Essential Skills Wales suite of qualifications

Essential Skills qualifications are designed to assess the skills that learners need for successful learning, employment and life. Essential Skills provides a single ladder of progression from Entry Level 1 to Level 3 in Essential Communication Skills ,Essential Application of Number Skills, Essential Digital Literacy Skills and from Entry 3 to Level 3 in Essential Employability Skills.

Design principles

The Design Principles for the Essential Skills Wales qualifications set out the rationale, structure, aims, learning outcomes and assessment requirements for teaching from September 2015.

What’s changing

The Review of Qualifications recommended revised and more rigorous assessment for Communication and Application of Number, a new qualification to replace ICT (called Digital Literacy) and revised Wider Key Skills, to become part of one suite of Essential Skills, which will consist of the following:

  • Communication
  • Application of Number
  • Digital Literacy
  • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
  • Planning and Organisation
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Personal Effectiveness

Stand-alone qualifications in these skills will still be available post-16 and in Work-based Learning and Adult and Community learning, as appropriate. Skills qualifications will no longer be a requirement of attainment for the Welsh Baccalaureate; instead, literacy and numeracy will be assessed through new GCSEs in English/Welsh and Maths. The revised assessment method for Communication and Application of Number Level 1 to Level 4 will be a controlled task and supporting confirmatory instrument. The assessment for Entry Levels 1 to 3 will remain as at present, i.e. a controlled task.

Criteria

The technical criteria have been developed in collaboration with awarding bodies, in particular City & Guilds, WJEC, Agored Cymru and Pearson. The revised assessments have been contextualised and trialled by practitioners across Further Education, Work-based Learning, Adult Community Learning and alternative settings. Awarding bodies will use e Design Principles to create Essential Skills Wales stand-alone suite of qualifications in:

  • Essential Application of Number Skills (Entry 1 to Level 3)
  • Essential Communication Skills (Entry 1 to Level 3)
  • Essential Digital Literacy Skills (Entry 1 to Level 3)
  • Essential Employability Skills (Entry 3 to Level 3)

Document Download

Tuesday 30 June, 2015
Author: Welsh Government

Design Principles for the Essential Skills Wales suite of qualifications (1.0 MB)

This document refers to Essential Skills Wales qualifications where first teaching of the qualification was during or after the academic year 2015/16. For further information please contact us.
Tuesday 30 June, 2015
Author: Welsh Government

Essential Skills Wales, Introduction (173.4 KB)

This document refers to Essential Skills Wales qualifications where first teaching of the qualification was prior to the academic year 2015/16. For further information please contact us.
Tuesday 30 June, 2015
Author: Welsh Government

Essential Skills Wales - Communications (739.2 KB)

This document refers to Essential Skills Wales qualifications where first teaching of the qualification was prior to the academic year 2015/16. For further information please contact us.
Tuesday 30 June, 2015
Author: Welsh Government

Essential Skills Wales - ICT (974.2 KB)

This document refers to Essential Skills Wales qualifications where first teaching of the qualification was prior to the academic year 2015/16. For further information please contact us.

Essential Skills Wales - Application of Number (0.0 KB)

This document refers to Essential Skills Wales qualifications where first teaching of the qualification was prior to the academic year 2015/16.