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Essential Digital Skills

Our Essential Digital Skills initial assessment from Skills Forward and qualifications from NCFE will address the digital skills needed in today’s world.

We’re delighted to announce that our qualifications are now live for registrations. Our qualifications are at entry level 3 and level 1, both of which are suitable for 16-19 and adult learners.


Essential Digital Skills

Essential Digital Skills are more important than ever. Since 2020, we’ve experienced a world where face-to-face communication hasn’t been possible and therefore having a grasp on digital technology and communication is vital to stay connected.

NCFE's Essential Digital Skills qualifications (EDSQ) are funded qualifications mapped to national standards for basic digital literacy. Designed to meet digital knowledge gaps, these qualifications will provide vital skills to many.

The qualifications cover five key topics: 

 Using devices and handling information

Creating and editing



Being safe and responsible online

Read more about the qualifications in our quick guide. You can also find out more by completing our enquiry form or emailing the team on [email protected]

Skills Builder: initial assessment and resources

Choose Skills Builder from Skills Forward for ESDQ initial assessment and resources, mapped to the new qualifications.

Skills Forward has worked alongside the digital subject matter experts who developed the national standards for the Department for Education, to ensure the assessment and resources efficacy.

Your learners will be guided through a range of initial assessment tasks and the results will give you an understanding of your learners’ current digital skills competency. Based on this data, your learners will be given an individual skills plan that is tailored to their specific needs and areas identified for improvement.

The easy to navigate platform is available 24/7 so your learners’ can develop their skills on demand at a time that suits them for on the go eLearning.

For a demonstration of the platform or to discuss your requirements in more detail, contact [email protected].

Digital Skills – facts and figures

A 2018 report conducted by Lloyds Bank UK Consumer Digital Index found that in the UK:

  • 11.3 million people (21%) lack the full basic digital skills
  • 4.3 million (8%) have no basic digital skills at all
  • 5.4 million working adults (10%) are without basic digital skills
  • people with a registered disability are 4 times as likely to be offline
  • 28% of those aged 60+ are offline.

These statistics undoubtedly prove the need for essential digital skills, especially for adults.

Research1 has shown that those with high digital engagement see lifestyle and health benefits from this: 87% say it helps them to connect better with friends and family and 84% say it helps them to organise their life.

1 https://www.lloydsbank.com/banking-with-us/whats-happening/consumer-digital-index.html

Tell me more!

EDSQ quick guide

Read our document for a rundown of what the qualifications entail.


Watch our webinar

Missed our recent webinar on NCFE's Essential Digital Skills qualification and the fantastic wraparound support we have available? Catch up now!

Watch now