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Start & End of Year ILR Transition - 2018

Start & End of Year ILR Transition - 2018

ILR Transition Period 2018
IMPORTANT - There's a new version of this post for the 2019-2020 funding year, check it out HERE!

ILR Transition Period
I’ve made this post rather early to help you prepare your ILR's during this year end / start transition period.

As you are aware we are transitioning from one funding year to the next and to be fair it isn't a simple process unless you have an MI system to take out the hard work!

There are several very important aspects to factor in at this time of year which won't phase you if you are up to speed with the ILR Specification and Provider Support documentation.

However, if you aren't then I will explain what you need to know.

There is a crossover of ILR's during this transition period and this follows the same process each year.

Main Rules
•    The first ILR of a new funding year is due in September.

•   The data cut off for each funding year is always 31st July!
•    This means that the data you submit in R12, R13 & R14 MUST NOT include completion or achievements dates if these
      fall after 31st July.
•    These learners are classed as continuing, even if they complete in the first week of August, their ILR data must be submitted
      for the remainder of the new funding year.

The Return Schedules:

Click the links below to download the return schedules.

2017 - 2018 Schedule

2018 - 2019 Schedule

New ILR Fields

The new funding year always sees changes to the ILR schema due to the addition and removal of various data fields.

The ILR Specification V3 documentation explains this in full but there is an additional field, Agreement ID, which needs your attention if you deliver apprenticeships to levy paying employers.

The full details are found on page 93 of the ILR Specification V3.


You should all be GDPR compliant, or at least working towards compliance as the ESFA are checking up!

As of 25th May 2018 your application/enrollment forms should now include the updated contact preferences fields, as set out in the ESFA's Privacy Notice.

You should also check out the Education and Skills Funding Agency privacy notice: May 2018 if you haven't done so already.

You Must Submit Two Different ILR's
in September and October!

Basically for two months you have to submit two ILR's to cover the end of 2017 – 2018 and the start of 2018 - 2019.

The main requirements:

1.    Prepare two ILR's for submission.
2.    Be aware of the two different ILR submission dates.
3.    ILR XML structure changes.
4.    NO Completion data after 31st July 2018 in R13 & R14.
5.    Continuing learners across funding years.


September Returns

6th September R01 - first return for 2018 - 2019.

14th September R13 - penultimate return 2017 - 2018.


What are ILR's R13 & R14 Used For?
Essentially you have until 18th October 2018 to make sure all of your 2017 - 2018 ILR data is correct and up to date.

You must return correct learner information including:

•    Withdrawn

•    Completions in year

•    On Learning Break

•    On Programme

•    Including those transferred to another programme or provider.

Failure to do so could cause funding claw backs, funding withdrawal and ultimately you run the risk of having your ESFA contracts cancelled due to the inability to manage your data correctly.


October Returns

4th October R02 - second return for 2018 - 2019.

18th October R14 - final return of 2017 - 2018.


Using the ESFA’s Learner Input Tool

This transition period is a tricky prospect, especially if you are using the ESFA’s Learner input tools!

There is no getting around this so here’s the gist of what’s in store for you!

To continue submitting R13 & R14 2017 – 2018 ILR’s you will use the setup you have now;

•    2017 - 2018 ILR Learner Entry tool

•    ILR learner entry 2017 to 2018 user guide

•    Learner Entry Tool Known Issues

•    FIS with 2017 – 2018 data set.

For submitting 2018 – 2019 ILR’s you will need to have:

•    2018 -2019 ILR Learner Entry Tool (when released)

•    ILR Learner Entry Tool 2018 – 2019 user guide (when released)

•   Update FIS with 2018 – 2019 data set (when released)

Each year the two funding years will almost certainly require a different XML schema so you have to make sure your ILR’s validate against the correct funding year data sets.

Again, you will need to make sure your R12, R13 & R14 MUST NOT include completion or achievement dates if these fall after 31st July.

But YOU MUST include these in your 2018 – 2019 ILR’s.

You will need to use both ILR Learner Entry tools and both data sets in FIS to validate the next 4 ILR submissions!

You will be able to import your 2017 – 2018 ILR into the 2018 – 2019 Learner Entry tool and modify the data there.

Then export in the new funding year format and validate in FIS against the 2018 – 2019 data set!

Important FIS Information!

You will need to make sure you update the ESFA'S Funding Information System (FIS) to include the new funding year data set.

1. Import 2017 - 2018 ILR

2. Run FIS validation

3. Check any errors against the 2017 - 2018 Validation Rules Spreadsheet.

You will also need to switch between data sets when validating your ILR's in different funding years

1. Change data set  to 2018 - 2019

2. Import 2018 - 2019 ILR

3. Run FIS validation

4. Check any errors against the 2018 - 2019 Validation Rules Spreadsheet.

Make sure you upload the ILR's to the Hub before the deadlines to avoid any problems.

ILR Validation Process

It's really important that your ILR validation processes include all the available tools to keep you on top of the ESFA's various funding rules and regulations.

FIS - Funding Information System

FIS is a desktop service application element of the Education and Skills Funding Agency’s data collections system which can be used by data providers to

•  validate Individualised Learner Record (ILR) data
•  calculate funding and derived variables
•  create a range of reports based on a set of ILR data

PDSAT - Provider Data Self Assessment Toolkit

"PDSAT is a tool for analysing learner and learning delivery data. It interrogates Individualised Learner Record (ILR) data and produces reports on this data, so that providers can identify and investigate potential anomalies in the ILR data."

ILR data: check that it meets standards and quality requirements

Download PDSAT Tool.

BIRST Reports - business intelligence tool to produce and view interactive dashboards.

The BIRST reports in the Hub highlight any funding issues you may have from duplicate learners to invalid loans.

It's imperative that in your data management processes you keep up to date with any of the issues raised in these reports.


Take The Easy Option and Let Athena MIS Manage it for You!

Athena Manages the Changes!
You don't have to think about:

•    the different XML schema
•    changing data formats
•    data cut off period
•    transferring continuing learners

Athena MIS manages all this for you!

Athena MIS - ILR Dashboard

The ILR Dashboard accommodates the ILR transition across funding years.

Check out the ILR Return schedules built into the ILR Dashboard to see the different dates and switch funding years for the schedules to change.

You will now have to familiarise yourself with switching between funding years on the ILR Dashboard to view the appropriate learners.

The video below shows how to view ILR return schedules in different funding years.

Athena MIS - ILR Export Wizard

There has been a significant update to the ILR Export Wizard to support with the transition between funding years.

We have automated as much as we can by migrating continuing learners across funding years in the ILR Export Wizard!

You will see just how many; new, complete and continuing learners you have so all you have to do is select the funding year for the ILR you need to generate and it's all taken care of by Athena MIS

Watch the video below for step by step instructions!



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