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Wales Essential Skills updates

August 2022

As you will be aware the current adaptations to assessments which have been in place, to mitigate against the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, will cease on 31 August 2022.

Entry level assessments and controlled tasks

From 1 September 2022, all controlled tasks for all subjects and levels, must be delivered under formal, face-to-face supervision as outlined in the Qualification Handbook.

In response to feedback from centres, the Asset Management Group and Qualification Wales are exploring whether it would be possible to introduce remote delivery and supervision of controlled tasks, while upholding the confidentiality of assessment materials and still have the rigour of maintaining authenticity of candidate responses. We hope to share further information about any changes to the management of controlled tasks early in the autumn term.

Confirmatory tests

Qualification Wales have confirmed that the use of remote invigilation of the confirmatory tests can continue and will be an acceptable way to deliver the tests alongside face-to-face invigilation. For further information about taking confirmatory tests onscreen with remote invigilation, please contact customersupport@cityandguilds.com.

New controlled tasks

We will be making two new live controlled tasks for Levels 1, 2 and 3 for each subject for use by centres from 1 September 2022. Further tasks will be added to the live bank in November and January. The existing controlled tasks which have been available for use under the relaxed supervision during the adaptation period will be removed from the website and centres must not allow any new candidates to start these tasks with effect from 1 September 2022.

Centre Devised Tasks

Following the end of Covid-19 adaptations and with the return to assessment delivery as normal, we are revisiting the Centre Devised Tasks (CDTs) that were submitted during the adaptation period.
During the adaptations period, CDTs have not been available for use by centres and in the meantime there has been a review of the qualification.

This review has not affected CDTs for Communication at any level, or for Entry Level Application of Number, however it does mean that any CDTs that you submitted for review for Application of Number Levels 1-3, will need to be reviewed in line with the updated Design Principles.

We will be reviewing the CDTs that we have in progress, and welcome your re-submission of your Application of Number tasks once you have applied the changes to your tasks.

July 2022

Following the recent review of the Design Principles on which Essential Skills qualifications in Wales are based, the changes have now been formally agreed with Qualification Wales and will come into effect from 1 September 2022.

To support centres to understand the impact of these changes on the controlled tasks and confirmatory tests, the Asset Management Group have created some revised sample assessment materials which take account of the changes.

In addition, City & Guilds held a webinar to present these changes, a recording of this webinar can be found on the link below, together with a copy of the slide deck.

During this session, centres asked a number of questions and these and the responses have been collated in a Q&A document which is linked below but is also available from the 3868 Qualification page on the documents tab under “Additional Documents”. In addition a copy of the updated Design Principles has been placed under “Centre Documents”

Webinar – 14:00 20/07/2022 - Recording

Webinar – 14:00 20/07/2022 – Slide Deck

Changes to Design Principles – FAQs

October 2021

Essential Skills Wales qualifications have existed in their current form since 2016. In recent months, the four Awarding Bodies have been working with Qualifications Wales to review the Design Principles with a view to:

  • improve manageability of the controlled tasks for candidates
  • further improve the clarity of expectations for each subject at each level, and
  • increase the available options for questions in the confirmatory tests

The review has taken into consideration feedback from all stakeholders including our centres, question writers, external quality assurance personnel and cross awarding body standardisation events.

A document providing a summary of the changes, for EAoNS, ECommS and EES, which are due to be implemented from September 2022 is available from the 3868 Qualification Page under Additional Documents.

In addition, we have added a "Confirmatory Test Pass Rates v1.0" guide to the Additional Documents folder. This describes how the Confirmatory Tests for EAoNS and ECommS are designed and awarded together with an indication of the pass rates for the period October 2019 and March 2020.

We hope you find these documents useful, if you should have any questions, please contact: pre-employment@cityandguilds.com.

November 2020

To support centres with the remote delivery and assessment of the two Digital Literacy controlled tasks to be used during this period of Covid-19 adaptions, we have made word versions of the assessors' packs available from the qualification page. They can be found on the Documents tab under the EDLS Assessment Materials folder at each Level.

Please find a link to the recording of the recent webinar about the adaptations for Essential Skills qualifications in Wales together with the slide deck.

These documents are password protected, passwords are available from the 3868-03 Walled Garden catalogue page.

Watch the ESW Adaptations Webinar recording

Download the ESW Adaptations Webinar slides

January 2020

Feedback from centres suggests that they would find it useful to be able to design Controlled Tasks for their learners that reflect their chosen vocational area or interests. Qualification Wales has created some guidance to support centres to pursue this.

Find out more information

If you are interested in creating your own version of a Controlled Task please download the presentation below which sets out the process for centres to follow.

Download the presentation

Any questions regarding designing your own controlled tasks or the process should be directed to ESW-CDT@cityandguilds.com

September 2018

Following Qualification Wales’ review of the implementation of Essential Skills Wales Qualifications it has been agreed that it will be possible for learners to take a partial re-sit of the Essential Skills Communications controlled task where they have been unsuccessful with one or two parts of their controlled task. The Asset Management Group have issued guidance for centres in managing this process which is available here.

15 March 2018

A number of older controlled tasks have been removed from the qualifications page and are no longer available for use after 31 March 2018.

Any stocks of these tasks held by centres must be destroyed.

The table below lists the assessments which have been withdrawn:

Set 1

Set 2

ECommS Level 1

Community & Politics - Voting

Sport & Leisure – Exercising Outdoors

ECommS Level 2

Business – Starting a Business

Employment – Job Interviews

ECommS Level 3

Employment - Space Exploration

Sport & Leisure – Sports Drinks and Diodydd Chwaraeon

EAoNs Level 1


Sport & Leisure

EAoNs Level 2

Finance – Paying for a Holiday

Sport & Leisure – Designing a fitness programme and Diodydd Chwaraeon

EAoNs Level 3



EDLS Entry Level 1

Set 1 – Health & Fitness

EDLS Entry Level 2

Set 1 – Sport & Leisure

EDLS Entry Level 3

Set 1 - Health & Wellbeing

EDLS Level 1

Set 1 – Employment – Recruitment day

EDLS Level 2

Set 1 - Travel & Tourism - Staycation

EDLS Level 3

Set 1 – Travel & Tourism - Staycation

Some new controlled tasks have been added to the bank available from the City & Guilds’ website.

Find a table listing all the current active assessments >