Image of a woman speaking to a groupLiteracy is ‘the ability to read, write, speak and listen in a way that lets us communicate effectively and make sense of the world’. (National Literacy Trust).

Employer’s FAQs – What are the requirements for English and Maths?


Bksb is free to health care employers and their staff. Basic Key Skills Builder (bksb for short) is a market-leading, functional software package.

bksb can:

  • Help prepare staff for functional skills qualifications in English and maths.
  • Be used for skills analysis by employers to inform workforce planning.

To get started, email with the following information:

  • The main contact for the trust
  • Number of learners estimated

Once bksb has completed the required checks, they will get you up and running with bksb.

You can access bksb for NHS and Social Care workers here.

Open Awards

Health or Social Care Employers whose employees are ready to sit an assessment can access Functional Skills qualifications exams through Open Awards at no cost.

Find out more and make an expression of interest.

National Literacy Trust

Access a range of resources from The National Literacy Trust that can help you and your colleagues develop reading, writing, speaking and listening skills at work.

Qualifications which assess literacy skills in England include Functional Skills and GCSEs. There are different literacy and communications qualifications in other UK countries.

Apprentices in England are required to achieve Functional Skills qualifications (or equivalents set out here) in English and maths.

Access a printable which shows qualifications that are equivalent to level 2 functional skills.

Internationally qualified health professional staff are required to demonstrate their literacy through an accepted English language test. Different Regulatory Bodies have slightly different requirements.