ILR training week two: The student and entry qualifications

A series of webinars covering key data fields for higher education students in the Individualised Learner Record (ILR).

There are many common misunderstandings in how the higher education data in the Individualised Learner Record (ILR) should be reported and for many further education colleges the use of ILR data by the Office for Students remains a mystery.

This series of six webinars will provide:

  • explanations of how the data should be returned
  • information on the key ILR fields used by the OfS and how they are used
  • best practice and suggestions for systems and processes.

Week two: The student and entry qualifications

This webinar looked at student and entry qualifications. It covered:

  • definitions of key fields:
    • Learner reference number
    • Family Name
    • Given Names
    • Date of Birth
    • Domicile
    • Sex
    • DLA
    • LLDDHealthProb
    • LLDDCat
    • PrimaryLLDD
    • Ethnicity
    • UCASAppID and UCASPerID
    • SSN
    • SOC2000 and SEC
    • QUALENT3
    • ELQ
  • what we use these for
  • what we expect from providers in determining these
  • evidence that should be kept
  • common issues found
  • examples
  • improving data quality.

Watch the webinar

See the slides

Questions and answers

Questions and answers from the session are provided below. 

We expect names returned to match official identification and middle names should be included.

Names are used to link across different data sets and we may be unable to do this if middle names are not included. The main problem is with linking the ILR data to other data sources for analysis purposes. When official ID is checked then any middle names can be identified and recorded.

When this has been provided yes. We encourage providers to return this field where possible as it reduces reliance on less precise matching techniques.

Providers need to be able to verify that QUALENT3 is accurate so do need to have processes in place to check that information gathered from students is accurate. This should include checking qualification certificates where data from UCAS or the PLR cannot be obtained.

Students may not provide sufficient information on their qualifications to code QUALENT3. We also often see that where providers ask students to indicate the level of qualifications on entry they hold this is not done correctly. Providers should therefore be cautious in their treatment of qualification on entry information obtained from students.

If it proves impossible to check certificates, or other evidence of qualifications, then providers should ensure that an audit trail to the value returned as QUALENT3 is maintained.

The prior attainment field in the ILR collects the level of qualification on entry held by the student. This does not collect information on the type of qualification on entry held which is collected through QUALENT3. We require these for our analysis as they can have a significant relationship to success in higher education.

QUALENT3 should still be coded accurately as this is used for analysis. QUALENT3 should be verified against appropriate evidence, as for any other higher education student.

Providers also need to determine the level of entry qualifications held in comparison to the foundation degree in order to accurately record the student with either ELQ=3 ‘not ELQ’ or ELQ=2 ‘exempt ELQ’.

Usually yes. However if a student leaves a provider having completed a foundation degree then returns sometime later having applied to take a top-up qualification the top-up would be treated as a new instance.

If the student is essentially continuing with an agreed suspension of study then we would usually expect this to be treated as the same instance.

If the student leaves the provider, takes a break then reapplies then we would expect this to be treated as a new instance.

ELQ should be returned for all prescribed higher education learning aims. For other higher education learning aims then ELQ=9 should be returned.

Students should only be returned with ELQ=2 ‘exempt ELQ’ if they are studying for an equivalent of lower qualification but are exempt from the policy - so in the example given should be returned with ELQ=3 ‘not ELQ’.

If you have any questions about the ILR webinar series, please contact [email protected].

See the ILR specification, validation rules and appendices 2019 to 2020.

See our privacy notice for OfS Zoom webinars.

Published 09 July 2020
Last updated 10 August 2020
10 August 2020
Questions and answers from the session published
03 August 2020
Webinar recording and slides published
14 July 2020
Additional information about what the webinar will cover

Describe your experience of using this website

Improve experience feedback
* *

Thank you for your feedback