The five Core Skills

The five Core Skills are the skills most needed in many work environments. Jobs require some level of ability in some or all of these skills.

Each Core Skill is available at levels 2 to 6 of the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF).

The Core Skills frameworks describe the general and specific skills of each Core Skill. They are used by those designing and auditing units, courses and assessment programnes. They define the standards. These standards can be delivered as:

The five Core Skills are:

Communication

Communication skills underpin personal, social, learning, and working activities. They are essential in clarifying one's own thoughts, in interacting and conversing with others, in expressing thoughts and in conveying information, feeling and opinions.

Framework

Components

Numeracy

Numeracy skills are necessary for coping with the demands of everyday life. People need to be comfortable with numbers, graphs, symbols, diagrams and calculators.

Framework

Components

Information and Communication Technology

Information and Communication Technology focuses on the ability to use IT in ways that are useful in work and the home. It is not about developing IT specialists.

Framework

Components

Working with Others

Working with Others develops the skills needed to co-operate with others in learning and working situations to identify and achieve shared goals.

Framework

Components

Problem Solving

Problem Solving develops the skills needed for tackling issues and problems in personal, social, vocational and occupational contexts.

Framework

Components

Key Skills equivalences

Core Skills are not the same as Key Skills. But they are close enough to allow comparisons to be made for progression. They are transferable skills needed for everyday life, but are evidenced in different ways.

Core Skills are part of the Scottish education system amd are certificated against SQA standards. They may be embedded in subject areas or demonstrated by taking dedicated units. They are externally moderated and have no external exam.

Key Skills are part of the English, Welsh and Northern Ireland systems and are certificated against their own standards. They are demonstrated separately from other subjects and may have different parts: folio, external test, set assignment.

If you wanted a certificate from another awarding body you could go through the Accreditation of Prior Learning process with your current evidence. This would involve a fee.

Universities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are aware of Core Skills but they set their own entrance criteria.

Employers are also able to compare Core Skills with Key Skills.