NCFE’s Guide to Functional Skills Internal Assessments

NCFE offer all Entry Level Functional Skills qualifications which are conducted by internal controlled assessment. Level 1 and 2 Functional Skills English also contains an internal controlled assessment for the Speaking, Listening and Communication component.

All controlled assessments are set by NCFE and sent out upon registration to the designated programme contact for the qualification. Please ensure you give the correct contact details for each qualification to NCFE as any request to resend this material will be investigated.

Entry Level

The NCFE Entry Level Functional Skills qualifications are assessed through summative controlled assessment under controlled conditions with a duration of 1 to 1 ½ hours. The assessment is internally assessed and quality assured by centre staff and externally quality assured by NCFE.

Speaking, Listening and Communication at Level 1 and 2

The NCFE English Functional Skills Level 1 and 2 qualifications have three components, one of which is Speaking, Listening and Communication – this is conducted by a summative, controlled assessment. Learners can sit their assessments as soon as the centre think they are ready - controlled assessments are not subject to marking windows. The assessments are internally assessed and quality assured by centre staff and externally quality assured by NCFE.

Please see our new NCFE Assessor Instructions and Guidance SLC at Level 1 and 2 for further information on administering these assessments. You can also take a look at our Sample assessments at Level 1 and Level 2 to see our new style assessment paperwork.

If you need to make a reasonable adjustment for your learner please consult our Reasonable Adjustments and Special Considerations Policy as well as our new Guidance on Accessing Reasonable Adjustments. If you need to request an adjustment, please fill in our form.

Centres carrying out controlled assessments must follow the Regulations for the Conduct of Controlled Assessment.

Preparing for your Internal Assessments

  • Assessment packs will be issued on registration then topped up with new packs that go out automatically throughout the year.
  • Controlled assessment packs will be sent to your specified programme contact for Functional Skills by email – please ensure NCFE have the appropriate member of staff as your programme contact for Functional Skills.
  • NCFE send out the assessment, mark schemes and any source materials that learners will need to use during their assessment.
  • Assessment packs should be stored in a secure location, whether it is in electronic form or printed form.
  • NCFE also send out details of the conditions in which these assessments must be sat.
  • Ensure the appropriate staff have read through the assessor guidance instructions and are familiar with their roles.
  • If you are planning to run your assessments over more than one session, learners must hand in any work at the end of each session and work must be stored securely.
  • Learners must not have access to work in between specified assessment opportunities, and they’re not permitted to work on assessment evidence in between specified assessment opportunities.
  • Please use the NCFE Assessor Instructions and Guidance - Functional Skills Controlled Assessments (Entry Levels) in conjunction with all Entry level sets.  This guide gives you an overview of how to administer the assessments and what the requirements are for each of the qualifications.
  • Please use the NCFE Assessor Instructions and Guidance SLC at Level 1 and 2 in conjunction with Speaking, Listening and Communication at Level 1 and 2. This new guide gives you an overview of how to administer the assessments and what the requirements are for each level.

Running your Internal Assessment

  • Ensure that the room is set up in accordance with the Regulations for the Conduct of Controlled Assessment.
  • Ensure that the appropriate information from Section 4 of the Regulations for the Conduct of Controlled Assessment and the relevant information from the assessment packs are read out to the learners prior to the assessment.
  • Ensure that the assessment is supervised continuously.
  • Record on the appropriate documents (e.g. front sheet, observation record) where an assessment has taken place over a period of time rather than in one sitting.

Upon completion of your Internal Assessment

  • The Assessor must collect all controlled assessment materials before the learners leave the room to ensure no learner takes their assessment materials with them.
  • The Assessor must mark assessments using the mark schemes provided.
  • All assessment material should be stored securely. Controlled assessment materials must not be returned to NCFE.
  • The controlled assessments are internally quality assured by you and externally quality assured by NCFE depending on your Direct Claims Status

For further guidance on the controlled assessment process you can contact your Customer Support Assistant or your NCFE External Quality Assurer (EQA).