Essential Digital Skills

Essential Digital Skills qualifications (EDSQs)

Initial assessment, digital skills diagnostic and resources from Skills Forward.

Skills Forward has developed a new Essential Digital Skills diagnostic assessment based on the new national standards for Essential Digital Skills within our Skills Builder platform.

We worked alongside the digital subject matter experts who developed the national standards for the Department for Education, to make sure we provide the most accurate initial assessment and resources that will help support learners and apprentices on the most appropriate digital programme.

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What are Essential Digital Skills qualifications?

The new digital entitlement will support learners with no or low digital skills. New national standards have been developed for Essential Digital Skills and will replace legacy ICT standards. These standards will also inform the development of new subject content for digital Functional Skills qualifications, available for first teaching from 2021.

New topics within the Essential Digital Skills standards include:

The new Essential Digital Skills offer for adults will be available at entry level and level 1. This will enable learners to develop the digital skills they need for a range of purposes.

To find out more about the forthcoming Essential Digital Skills qualifications from our parent organisation NCFE, contact

Skills Builder to support your initial assessment requirements

Providers will be required to carry out a thorough initial assessment to determine the individual’s current level.

The Skills Builder initial assessment for Essential Digital Skills and subject content closely reflects the new national standards and covers a wider range of skills in comparison to legacy ICT qualifications, reflecting the significant advances in digital technology and its application.

Find out more about our new Essential Digital Skills initial assessment and learning resources by contacting

Dismantling the Digital Divide

Our handy infographic explains why it’s so important to dismantle the digital divide and support learners to gain the digital skills they need.