Pass Functional Skills and Open Awards

Open Awards and Pass Functional Skills are working in collaboration to offer free functional skills diagnostic tools for training providers to use in order to more accurately assess their learners. The tools have been developed over a number of years with large data sets and smart technology to better assess what level a learner is working at and to identify their gaps in knowledge.

Learn More About the Initial AssessmentsLearn More About the Subject Knowledge Assessments

What Are the Features of the Free Functional Skills Diagnostic Tools?

The free diagnostic tools include:

  • Initial Assessments – A bespoke, market leading assessment that is used to determine what level a student is currently working at, and suggests which course they should be enrolled on after completion.
  • Subject Knowledge Assessments – A course specific assessment used to assess a student’s capability across the whole range of the specific curriculum, and help tailor their revision through recommended topics.

Once you have completed both assessments, upgrade to make full use of our functional skills courses, receiving access to all features, including revision tutorial videos, 100’s of practice questions, exam style questions for each topic, mock exams, and written/video solutions for all questions, all with comprehensive progress tracking!

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1. Initial Assessment to calculate level and recommend course

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2. Subject Knowledge Assessment to determine topics to focus on

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3. Upgrade to receive full course features

How Does the Initial Assessment Work?

The Initial Assessment is a bespoke, market leading assessment that is used to determine what level a student is initially working at, before any revision and recommends which course they should be enrolled on. Via our teacher and organisational manager accounts you can set permissions and get bespoke reporting of each learners results and progress.

Both maths and English initial assessments contain a range of question types, of varying difficulties and weighting, from different topics in the curriculum, to accurately gauge the student’s level. The number of correct answers and the corresponding difficulties and weights are used to calculate the students current level. This current level then changes in real time as the learner progresses through the course.

  • Accurately determines an initial level

  • Recommends a course to be enrolled on

  • Establishes current level as the student progresses

Sign Up as a Provider to Invite Students to Take Diagnostics Sign Up as a Student to Take Diagnostics

How Does the Subject Knowledge Assessment Work?

Once the student is enrolled on a course, they should complete the Subject Knowledge Assessment, formerly known as the Pre-Assessment. This assesses a students capability across the whole range of topics from the course they have enrolled on. All courses for maths and English have a unique assessment, meaning it is tailored for the level the student is working at. After completing the Subject Knowledge Assessment, the student is recommended topics to work on based on their performance.

  • Assesses all areas of the curriculum

  • Unique to each course and level

  • Recommends topics to help tailor revision

Sign Up as a Provider to Invite Students to Take Diagnostics Sign Up as a Student to Take Diagnostics

What does the Initial Assessment Level mean?

The following scores and recommended actions are to guide educators into selecting the most appropriate interventions for learners. They are not a perfect scoring system and can’t take into account external factors such as how the learner was feeling at the time of the assessment, potential distractions etc. These factors are also important to consider when determining the best course of action for an individual learner.


Initial Assessment Score Recommended Action Level Context
0 – 0.69 Entry Level Learner score would suggest little prior knowledge and potential issues with using the software. The learner is likely to need assistance with use of IT and additional support working through the resources. They could be entered for level 1 but are currently working at Entry Level.
0.7 – 1.49 Level 1 Course Learner is ready to start the level 1 course. This will give them confidence and understanding of key concepts that are then developed further in the level 2 course.
1.5 – 2.49 Level 2 Course Learner is ready to start the level 2 course.
2.5 – 2.9 Level 2 Course or Exam Learner is exam ready. The learner could take the Subject Knowledge Assessment following the initial assessment to determine level 2 topics to revise. Additional study in the suggested areas would improve exam performance.


The current level score system leads on from the initial assessment score, and changes as a student progresses through the course. The table above can be used to gauge a student’s position based on their current level, as well as initial assessment score.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, the initial assessments and subject knowledge assessments are completely free for everyone to use.

Yes, the initial assessments cover both level 1 and level 2.

Please email and the team will provide a quote for your particular requirements. We offer a full service from diagnostic tools, to full functional skills courses and Ofqual regulated exams. We also provide physical resources and have expert tutors.

Diagnostic tools refers to both initial assessments and subject knowledge assessments. The initial assessment determines a students initial level, to determine which course they should be enrolled on. The subject knowledge assessment determines the student’s knowledge across all topics of the course they have enrolled on.

No, although this course has been recommended to you based on your performance on the initial assessment, you can choose which course you want to be enrolled on.

Yes, our assessments use our own bespoke technology based on a complex algorithm, that we believe provides the most accurate way of measuring a student’s level.

We believe in providing as much free content as possible to students and providers nationwide, which is why we offer free diagnostic tools.

Yes, we also offer Ofqual regulated exams through our centre registration with Open Awards.