8 Sep 2020

Essential Digital Skills qualifications 



The Department for Education is introducing a new legal entitlement to fully funded specified digital qualifications, at Entry Level and Level 1, for adults with no or low digital skills.

This entitlement is now available in the form of new Essential Digital skills qualifications (EDSQs). As of the 24th of August 2020, one awarding organisation, Gateway Qualifications, has completed the Ofqual process of technical evaluation and is now offering the EDSQs for centres to deliver. You can find out where other awarding organisations are in the evaluation process here 

Essential Digital Skills qualifications

  • New qualification available at Entry level 3 and at Level 1
  • Appropriate qualification for adults with no or low digital skills wishing to gain digital skills for a specific life, work or study purpose - for example, to apply for jobs online, to manage finances online or to access government services online
  • Qualifications based on new national standards for essential digital skills
  • 30-50 hours of guided learning

The new qualifications cover five areas:

  1. Using devices and handling information – using devices, finding and evaluating information, managing and storing information, identifying and solving technical problems
  2. Creating and editing – creating and editing documents and digital media, processing numerical data
  3. Communicating – communicating, sharing and managing traceable online activities
  4. Transacting – using online services, buying securely online
  5. Being safe and responsible online – protecting privacy and data, being responsible online, digital wellbeing.

There is also a blended CPD programme available free of charge to providers and staff to support them in the delivery of the new EDSQs.



Digital Functional Skills qualifications

The Department for Education is also looking to introduce new Digital Functional Skills qualifications (Digital FSQs). However, consultation on these has been postponed. Detailed rules and guidance will be not be available until the final version of the subject content has been published. Digital FSQs will:

  • Replace Functional Skills in ICT, but new qualifications available at Entry level 3 and at Level 1
  • Be an appropriate qualification for adults with no or low digital skills wishing to confirm they have digital skills needed for employment or further study
  • Be based on DfE subject content derived from the national standards for essential digital skills
  • 55 hours of guided learning


Website design by ReZolve. An SSIDM website - v4.1.004d [4]. Loaded in 0.0781 seconds.