Prior attainment: field
The learner's prior attainment when they first enrol with the provider.
To allow analysis of the level of prior attainment of learners, to help with value-added analysis and to ensure funding and delivery is targeted at key groups. Validation of funding eligibility for Adult Skills and ESF funded learners.
- XML Element Name
- Field length
- Data type
- Minimum occurrences
- Maximum occurrences
- Part of
- Adult Skills (FundModel 35)
- Apprenticeships (FundModel 36)
- ESF (FundModel 70)
- Non-funded (FundModel 99)
- Other Adult (FundModel 81)
|7||Other qualifications below level 1|
|2||Full level 2|
|3||Full level 3|
|4||Level 4||31 July 2013|
|5||Level 5 and above||31 July 2013|
|13||Level 7 and above|
|97||Other qualification, level not known|
For non-funded learners, this data is not required for Local Authority funded Community Learning provision (Funding Model 99 and Source of funding 108)
Use the prior attainment levels table for a full list of level definitions.
The data captured in this field should be the learner's prior attainment when they first enrol with the provider. This field should not be updated if the learner progresses to subsequent learning aims within the same or subsequent teaching year, after completing their initial learning programme.
Where a learner returns to a provider after an absence of more than one teaching year, then the Prior attainment field should be re-evaluated and updated.
Codes 4 and 5 are only valid for learners who started before 1 January of the current year.
You must return complete data and must only return 'not known' in exceptional circumstances as the Prior attainment field is very important for ESF match funding.
Prior attainment levels table (previously appendix G)
The information shown in the table below provides a guide to the overall attainment level of learners that have achieved various combinations of qualifications. The levels shown do not necessarily coincide with the level at which individual qualifications are set. For example, GCSEs are at level 1/2, but the level of attainment achieved by a learner is dependent on the grade they achieve. Where a learner attains a grade D-G this would be considered a level 1.
Whether a learner’s prior attainment is a full level 2 or full level 3 will depend on whether the qualification was defined as a full level 2 or full level 3 when the learner started to study it. This is because the qualifications that have been defined as full level 2 and full level 3 have changed over time. The qualifications listed in the table below are examples of qualifications which may have been full in the past.
The guidance has been updated to reflect the introduction of the Regulated Qualification Framework RQF from the 1 October 2015 and the decoupling of AS Levels from A Levels from September 2015.
|Prior attainment level descriptors||Qualification equivalent (incorporating NQF and QCF and RQF)|
|Entry level (code 7, 9)||QCF qualifications at Entry level
Certificate in Adult Literacy, Numeracy, ESOL at Entry level RQF qualifications at Entry Level
English and Maths qualifications at Entry Level such as Functional Skills
Essential Digital SKills qualification
|Level 1 (code 1)||GCSE/O Level (at grades D-G or fewer than 5 at grades A-C)
CSE grade 2 and 3
1 AS Level (for AS qualifications regulated before 1 September 2015)
QCF qualifications at Level 1
Foundation 14-19 Diploma
Certificate in Adult Literacy, Numeracy, ESOL at Level 1
Level 1 Key Skills
Level 1 Principal Learning
NVQ Level 1
RQF qualifications at Level 1
Technical Awards in the Key Stage 4 Performance Tables
Essential Digital Skills qualificatons
|Full level (code 2)||GCSE/O Level (5 or more GCSEs grades A*-C)
GCSE (9-1) (5 or more GCSEs grade 4 or above)
2 or 3 AS Levels (for AS qualifications regulated before 1 September 2015)
CSE Grade 1 (5 or more)
1 A Level
Higher 14-19 Diploma
QCF Diploma level 2
QCF Certificate level 2 at 13 or 14 credits undertaken before 2014 to 2015
Level 2 Principal Learning
NVQ level 2
Technical Certificates in the 16-19 Performance Tables
QCF Certificate level 2 at 15 credits and above
From 1 August 2015 vocational qualifications of 150 GLH or more. These are on the level 2 and level 3 legal entitlement qualification list.
|Full level 3 (code 3)||A Levels (2 or more advanced level passes)
4 or more AS Levels (for AS qualifications regulated before 1 September 2015)
QCF Diploma Level 3
QAA Access to HE
Advanced 14-19 Diploma
NVQ level 3
AVCE double award
Tech Levels which are in the 16-19 Performance Tables
Applied Generals which are in the 16-19 Performance Tables (from 1 August 2015)
QCF Certificate at Level 3 which is 30 to 36 credits
From 1 August 2015 vocational qualifications of 300 GLH or more.
These are on the level 2 and level 3 legal entitlement qualification list.
|Prior attainment level descriptors||Current Ofqual Regulated Framework (RQF)||Framework for Higher Education Qualifications|
|Level 4 (code 10)||QCF Award Level 4
QCF Certificate Level 4
QCF Diploma Level 4
RQF qualifications Level 4
|Certificates of higher education|
|Level 5 (code 11)||QCF Award Level 5
QCF Certificate Level 5
QCF Diploma Level 5
RQF qualifications Level 5
|Level 6 (code 12)||QCF Award Level 6
QCF Certificate Level 6
QCF Diploma Level 6
RQF qualifications Level 6
|Bachelor's degrees, graduate certificates and diplomas|
|Level 7+ (code 13)||QCF Award Level 7
QCF Certificate Level 7
QCF Diploma Level 7
RQF qualifications Level 7
|QCF Award Level 8
QCF Certificate Level 8
QCF Diploma Level 8
RQF qualifications Level 8
postgraduate certificates and diplomas