Functional Skills learning end date

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Jol 8 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • Jol

    I have recently done a lot of research into this to try and determine once and for all if we can use an exam date as a learning end date for a Functional Skills qualification aim. Some posts advise that you can’t as it is their belief that an exam is not classed as a ‘learning activity’, I beg to differ. I have looked at Ofqual, Sfa, ESFA, and Awarding body guides to get a complete picture and concluded that exams are included within GLH. A good example of guidance from a qualification Awarding organisation regarding Functional Skills is as follows:
    Examples of GLH activities include:
    • Classroom-based learning supervised by a teacher
    • Work-based learning supervised by a teacher
    • Live webinar or telephone tutorial with a teach in real time
    • E-learning supervised by a teacher in real time
    • All forms of assessment which take place under the immediate guidance or Supervision of an appropriate provider of training
    • Exam time

    The delivery of Functional Skills English as an example. The average GLH is 45. Included within the GLH is the exam.
    Learner start date: 24/09/2018 Planned end date: 14/01/2019 GLH is input to MIS as 45
    Learner participates in the final exam on 14/01/2019 – last date in learning 14/01/2019 (total GLH used)
    Learner might fail (let’s hope not), has to re-sit and passes last date in learning is 14/01/2019, this does not change.

    I have not found in any of the guidance documents a statement which says you can’t use the exam date as the learning end date, in fact all documents support the notion that you can. The ESFA would require evidence to support that the learning activities (including exams) have taken place and in timescale reported within a data return. If a provider can’t evidence this then there is problem. The problem is not that an exam date has been input as the learning end date.

    Does anyone else input the exam date as the last date in learning if it is in the duration of the planned GLH?


    Martin West

    Hi Jo,
    The ILR Specifications are specific in that the actual end date is used for funding purposes although this may not make any difference where the funding is not distributed over the duration of learner dependant upon the funding model.
    Where this is the case as in FM 35 and 36 then the requirement is that this date reflects the last day in learning although this may also reflect when the examination has taken place. Where the examination takes place after the last day in learner this may have a funding implication and if you claim funding up to the examination date this could be an issue at audit.



    Hi Martin,
    Thank you for your response. So if I have understood you correctly, you do agree with me that the last date in learning for a functional skill qualification can be the learner’s participation in an exam. So long as the exam takes place before or on their planned end date as input on their ILR. Also what you have said regarding taking an exam after the planned end date makes perfect sense. Using the example in my previous post, if the learner sat their exam after the 14/01/2019 then I agree with you that the learning end date remains as 14/01/19.


    Martin West

    Hi Jo,
    Sorry it was a typo () when I said ‘Where the examination takes place (after the last day in learner) this may have a funding implication’ I mean to say (prior to the planned end date).
    You can only use the funding rules that apply to the funding model you are claiming funding under and the examples you have given from Awarding bodies, Ofqual, and other funding models may not be relevant.
    GLH has no relevance under FM 36 (Apprenticeships) and as FS requires 2 separate assessments and a test then the reference to an examination is not correct or applicable it is ‘the last day in learning’ be it before or prior to the planned end date that must be entered on the ILR.
    Where a leaner completes or withdraws prior to or after the planned end date you do not use the planned end date, but you would use the actual end date.



    Hi Martin, Happy to stand corrected and thank you for the time you have taken in setting me straight, appreciated.

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