Controlled assessment

Controlled assessment units are only found in Functional Skills English specifications. If you want to take one of these assessments as a private candidate, you must have a school/college which agrees to conduct all the work required for the course.

As a private candidate, you are responsible for finding a school which can supervise, authenticate and mark all the controlled assessments that are necessary for these qualifications.

  • You can only sit controlled assessments at an AQA approved school or college.
  • Controlled assessments must be conducted by staff at the school or college. They must:
    • accept you for all elements of task taking and task marking, including preparation and analysis prior to task taking
    • authenticate your controlled assessment
    • keep your work securely between sessions
    • mark your work (except the written controlled assessments in some foreign language subjects which are classed as 'high level of control' for task marking).
  • Relatives of private candidates will not be able to conduct controlled assessments.
  • You will have to be available on the dates and times specified by your school or college to undertake all elements of the controlled assessment; the timings of sessions may vary.

Evaluation sessions may be as long as six hours and research and data collection sessions can be up to 20 hours in total.

Carrying forward controlled assessment marks

Functional Skills English are modular qualifications. If you have already sat the controlled assessment unit before, the result of that unit remains available for use in a future award.

You do not need to request that the result is re-used or carried forward.


Please note that entries for controlled assessment units will not be accepted after the submission deadline date.

Relaxation of the controlled assessment requirements

We know that the controlled assessment rules make it very difficult to find schools or colleges to accept you for these courses of study. Unfortunately, Ofqual will not be able to agree to any relaxation of controlled assessment requirements for private candidates.