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Functional Skills Policy


Purpose of this Policy

CTSW Skills Ltd is committed to developing and improving the essential skills of all learners who have not yet achieved Level 1 and 2 qualifications in English, Maths and Information, Communication Technology (ICT). This policy describes the key points of how the needs of learners will be met when undertaking functional skills and our commitment in providing an inclusive learning environment. In developing individuals, we want the opportunity for employers to recognise the value of functional skills, and the impact this has on their workforce and operational activities.


Aim of this Policy 

The overall aim of this procedure is to promote best practice and support the development of our functional skills provision through raising levels of achievement and driving continuous improvements towards the delivery of English, Maths and ICT skills.

For all learners the level of functional skill to be studied should be determined by individual learner’s ability and programme requirements. In all situations, learners will be supported to achieve the appropriate level of functional skills in order achieve their Apprenticeship Standard. Learners who have been identified as having entry level skills or have been statemented to have Special Education Needs or Disabilities (SEND), CTSW Skills Ltd will apply for reasonable adjustments and special considerations. In these cases, we will support learners to progress from their original starting point. This may include formal testing or additional use of diagnostic assessments to measure the distance travelled by individuals.  In addition CTSW Skills Ltd aims to:


  • Identify learners starting points through a robust initial and diagnostic assessment undertaken during the enrolment process

  • Support learners through 1:1 coaching and group training sessions

  • Ensure all delivery employees are fully qualified and undertake continuous professional development, in relation to their own English, maths and digital skills

  • Ensure there are sufficient resources to support teaching, learning and assessment and that these are reviewed annually to ensure that they are valid and up to date

  • Monitor learners’ progress throughout the duration of their course through the use of an ILP, e-portfolio system and 1:1 caseload review

  • Improve an apprentices’ confidence and self-esteem, particularly when tackling functional skills tests

  • Provide a commitment to supporting learners who may have SLN by working in collaboration with external agencies and employers 

  • Ensure that the English, Maths, and ICT (where applicable) delivery is flexible in terms of location, time, teaching strategies and resources in order to support the needs of individual learners. This will include opportunities to enhance skills through vocational related activities

  • Understand views of learners through the completion of course evaluations and surveys to ensure that adverse comments are acted upon quickly and good working practice is shared 

  • Support internal and external verification or moderation arrangements; including processes for controlled assessment and invigilation


Scope of this Policy

This policy applies to employees, associates and learners involved in a training programme with CTSW Skills Ltd


Related Documents

This policy relates to other key procedures which can be found on the company drive:

  • Functional Skills Procedures

  • BKSB Initial Assessment (IA) screening and diagnostic assessment

  • Individual Learning Plan (ILP)

  • Assessment and Internal Verification for Speaking, Listening and Communication (SLC) 

  • Reasonable Adjustments and Special Consideration Policy 

  • Instructions for Conducting Examination published through Joint Council for Qualification (JCQ)

  • Application of recognised prior learning

  • Quality Assurance Policy and Framework


Roles and Responsibilities

The Managing Director of CTSW Skills Ltd has overall responsibility for this policy. 



Managers are responsible for implementing English, Maths and ICT across 

the organisation by:

  • Defining clear roles and responsibilities for the management and delivery of maths, English and digital skills to ensure that all delivery employees are qualified and up-to-date with their practice 

  • Managing the delivery of English, Maths and ICT complying with external regulators including Ofsted, ESFA and Awarding Organisations (AO)

  • Leading on the strategy for enhancing English, maths and digital skills in a vocational context within the apprenticeship standard

  • Overseeing the initial assessment and diagnostic testing arrangements and subsequent initial advice and guidance to ensure learners are on the correct level of programme and duration

  • Ensuring teaching, learning and assessment is well planned and individualised for each learner, with clear targets set for English, Maths and ICT which support their development leading to timely achievements

  • Ensuring that all resources are fit for purpose and contain accurate and up to date information

  • Monitor apprentices timely progress in achieving their functional skills tests and that higher level apprentices continue to improve their technical English, Maths and ICT skills beyond their existing levels 


Functional Skills Tutors

Tutors are responsible for providing a high-quality learning experience by using a range of teaching strategies to motivate and inspire learners undertaking a course of learning. Duties include, but not limited to:

  • Requirement to have a minimum Level 2 functional skill (or equivalent) or be working towards to deliver functional skills

  • Keeping up to date with current industry practice and standards in relation to functional skills by undertaking CPD

  • Carrying out BKSB diagnostic assessments and planning a course of learning through the completion of an ILP (with short and medium targets), addressing specific needs of learners to develop their skills gap

  • Completion of an ILP to ensure effective planning for an apprentice to complete their required functional skills within 10 months of their apprenticeship start date, unless there are extenuating circumstances /challenges for an individual to achieve within this timeframe

  • Ensure there is differentiation in learning methodologies to achieve the aims and objectives of each session, including where necessary, the implementation of additional support

  • Sessions are stimulating and positive experience for all learners

  • Contextualising English, Maths and ICT in a vocational context

  • Provide timely and constructive feedback to learners so they have the opportunity to develop and build on existing skills

  • Monitor learners’ progress through effective target setting and the completion of ILPs

  • Update monthly tracking documentation to evaluate performance levels of groups of learners against their starting points 

  • Participate in monthly caseload review with the Quality Assurance Lead

  • Annual review of teaching materials and assessment model to ensure a robust approach 

  • Attending standardisation and training events  


Work-based Tutors

The tutors are responsible for providing a high standard of training and coaching, by using a range of strategies to motivate and inspire learners undertaking a course of learning. Duties include:

  • Contextualising English, Maths and digital skills learning and development to the learner’s workplace

  • Provide timely and consistent feedback to learners, focussing not only on the technical content but on spelling, punctuation and grammar

  • Participate in monthly caseload review with Quality Assurance Lead to ensure learners achieve in a timely manner

  • Meeting any regulatory requirements (e.g. ESFA, Ofsted and Awarding Organisations)  

  • Attend and take part in standardisation and training events to support the development of vocational and functional skills delivery


Internal Quality Assurance 

The Quality Assurance team is responsible for ensuring that marking and assessments across the business are consistent and meet awarding organisation standards. Duties include:

  • Overseeing the effective delivery of functional skills programmes by monitoring individual tutors’ performance against set KPIs

  • Consistently monitor timely progress in English, Maths and ICT development from individuals starting point to end date and address any learners that maybe at risk of not achieving and/or achieving past their end date

  • Establishing on a case by case basis the benefit of testing for Level 1 functional skills if Level 2 is required for the apprenticeship standard

  • Evaluating achievement data to identify trends and or gaps in performance across a number of learners

  • Quality assuring the functional skills delivery through interim and summative sampling, moderation and observations of external assessments to drive quality improvements

  • Provide training and standardisation opportunities in order to promote high standards and disseminate good working practice and to update skills and understanding in this area

  • Managing the delivery of functional skills in line with awarding organisations requirements; including registration, testing and certification

  • Ensure there are sufficient resources in place to support the delivery of functional skills. This may include the selection and recruitment of functional skills specialists 


Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Apprentices may have exemptions from completing functional skills, which must be confirmed and evidenced within the first 8 weeks of their enrolment. CTSW Skills Ltd will refer to the ESFA for a list of suitable exemption options.


For those learners who are exempt from functional skills, they will still have the opportunity to develop their Maths, English and ICT through vocational related tasks and or by undertaking independent studies using BKSB platform. 


This policy is to be used in the conjunction with the Functional Skills Procedure which outlines further activities undertaken by employees, associates and learners.