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Key skills standards

Standards for six key skills were developed in 1993 to form an integral part of vocational programmes. They are defined as the skills needed in order to operate confidently and successfully in school, college, university, work, training and life in general. The six key skills are:

  • Communication
  • Application of number
  • Information and communication technology
  • Improving own learning and performance
  • Working with others
  • Problem solving

Further background information about key skills can be found on the Key Skills 4U website.

Important note

Functional skills will replace key skills in apprenticeships at the end of September 2012. This decision was confirmed by BIS in November 2011. There is, however, a wealth of key skills resources, which will continue to have relevance and use in the teaching and learning of functional skills. Teachers and managers will, of course, need to ascertain whether key skills materials continue to be the best choices for learners. The Excellence Gateway has a repository of key skills resources, developed for the Key Skills Support Programme, which ended in 2008.