Whether you’re new to OCR, or already offer our qualifications, you might find our admin overview useful. This outlines the main administration processes for our reformed Functional Skills qualifications, and will guide you to the relevant, detailed information on our website.
Our reformed Functional Skills qualifications are designed to enable students to develop confidence and fluency in maths and English. Suitable for young people and mature students, these qualifications are available from Entry Level to Level 2, with a choice of paper-based tests or on-screen assessment.
The first step to offering Functional Skills is to become an approved centre.
If you are already approved to offer legacy Functional Skills with OCR, you just need to email us at email@example.com, including your centre number, and we will transfer your approval to our reformed Functional Skills.
For centres new to OCR Functional Skills, you need to complete Sections A to D of the vocational centre approval form. A visit to your centre may be required if you have not already been inspected by JCQ or OCR and wish to conduct paper-based tests – but we will let you know when we receive your application.
Once approved we will give you access to our secure website for Functional Skills entries and submissions. We will also give you access to Surpass – this is the system which allows you to run on-screen tests and produce feedback reports for all tests – whether paper-based or on-screen.
Once you’re approved, we’ll send you a self-assessment form via our secure site to complete with your centre’s arrangements for Speaking, Listening and Communicating.
The self-assessment is valid for a year and we’ll let you know 3 months before it expires so you can update the form.
When renewing the self-assessment form, you need to include audio recordings for 10 candidates. These are chosen by you but should be spread across the levels that you offer. You don’t need to send audio files the first time you submit your self-assessment.
Every 3 years, OCR will also visit your centre to monitor your assessments for SLC and check the information included on your self-assessment form.
Without a completed self-assessment form, you can’t carry out English tests or submit your SLC components for all levels.
You may need to apply for access arrangements to enable students with special educational needs, disabilities or temporary injuries to access the assessments.
You first need to make qualification entries (registrations) for the overall qualification.
Qualification entries are made creating a ‘booking’ using our secure website for Functional Skills entries and submissions.
More information is available in the Functional Skills entry codes booklet.
The way to order question papers and schedule on-screen tests is by creating a ‘test session’ within our secure site.
Before you can do this, you need to make overall qualification entries (registrations), which are processed immediately on submission – there’s no delay.
Test sessions are per component and should include all the students you wish to take tests on a particular day. You choose the date of the sessions and can schedule them up to 3 months in advance. Students can take the test any time on that date.
Mathematics Level 1 and 2, English Reading and English Writing Level 1 and 2
You must deliver the tests in line with the regulations specified in the OCR Instructions.
You will receive question papers within 5 working days of your scheduled test date. You must complete all tests on the specified day and despatch them no later than the end of the next working day. You must return all question papers, including unused papers.
An attendance list will be included with your question papers. This will show you which version of the provided question papers should be given to each candidate. Candidates must sit the version they have been assigned.
You must deliver the tests in line with the regulations specified in the OCR Instructions. If you’re using on-screen tests, they can be run at any time. Tests are scheduled within the secure site and you need to use the on-screen test system, Surpass, to run the on-screen tests.
Students take the test using SecureClient and you monitor the test’s progress using Surpass. Each candidate needs a keycode, which can be found within the test session details on the secure site or from the Invigilation screen within Surpass.
Levels 1 and 2 English Speaking, Listening and Communicating and all Entry Level assessments
The assessments can take place at any time – see the specifications on the qualification pages for information and guidance on how to do this.
Sets of Entry Level live assessments and Level 1 and 2 SLC tasks can be downloaded from the Documents area of the secure site. You must check the dates on the assessments to make sure they are valid. For Entry Level, there will be three live sets of assessment material at any one time.
All internally assessed components: Entry Level and Speaking, Listening and Communicating
Once the assessment is completed and marked by you, you can request your moderation through our secure site by using the Functional Skills moderation form. (You should only submit requests for assessments you Pass.)
For Speaking, Listening and Communicating, you only to need to submit the observation records, not the audio files.
See our handy guide for more information.
We’ll issue results electronically via the secure site within 7 days:
Once a candidate has achieved the number of components required for the qualification they are entered for, the overall results will be automatically issued.
We’ll issue certificates five working days after the results are published.
If you have questions about results, including missing results, use one of our post-results services.
If you’re still unhappy with the post-results decision then you may be able to appeal.
We’re here to support you throughout the exams cycle and we produce a range of tools and additional guidance material you may find useful.
There are monthly online training sessions covering the admin essentials for Functional Skills.
Find your local Customer Support Manager, and your local exams officer or teacher network.
Keep up to date with our monthly exams officer update and subject information updates, plus our regular blog posts.
You can also find out more details about Interchange.