Digital Functional Skills

TLM qualifications

The Department of Education (DfE) has identified Digital Functional Skills (Digital FSQs) as a crucial aspect of their National Standards for essential digital skills for digital skills. This encompasses both Essential Digital Skills and Digital Functional Skills qualifications.

The DfE has established the curriculum for Digital Functional Skills qualifications at Entry Level 3 and Level 1, which outlines the desired outcomes and topics to be covered in the qualifications.

Ofqual has developed the requirements for the qualifications with the intention that digital functional skills qualifications fulfill the following purposes, which are in line with those set out by the Secretary of State. Digital functional skills qualifications should provide the following:

  • reliable evidence of a learner’s achievements against content that is relevant to the workplace and real life;
  • assessment of a learner’s knowledge and skills as well as their ability to apply these in different contexts; and
  • a foundation for progression into employment or further education and developing skills for everyday life.

Key Facts

  • Awarded at Entry Level 3 and Level 1
  • Pass/fail grading
  • Will be funded as part of a national entitlement to basic digital skills
  • 55 Guided Learning Hours (same as English and maths)
  • Onscreen/online assessment only – paper based by exception only
  • Subject content will be based on the new national standards for essential digital skills to increase comparability across awarding organisations

DFSQ Entry Level

The Entry Level qualification provides a thorough strengthening in the use of information technology required typically, in early employment/training roles where information technology is used. By studying the qualification, learners will gain knowledge and skills in preparation for further and more confident use of information technology as part of their employment/training.

DFSQ Level 1

The Level 1 qualification has been developed for young people and adults to strengthen their IT skills for life and skills for work. Building an individual's IT skills in their early years of employment/training or undergoing induction, where IT plays a part.

DFS Qualifications Cover 5 Key Areas:


Using devices and handling information

Manage and store information, and identify and solve simple technical issues.

edsq skill2

Creating and Editing

Creating and editing documents, images and other types of digital media.

edsq skill3


Gain an understanding of electronic communications. Learning to use email and make video calls

edsq skill4


Learn how to complete and submit a form, comply with verification checks and purchase a service or item online.


Being safe and responsible online

Gain an understanding of the importance of privacy, data protection and backing up data. How use email and make video calls.

Become a TLM Centre

Our fees are straightforward with no unexpected additional costs.

Planning on teaching this qualification?

Let us know and we will guide you through the simple process of becoming a TLM centre.

TLM can further support the delivery of our DFSQ with the help of our carefully crafted Support Package.

These useful resources have been developed with the input of teaching professionals and are available free to our Centres approved to deliver TLM DFSQ.

TLM Support package includes

Lesson Plans and Support Materials

TLM will provide you with a personal 1-1 online session and PDF documentation.

TLM Diagnostic Tool

Pinpoint your learners’ starting point with our free online diagnostic test.

Full Sample Assessment

To be granted access to the complete sample pack, you will need to be a registered TLM Centre.

TLM Online Transaction Simulation

We have developed a fully functional transaction simulation website.

Why choose TLM

Flexible deliver methods

Flexible delivery methods

Free workshops to help you get started

Free workshops to help you get started

Ongoing 1 - 1 support from experienced TLM staff

Ongoing 1 - 1 support from experienced TLM staff

Simple fees model

Simple fees model

On demand assessment

On demand assessment

TLM is an Awarding Organisation regulated by Ofqual specialising in and providing digital qualifications for over a decade. You can be confident that we are very experienced in helping our centres achieve success for their learners.

Need more info about DFS Qualifications?

Fill out the form below and we will get back to you in the same or next business day.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Digital Functional Skills qualifications (Digital FSQs) will enable students to initiate and participate in digital and online activities safely in the workplace and in other real-life contexts.

    Digital Functional Skills will be available for delivery from 1st August 2023.
    Awarding Organisations, including TLM, are currently working on the development of the qualifications. Including the assessment strategy, qualification specifications and sample assessment material, these have been submitted to Ofqual.

    Functional Skills ICT will be replaced by Digital Functional Skills on 31st July 2023.

    All learners requiring digital qualifications will be required to use either Essential Digital Skills (EDSQ) or the new Digital Functional Skills qualifications (DFSQ).

    If you have learners who are ready now for a digital qualification, we have our Essential Digital Skills qualification at Entry Level and Level 1. This is fully funded for 16-19 and adult learners.

    Qualifications you might want to try...

    Essential Digital Skills

    IT User Skills

    Cyber Security