Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment

Home Page

Important Information for ALL Essential Skills Centres

Essential Skills Application of Number and Communication qualifications have been refreshed for first teaching in SEPTEMBER 2016. For further information please refer to the circulars:

DEL FE 01/16 - Refresh of Essential Skills
PDF - 55 KB

S/IF/23/16 - April 2016 - Important Information on the Refresh of Essential Skills
PDF - 42.13 KB

S/IF/29/16 - June 2016 - Revised CCEA Level 1 and 2 Certificates in Essential Skills - Communication and Application of Number
PDF - 67.13 KB

The latest versions of the Specifications will be available on the Essential Skills Microsite soon.

Key Dates 2016/2017 for Revised Essential Skills
PDF - 89 KB

Essential Skills are nationally accredited qualifications available throughout Northern Ireland in:

  • Entry Level Literacy
  • Entry Level Numeracy
  • Level 1   2 Communication
  • Level 1   2 Application of Number

Understandably, many are anxious about returning to education. Essential skills tasks are designed to be relevant and interesting. The essential skills qualifications aim to reward and motivate learners and improve their opportunities.

CCEA is Northern Ireland's own Essential Skills provider. We provide extensive advice, support and training which is tailored to the needs of colleges, Further Education establishments and Training organisations in Northern Ireland and is consistent with national regulations, standards and requirements.

*** Monitoring of Essential Skills Desktop Tasks ***

CCEA could visit your centre between 1 November 2015 and 30 June 2016.

Monitoring of Essential Skills Desktop Tasks

*** Essential Skills Start Up Guide ***

Including Administration Issues, Registering for access to the CCEA Central Login System, Ordering Desktop Task Material and Direct Claims.

Essential Skills Start Up Guide

*** Guidance Flowcharts ***

Essential Skills Flowcharts which provide guidance to Schools and Training Organisations.

Flowchart for Training Organisations

Flowchart for Centres with A2C (Schools)

Important notice for centres wishing to make entries for Essential Skills ICT

Levels 1 & 2

Please note that this qualification is only available for Further Education Centres and Training/Community Organisations.

At present Post-Primary Schools cannot make entries for Essential Skills ICT Level 1 and or Level 2.

Instructions for Conducting Coursework

In order to support centres in making accurate and consistent assessment decisions CCEA has produced the following support documentation for centres. The instructions are for use in all ACETS* qualifications. They cover the setting, supervision, authentication, marking, internal moderation and standardisation of coursework in centres. Centres are strongly advised to download both documents.

ACETS Qualifications Instructions for Conducting Coursework (2011/2012)

Getting the Quality Right: Centre Guidelines for Managing Quality Assurance for ACETS Qualifications

Support Material

Students, teachers and tutors explain the benefits of doing Essential Skills. Watch the videos below to find out more.