Free support material for Functional Skills

We have tons of free resources for you to use in your delivery of our Functional Skills qualifications!

If you want further information on our Functional Skills offer please contact your centre’s Business Development Officer or Centre Support Assistant.


Free ForSkills Initial Assessment & Diagnostic Tools

By registering your Functional Skills candidates with NCFE, you get FREE access to ForSkills including both their diagnostics and interactive learning resources. By using their fully adaptive initial assessment and diagnostic software you’ll be ensuring your candidates are learning Functional Skills at a level appropriate to them. Automatic signposting to the interactive learning resources will provide targeted teaching for each learner to address any skills gaps detected by the assessment process.

Included in this package are:

  • a reliable suite of assessments which automatically mark, cutting the tutor’s workload
  • an initial assessment which provides a dyslexia/dyscalculia screening process
  • a diagnostic system which identifies the learner’s individual strengths as well as individual skills gaps
  • an Individual Skills Plan (ISP) automatically generated from each learner’s diagnostic results
  • a group profile which aids meaningful lesson planning
  • learning materials which initially help fill the learning gaps in each learner’s underlying skills
  • additional learning materials to help understand the application of the underlying skills to functional scenarios.

Upon gaining approval for NCFE Functional Skills qualifications, your Programme Contact will receive an email from ForSkills advising your registration and log on details. If you wish to have a demonstration or training for ForSkills please contact your Centre Support Assistant.


Free Sample Papers

These sample assessments will give you an idea of how our live assessment materials will look, and more importantly will give your candidates the chance to practice sitting a Functional Skills assessment.

We have recently released some NEW sample assessments that reflect the transition our assessments have gone through.  We have made some changes due to customer feedback and the recent Ofqual thematic review.  The samples are identified by NEW in the filepath.  The older samples are still excellent resources for your candidates to use in preparation for their external assessment. 

We will notify you of any additional samples as and when they are released.

Please note because our live assessment materials are from a bank of live papers they cannot, and must not, be kept for revision purposes and must not be looked at by anyone other than the candidate. Therefore only the sample assessments below should be used for candidates to practice and prepare for their live assessment.

We recommend, as good practice, not to use the sample papers as your sole delivery. A good tip at the start of your delivery is to break down a paper by question and give your candidates a question each lesson to familiarise them with how the questions are worded. Once the candidate is nearing the end of their course and you feel they are ready for the final external assessments you can then use the papers to do a mock external assessment to get them prepared.

If you're going to use our online assessment system for the final external assessment then we'd recommend you sit a sample paper on the online system so that the candidate can be familiar with the online environment. These papers will still need to be marked by your staff using the mark scheme available below, this needs to be done as soon as the candidate completes the practice paper online. You can book a practice assessment on the online assessment system and can create a window where the candidate can sit the practice assessment at any point.

Within each zip file you’ll find all you need to support your learners e.g. sample papers, mark schemes and assessment guidance.

If you need advice on online practice Functional Skills assessment, please contact your Centre Support Assistant who’ll be glad to help.

English sample papers Maths sample papers ICT sample papers
Entry Level 1 Entry Level 1 Entry Level 1
Entry Level 2 Entry Level 2 Entry Level 2
Entry Level 3 Entry Level 3 Entry Level 3
Level 1 Level 1 Level 1
Level 2 Level 2 Level 2

Free Qualification Support Packs

Qualification Support Packs provide examples of how to prepare for delivering our qualifications and include templates which can be adapted by you for different delivery contexts and circumstances. They also include signposts to external resources which might be useful for tutors and assessors.

Qualification Support Packs are broken down into 3 sections:

  • schemes of work, lesson plans and supporting delivery resources
  • supporting document templates (for you to personalise for your learners).
  • guides to best practice.

Are there any other benefits?

  • they provide examples of how to prepare for delivering our qualifications
  • they’re provided in a useable and editable format so you can tailor them to suit your own needs
  • many also cover questioning techniques or methods of assessment
  • they include templates which can be adapted for different delivery contexts/circumstances.

Click on the relevant level below to download your Qualification Support Pack.

English Maths ICT
Entry Level 1 Entry Level 1 Entry Level 1
Entry Level 2 Entry Level 2 Entry Level 2
Entry Level 3 Entry Level 3 Entry Level 3
Level 1 Level 1 Level 1
Level 2 Level 2 Level 2


Free Amplification Resources

Our Amplification Guides are perfect for centres that are up-skilling their vocational staff and assessors to support the delivery of Functional Skills and also for subject specialists looking for practical examples of how to explain the application of Functional Skills.

The guides:

  • show how the standards are tested in the Functional Skills questions and their mark schemes using the NCFE sample assessments as examples
  • explain how the coverage and range is developed, using the  adult core curricula to add detail as to what should be taught for each range statement
  • illustrate the coverage and range with practical examples of how they are used in life and work.

These resources have been developed with support from NCFE centres and their feedback has helped to inform both the structure and the content. We also worked with a number of vocational Assessors and subject specialists who have used these resources to support CPD and the feedback has been very positive

English Amplification Guide

Maths Amplification Guide

ICT Amplification Guide


Free Chief Examiner Reports

We publish marking window reports for each Functional Skills subject. The Chief Examiner provides details on the positives and negatives of each marking window to guide you to areas that are doing well and not so well. These are generic reports but give you a good indication of areas to concentrate on and, alongside your free ForSkills materials, should help you identify where candidates need support. 

Chief Examiner Reports for English

Chief Examiner Reports for Maths

Chief Examiner Reports for ICT