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Provider support manual:

Learner details: completing the Learner entity

Learner details: completing the Learner entity

The data recorded in the Learner entity contains basic information about the learner such as their name, date of birth, sex and ethnicity.

You can only return one record on the Learner entity for each learner.

The learner’s name, date of birth and sex should match the data held by the Learning Records Service (LRS). If any of the learner’s details change, this should be recorded on the ILR and the data held by the LRS updated.

The following entities contain data that may not be required for all learners. See the individual field pages in the specification for data requirement details.

  • Contact Preference – indicates the learner’s wishes about contact for marketing, research and survey purposes

  • LLDD and Health Problem – additional information about a learner’s disabilities, learning difficulty and/or health problem

  • Employment Status and Employment Status Monitoring – monitoring of a learner’s employment status

  • Learner Funding and Monitoring – additional data to support funding and learner monitoring

  • Learner Provider Specified Monitoring – additional provider data used as required and specified by the provider

  • Learner HE and Learner HE Financial support – HE data fields

Learner reference numbers

You must allocate a Learner reference number to each learner. This Learner reference number must be unique for each learner and must remain allocated to the learner for all study with you including during periods of absence. A learner should not be allocated more than one Learner reference number.

You must never reuse a Learner reference number for a different learner.

Changes to the Learner reference number between years for continuing learners should be avoided if at all possible.

If a change to the learner reference number is unavoidable and a learner’s reference number is different from the previous year, you must complete the Learner reference number in previous year field to record the learner’s previous reference number.

In addition to allocating a Learner reference number, you should also obtain a Unique Learner Number (ULN) for each learner from the Learning Records Service. This is mandatory in the ILR for the majority of funded learners.

Campus identifier

This field records the identifier of a college that is part of a college group and not a legal entity, or a campus (delivery site) that is subject to separate reporting.

This field should only be returned where you have been instructed to do so by the ESFA.


When collecting data about learner ethnicity, we advise using the code sequence and layout below on your enrolment forms.


31 English / Welsh / Scottish / Northern Irish / British

32 Irish

33 Gypsy or Irish Traveller

34 Any Other White background

Mixed / Multiple ethnic group

35 White and Black Caribbean

36 White and Black African

37 White and Asian

38 Any Other Mixed / multiple ethnic background

Asian / Asian British

39 Indian

40 Pakistani

41 Bangladeshi

42 Chinese

43 Any other Asian background

Black / African / Caribbean / Black British

44 African

45 Caribbean

46 Any other Black / African / Caribbean background

Other ethnic group

47 Arab

98 Any other ethnic group

99 Not provided

Planned learning hours

This field collects the total planned timetabled hours for learning activities for the teaching year. This field is completed at the start of the year or programme and updated annually.

If a learning aim continues across more than one teaching year, the Planned learning hours field only records the planned learning hours for that teaching year (from 1 August until the following 31 July).

It is collected for all learners with learning aims funded by the funding models below, planned learning hours are not collected for apprenticeship programme or T level programmes.

  • 16-19 funded (Funding model 25), including T level transition programmes

  • Adult skills funded (Funding model 35)

  • Other Adult skills funded (Funding model 81)

  • Community Learning funded (Funding model 10)

  • Non-funded (Funding model 99)

For learners who are undertaking a 16-19 funded study programme, the planned learning hours fields are only updated in-year if the planned learning hours for a study programme change within the first 6 weeks.

For learners with only Adult skills funded aims, this field can be updated in-year where a learner progresses to subsequent learning in the same teaching year.

If a learner has learning aims that are both 16-19 and Adult skills funded during a single teaching year, then only the planned learning hours for the 16-19 funded learning are recorded in the Planned learning hours field. The Planned employability, enrichment and pastoral hours field is also completed.

If a learner progresses from a 16-19 study programme or traineeship onto an Adult skills funded aim or apprenticeship in the same ILR year, then the hours fields must not be amended. Only the hours for the 16-19 funded aims must be returned.

If a learner has a mixture of apprenticeship and non-apprenticeship learning aims planned at the start of the teaching year (or start of learning), then only the planned learning hours for the non-apprenticeship learning aims are recorded.


  • A learner starts an aim on 1 September 2020 with a planned end date of 1 April 2022. The Planned learning hours field for 2020 to 2021 will record the planned learning hours for the period 1 September 2020 until 31 July 2021. The Planned learning hours field for 2021 to 2022 will record the hours remaining from 1 August 2021 to 1 April 2022.

  • A learner starts a learning aim on 1 September 2020 with a planned end date of 31 July 2021 and is planning to start a second aim on 1 December 2020. The Planned learning hours field records the total planned learning hours up to and including 31 July 2021 for both aims.

  • A learner started a learning aim on 1 September 2019 with a planned end date of 14 July 2020. The learner did not finish the learning aim on the Learning planned end date and will continue in learning in the 2020 to 2021 year. The planned learning hours fields must be completed in 2020 to 2021 with the remaining hours that are planned to be delivered in 2020 to 2021 to enable the learner to complete the learning aim. If the learner is 16-19 funded and the total planned learning hours for 2020 to 2021 is less than 540, then an employment status record must also be returned.

Where data is migrated into the current year but all of the learner’s aims are closed, then the planned learning hours fields must not be returned unless the learner is undertaking additional aims in the current year that meet the collection requirements for these fields. Do not return a value of zero if the learner is not undertaking any provision in the current year that requires the planned learning hours fields to be returned.