The Learning Records Service is intended to streamline the collection, handling and sharing of information on learning and achievement for education and training organisations in order to improve the services available to individuals, employers and communities. The programme to create the service was initially known as Managing Information Across Partners (MIAP).The programme contains a number of strands of activity including the implementation of the UK Register of Learning Providers (UKRLP) and the development a Unique Learner Number (ULN) registration service. It has also created a standard set of data definitions and policies through the Common Data Definitions (CDD) project. The new set of data definitions have been implemented in the new HESA student return.
One of the requirements of the CDD is to allow data entered in Welsh or other European languages to be processed. As part of this work UCAS intends to increase the number of character sets supported by the UCAS application systems and initially proposed to introduce that change into its products for the 2010 entry cycle. UCAS circulated the proposal document and readiness questionnaire which was prepared with the assistance of the UCISA CISG Committee with a view to establishing the progress of preparations within the sector. The survey identified that the sector was unprepared for this change and consequently the introduction has been deferred. A new proposal has just been issued by UCAS suggesting an implementation for the 2012 year of entry (ie from October 2011).
The common data definition (and the implementation of the extended character set as part of that definition) is one aspect of the programme. The focus has largely been on the schools and further education sectors but there is currently work in progress to introduce Learning Records Services to the higher education sector. A Higher Education Advisory Group has been established with representation from institutions, UCISA, the funding councils, HESA, UCAS, the Student Loans Company and the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills. The Group held its first meeting in September 2009. UCISA will seek to ensure that suppliers are aware of any aspects of the programme that may require them to make changes to their systems and to feed their concerns into the process. The contact with software suppliers regarding the introduction of the extended character set was part of this work.
2 August 2011