessment, particularly as a result of social distancing and local restrictions.

For 2020-21 government intent is that that assessments should continue as usual and, where possible, are delivered in the normal way.

We have been listening closely to your feedback and are keen to support you with a range of assessment options during the ongoing situation that we are all facing with Covid-19.

The following options for Functional Skills testing are currently available:

  • e-volve tests – As we have always offered, we will continue to offer on-demand Functional Skills onscreen tests through our e-volve platform
  • Tests at an employer site –  We have enabled testing at an employer site where this is possible.
  • Remote Invigilation – We are currently working with a small number of customers on a full remote invigilation solution, we hope to be able to roll this out to all Functional Skills customers within the next few months.  We will provide an update on this in the coming weeks.
  • Paper tests – We continue to offer paper tests.
  • Network of testing sites - We are currently exploring the possibility of opening up a number of City & Guilds testing sites around the country to support our customers, please let us know if this solution would be good for you.
  • Remote speaking, listening and communicating (English only) – This component can now be assessed remotely.  Guidance documents for each level can be found here, in the “Speaking, Listening and Communicating Assessment Materials” accordion for the relevant level, under the Assessment Documents menu.

If you wanted to speak to our teams on the options above please contact your City & Guilds contact (account manager or business manager).

For more information on the full remote invigilation service that is currently in development visit our dedicated page.

Essential Skills

For information on Essential Skills including updates and guidance on assessment approaches please visit our dedicated page which covers Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Using and Applying Mathematics

Further information relating to Using and Applying Mathematics for 2020-21 will follow shortly.