Digital Functional Skills | NCFE | NCFE

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Digital Functional Skills

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What are Digital Functional Skills?

Digital Functional Skills form a key part of the Department of Education’s (DfE) National Standards for essential digital skills that cover both Essential Digital Skills and Digital Functional Skills qualifications.

The DfE have created the subject content for Digital Functional Skills qualifications at Entry Level 3 and Level 1 that sets out the learning outcomes and content coverage for the qualification specifications.

Ofqual have developed the requirements for the qualifications with the intention that digital functional skills qualifications fulfil the following purposes, which are in line with those set out by the Secretary of State. Digital functional skills qualifications should provide:

  • reliable evidence of a learner’s achievements against content that is relevant to the workplace and real life;
  • assessment of a learner’s knowledge and skills as well as their ability to apply these in different contexts; and
  • a foundation for progression into employment or further education and develop skills for everyday life.

Get in touch

This enquiry form is for Centres looking to deliver Digital Functional Skills. If you are a learner, please go to QualHub ( where you can find your nearest centre offering NCFE qualifications.

What are the key pieces of information I need to know so far?

Awarded at Entry Level 3 and Level 1

Pass/fail grading

Will be funded as part of national entitlement to basic digital skills

55 Guided Learning Hours (same as English and maths)

Onscreen/online assessment only – paper based by exception only

Subject content will be based on the new national standards for essential digital skills to increase comparability across awarding organisations
When do Digital Functional Skills go live?

Digital Functional Skills will be available for first teaching in August 2023. Awarding Organisations, including NCFE, are currently working on the development of the assessment strategy, qualification specifications and sample assessment materials to submit to Ofqual in September/October 2022.

Based on the outcome of the technical evaluation Awarding Organisations will then start releasing drafts of their qualification specifications in early 2023.

Find out more information and monitor Awarding Organisations' progress through Ofqual’s website.

What happens with Functional Skills ICT?

Functional Skills ICT will be available until 31st July 2023 for registrations. Like the English & Maths legacy qualifications, the qualification will remain live for assessments for 12 months before final certification on 31st July 2024.

The DfE have produced a page providing guidance on what qualifications are available under the statutory digital entitlement.

What are my options for digital qualifications in the short term?

If you have learners who are ready now for a digital qualification, we have our Essential Digital Skills qualification available that is fully funded for 16-19 and adult learners.

As well as the qualification we have initial assessment, learner resources, teaching resources and subject specialist support available for you. Learn more about our offer

If you wish to be kept up to date on our Digital Skills products please complete the form.

Why choose NCFE?

When you decide to work with us, you’re choosing:

  • Products and services developed by experts in their fields who understand sector skills gaps, as well as current and future employer requirements
  • The best possible start for your learners, who will master the skills they need to progress in work and in life, across a lifetime of learning
  • Deep expertise in a number of specialist sectors, with a network of collaborators delivering transformational learning experiences in these areas 
  • Skills diagnostic and assessment tools, developed to help you support your learners’ individual needs
  • Customer service with a 96% satisfaction rate and world-class Net Promoter Score (NPS)*
  • Clear service-level agreements, multi-channel service, end-to-end support with dedicated account management and transparent pricing
  • A educational charity with a 170-year heritage in vocational and technical learning.

*NCFE has an NPS of 81, putting us in the world-class category. Our customer satisfaction score (CSAT) is 4.83 out of 5. Statistics correct as of January 2022