Skip to content

Learning Records Service frequently asked questions

Compiled by the Learning Records Service's (LRS) Customer Helpdesk.
  • What services do we offer?

    We simplify the way that information about learners and education and training organisations is collected, handled and shared.

    Services include:

    • The Learning Provider Register (formerly called the UKRLP), containing details of individual learning and training organisations in the UK and the services they offer to learners and employers.
    • The Learner Register (formerly called Learner Registration Service) incorporating a Unique Learner Number for every person over the age of 14 in education and training in the UK. This service enables individuals to access a lifelong Personal Learning Record of their learning participation and achievements, which they can securely share with learning providers and potential employers.
    • The Personal Learning Record will enable learners to view information about their learning and achievement, and share this with learning providers and employers, should they wish to do so.
  • Who is implementing and leading the LRS?

    • The service is strategically led by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Department for Education (DfE). It is supported by partner organisations representing all aspects of education and training in the UK.
    • The service is delivered by the Skills Funding Agency, which replaced the Learning and Skills Council in April 2010.
  • What progress has been made so far?

    Significant progress has already been achieved:

    • Work has been completed on agreeing Common Data Definitions. This is being fed into the work of the Cross Education Information Standards Board.
    • The UK Register of Learning Providers (now called Learning Provider Register) was launched in August 2005 and by May 2009 had over 22,000 learning providers registered.
    • The Learner Registration Service (now called Learner Register) was launched in September 2007 to a group of 60 early adopter organisations – by May 2009 there were over 4,000 organisations registered.
    • Since June 2010 there are over 10.1 million individuals with a Unique Learner Number
    • The Personal Learning Record is currently being trialled and is due to be rolled out nationally during October 2010 and will include enhanced functionality. Students, pupils and learners will be able to apply for secure online access to their Personal Learning Record through their college, school, training or learning provider. They will need their own email address as part of this process.
  • Does LRS gather information on people?

    No - the service does not collect any new information. All our free products, functions and tools have been designed to streamline and simplify how information on learning and achievement is collected, handled and shared. For the first time, individuals will be given access to information that has already been collected on them and will be able to challenge it if factually incorrect.

  • What is a Personal Learning Record?

    The Personal Learning Record is an individual's official online record of verified learning and qualifications undertaken at school, college or work. It is an aggregation of an individual's learning and achievement records that have already been collected by UK education bodies.

    Pupils, students and learners will be able to view their Personal Learning Record and decide who else can see their record or parts of it once they have provided proof of identify to gain access to it. They will also be able to challenge errors in the record. Records date back to the 07/08 academic year only and do not include subjects taken at university.

  • Will learners be able to choose what data to share in their Personal Learning Record or even opt out altogether?

    Yes. Learners themselves will be able to decide who can access their Personal Learning Record, ensuring that every student can maintain their privacy and enjoy a sense of ownership and responsibility. Two distinct views of the Personal Learning Record will be provided. The learner will be presented with both the full record and the restricted view to ensure they are clearly aware of what other users will see. The restricted view will be available to organisations the learner nominates (such as potential employers). This restricted view will only display achievements the learner chooses and it will be limited to show only basic details.

    Learners can also choose to opt out of having data about their participation and achievement shared completely, usually when they are enrolling. Organisations have a responsibility to give learners the option to opt out. However, the ULN is now part of many qualifications (such as the Diploma and QCF), so opting out may restrict the administration of these qualifications.

  • How is the service ensuring security and protection against identity theft?

    • Many different products and services were considered in the creation of our services. Discussions were undertaken with the Inland Revenue, JISC, the NHS and others regarding their experience of identity management. The Unique Learner Number was considered the most appropriate course of action for the learner and in relation to the appropriate use and sharing of the learner information.
    • The Service has put in place a requirement for learners to prove their identity prior to being given access to their Personal Learning Record. This proof will require more than just knowing a learner’s personal details.
    • The LRS will only supply data information to organisations that have signed a data sharing agreement. These organisations are defined by the Data Sharing Framework (external link) which lists the potential types of organisation that can access data. Organisations on the framework will need to make a case to the LRS for access to the data, setting out the use and governance of the data within their programme. These will need to be approved by the LRS before data is released.
    • All data within the LRS and data sharing partners must be governed according to UK or EU law on privacy and data sharing. Personal data will not be transferred to organisations (including other government departments and agencies) without a learner’s consent. Data will only be shared through secure data transfer and no CDs, memory sticks or other portable storage devices will be used. All information is accessed and shared electronically through a single internet site, secured by a high level security perimeter, encryption and log in process. As a result, audit trails and log-ins can be recorded.
    • Learners will have access to audit logs of who has accessed their records and when.
    • Service security is governed by an independent security forum, which has the power to stop changes to services if it suspects security loopholes.
  • What are Privacy Notices and Fair Processing Notices?

    Privacy Notices (PNs) are also known as Fair Processing Notices (FPNs). These are the mechanism by which individuals are informed about what will happen to data collected about them and how that data will be processed and shared.

    Individual organisations need to show a learner the PN or FPN as part of the enrolment/examination process. Providers using Learning Records Service products and functions need to ensure that their PN or FPN includes references to the Learning Records Service. Standard texts are available for you to use.

  • Why and how do we have to verify a learner’s identity?

    This is an important part of the process for a learner accessing their Personal Learning Record. Without verification of a learner's identity a learner will not be able access their Personal Learning Record. Where possible, the student's identity should be verified but this should not prevent enrolment. There is a document entitled "Verification Guidelines" (external link) which provides further details and lists the options offered within Learner Register.

    Whether or not the learner's identity has been verified, the appropriate code has to be used in the mandatory field "Verification Type" on the batch file. The codes can be found on the Interface Guide, available in the Document Library.

  • I have lost my super user details. What do I do to get access again?

    We recommend that you set up at least 2 additional super users in case of loss, absence or any other reason. If you failed to set up additional super users and have lost all access to administer your users, then please ask a senior representative of your organisation to complete the new super user form and send this to our Customer Helpdesk.