CCW-Training Academy promoting the new national standards for essential digital skills qualification

Essential Digital Skills Qualification


Essential Digital Skills Qualification

The Department for Education is reforming essential digital skills qualification to ensure learners have access to high quality provision that will equip them with the digital skills they need for life and work. As part of our reforms, Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) funding approval is being removed from existing information and communication technology (ICT) and digital skills qualifications.

In April 2020, following extensive consultation, new national standards for essential digital skills replaced the national ICT standards, published in 2006 that were out of date and did not reflect the digital, connected world we live in.

The new essential digital skills qualifications, developed against the new national standards are now available for post-16 learners.

The Department for Education set out to improving adult basic digital skills consultation response (2019) that only new entry level and level 1 qualifications based on our new national standards that meet our qualification eligibility principles would be eligible for adult education budget funding from August 2020. They also confirmed the intention to remove funding from functional skills qualifications in ICT at entry level and level 1. Therefore, extend funding approval for existing entry level and level 1, ICT functional skills qualifications until 1 August 2022.

Qualifications that will no longer have post-16 funding approval

From 1 August 2021, ESFA post-16 funding approval will be removed for all ICT and digital qualifications at entry and level 1 in the sector subject area ICT for Users, except for essential digital skills qualifications. This will include IT User qualifications and other ICT and digital qualifications in this sector subject area. We will only approve for funding essential digital skills qualifications in this sector subject area.

From 1 August 2022, ESFA post-16 funding approval will be removed for all existing ICT functional skills qualifications up to level 1.

Details of which qualifications will no longer be approved for post-16 funding are available.

ESFA post-16 funding approval will be removed for new starts only.

More information on digital skills

For more information on funding approval, see the guidance on qualification funding approval.

Further information on the development of essential digital skills qualifications by awarding organisations can be found at essential digital skills qualifications: progress so far.

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