The wait is over! You can now begin delivering Digital Functional Skills Qualifications (DFSQ). These brand-new qualifications form a vital part of the Department for Education’s (DfE) strategy for developing digital skills, including Essential Digital Skills

The Department for Education (DfE) has created the subject content for Digital Functional Skills Qualifications (DFSQ) at Entry Level 3 and Level 1. Gateway Qualifications was the first Awarding Organisation to pass Ofqual’s technical evaluation in May to offer Digital Functional Skills Qualifications. Digital Functional Skills Qualifications (DFSQ) have replaced all existing Functional Skills ICT qualifications from 31st July 2023.

Contact us now to gain approval

We have prepared a selection of resources to support your delivery of Digital Functional Skills Qualifications (DFSQ), including a set of free teaching resources for approved Centres.

Explore our range of resources to support your delivery

Qualifications available

What do the qualifications cover?

Using devices and handling information

This skills area covers a basic understanding of hardware, software, operating systems and commonly used applications. Learners will develop fundamental digital skills by learning how to manage and store information, and identify and solve simple technical issues.

Creating and editing

Learners will discover how to create and edit documents before moving on to creating and editing other types of digital media, such as images, audio files and videos. Eventually, learners will be taught to use applications to edit, enhance and format different types of information for a range of purposes and audiences.


The communication skills area requires learners to demonstrate an understanding of electronic communications, such as email and video calls. Learners will gain awareness and be able to use digital communication for a range of contexts and audiences.


This skills area involves the ability to complete and submit an online form, understand data validation and comply with digital verification checks. Eventually, learners will learn to use online services and upload documents or images in the most efficient way.

Being safe and responsible online

The final skills area is to understand the importance of digital wellbeing, learners will learn about being responsible online. This will involve privacy and data protection, conducting best practice online behaviour, backing up data, and understanding the psychological health risks of online activity.

"We are pleased to be at the forefront of making these new but essential qualifications available to learners through colleges and training providers across England.”
Paul Saunders, Commercial Director at Gateway Qualifications

I want to run these qualifications

Complete our online form and our Business Development team will be in touch to discuss your requirements and agree the next steps.


We’ve added new dates to our Digital Functional Skills webinar series.

Discover the dates

Free Digital Functional Skills diagnostic tool

To support centres in placing their learners on the most appropriate level of qualifications we have developed some free initial assessment tools for Digital Functional Skills.

Digital Functional Skills Diagnostic Tools

Digital Functional Skills Qualifications (DFSQ) Resources

We have prepared a selection of resources to support your delivery of Digital Functional Skills Qualifications (DFSQ), including a set of free teaching resources for approved Centres.

Explore our range of resources to support your delivery

Key facts

What will happen to Functional Skills ICT?

Level 2 ICT Functional Skills will be withdrawn from 1st August 2022 and all Functional Skills ICT qualifications, regardless of AO, will be withdrawn from 1st August 2023. All learners requiring digital qualifications will be required to use either EDSQ or the new Digital Functional Skills qualifications.

The DfE has produced a page providing guidance on what qualifications are available under the statutory digital entitlement.

What digital qualifications are available now?

If you have learners who are ready now for a digital qualification, our market-leading  Essential Digital Skills qualifications are being successfully used by Centres across the country. EDSQs are fully funded for 16-19 and adult learners.

Approved centres can make use of our free initial assessment, learner resources, teaching resources and subject specialist support.

Essential Digital Skills Qualifications (EDSQ)

How-To Videos

Step-by-step videos demonstrating how to perform the most common tasks in Surpass:

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Key codes for candidates and downloading invigilator packs from Surpass

Internal quality assurance in Surpass

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Digital functional skills qualifications should provide:

Evidence of achievement

Reliable evidence of a learner’s achievements against content that is relevant to the workplace and real-life

Knowledge and Skills

Assessment of a learner’s knowledge and skills as well as their ability to apply these in different contexts

Foundation for progression

A foundation for progression into employment or further education and develop skills for everyday life

We also have a range of other funded digital qualifications including: