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FAQs 

Here is a list of the most common questions we are asked about Functional Skills.

FAQs

Here is a list of the most common questions we are asked about Functional Skills. If you can’t find the answer you are looking for, please email fssupport@theimi.org.uk or call 01992 511521.

What Functional Skills are IMI offering?

IMI are working with Skillsfirst Awards to offer a more flexible Functional Skills solution for our centre network. There are no plans for anything higher than L2 Functional Skills. IMI offer the following Functional Skills:
  • English: L1 and L2
  • Maths: L1 and L2
  • ICT: L1 and L2

How are assessments delivered?

On-demand assessments

  • IMI offer an on-demand service for on-screen assessments.
  • On-screen assessments are available to schedule anytime. 
  • Provided via an online on-demand system that allows centres and employers to plan assessments at a time that suits them and the learner.
Paper-based
  • Paper-based alternatives are available where required.
  • Results release dates for the paper assessment dates.
On screen results release
  • Centres can expect results within 14 days of the paper being taken.

Why aren't the results immediate if it's online on-demand?

Each assessment follows a process of manual marking, standardisation and awarding (pass mark setting). The results will then be available on SecureAssess.

What do the assessments look like and what do they consist of?

  • Assessments requires the candidate to use their processing skills
  • Each assessment presents the candidate with a real life scenario and they will be asked to perform task based, or task and test based assessments and provide responses. 
  • This can involve the use of the PC, calculator, dictionary etc. as they would in a work placed scenario, but it will still be conducted in an exam/test environment with invigilation. 
  • Sample assessment material
  • Practice on-screen assessments

How long will each assessment take?

  • Maths: 1.5 – 2 hours
  • English (Reading & Writing): 1.5 – 2 hours 
  • ICT: 2 hours

Reasonable adjustments

  • To apply for a reasonable adjustment please complete a 'reasonable adjustment/special consideration for Functional Skills application form' on the IMI Centres Hub.  Requests need to be submitted at least 30 days before the assessment in line with the appropriate policy.  

What if the learner fails? How soon can they re-sit?

You will have to wait for the results (see above). The system will not allow a candidate to sit the same paper. To help learners prepare for their first assessment, there are practice papers which enable them to familiarise themselves with the assessment environment and typing responses.

How many times can a learner take a re-sit?

As many times is required for the learner to pass. It is important to note that the apprenticeship will not be complete without the Functional Skills elements.

Are there any exemptions / relaxations allowed?

The SASE have stated that only for L2 apprenticeships when a learner has an A* - C grade in the relevant GCSE. The exemption/relaxation will be allowed but it will clearly be stated on their apprenticeship certificate.

Who will issue our certificates?

Maths and ICT certificates will be generated automatically upon successful completion of the assessments. For English, centres will need to claim through Web Portal 2. The certificates will be co- branded with IMI and Skillsfirst.

What is the registration fee?

The registration fee is £14.50 for each subject and level. Re-sits are £11.25.

Do assessors / lecturers need to have specific qualifications for delivery of Functional Skills?

Guidance for Functional Skills teaching staff is that they must have:

  • 2 years' experience in teaching / training; or 
  • hold or be working towards appropriate teaching / training qualifications; or 
  • have knowledge and experience in the subject being taught to be able to judge the learner's performance against the Functional Skills standards and be able to justify their teaching practices and as a minimum, hold the same level of qualification being taught

What teaching materials are available to assist in the delivery?

Functional Skills criteria document
Sample assessment material
Schemes of work

What are the guided learning hours (GLH)?

45 hours per route per level.