Unique Learner Numbers
This applies to learners over the age of 14 in England and Wales only.
What is the Personal Learning Record (PLR)?
The Personal Learning Record (PLR) offers access to a learner's official online record. It is a compilation of learning and achievement records such as awards, certificates and qualifications that have already been collected by UK education bodies. It saves the learner providing copies of different certificates each time they apply for a course, seek careers guidance or take examinations. It can also help them make more informed career choices and make applying to university easier with their qualifications already being verified.
To explain more fully, learners aged 14 have for the last six years being issued with ULNs by state secondary schools. This is their unique identification and is so that their examinations achievements can then be held on their individual Personal Learning Record. The information stored in the Personal Learning Record is provided by the Skills Funding Agency in partnership with other educational organisations that the learner has agreed can collect and share information on their behalf. The Personal Learning Record allows the learner to access a government backed record of what they have learned and achieved through education and employment.
The Skills Funding Agency shares their Personal Learning Record with partner organisations (e.g. schools, colleges, universities and awarding bodies) that learners have agreed can see the information. Learners have the choice to opt-out of sharing their record with these organisations at any time (which must be done directly with the Learning Records Service on 0345 602 2589).
All learners must be aware of the following privacy statement:
Some of the information you supply will be used by the Skills Funding Agency to fulfil its statutory functions, issue/verify your Unique Learner Number (ULN) and update/check your Personal Learning Record. The Skills Funding Agency may share your ULN and Personal learning Record with other education related organisations, such as your careers service, school, college, university, Government Departments and public bodies responsible for funding your education. Further details of how your information is processed and shared can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/lrs-privacy-notices
A fuller version is also available on that website.
How do they get a ULN?
If an ISTD learner wants their result to be entered on their Personal Learning Record then they will need to tell you, their teacher, their ULN. They do need to ask their secondary school if one has been issued for them already, as they cannot have more than one, and quote it carefully to you. Their ULN is a ten digit number which may also be shown on any certificates they have already received through their secondary school – but not yet from those issued by the ISTD. It will be increasingly used for a wider range of qualifications including those that form part of the Qualifications and Credit Framework – including therefore, our Grades, Vocational Grades, Diploma in Dance Instruction and Diploma in Dance Education.
The ULN is registered to the learner using their full given and family names, and date of birth as identifiers, and remains with them throughout their lives so that in future all their exam results and qualifications will be linked together.
Is it compulsory to supply a ULN to the ISTD?
No, unless the learners is receiving funding from the Department for Education for their course. So normally any students at Colleges of Further Education doing any ISTD qualification as part of their programme MUST give their ULN to the ISTD, as the Skills Funding Agency is tracking their achievements. FE Colleges can obtain ULN’s through the Learning Records Service, as they will be on the UK Register of Learning Providers (UKRLP).
Other learners do not have to supply a ULN, but may want to have their ISTD qualifications included on their Learning Record, and the Grade 6 and Intermediate Vocational Grades do, of course, attract UCAS points, so it would be helpful to them.
Some learners over the age of 19 will not have a ULN, as they will have been past the appropriate age when their secondary school issued them. They may however, be unlikely to need one in the context of their future ambitions and the fact that pre-QCF achievements cannot be included (anything before September 2010).
How do I obtain ULNs for our pupils?
Most learners will have one already and if so, they will need to give it to you for their entry – you cannot automatically access the LRS website to find it out for them.
If you need to get a new ULN for a learner who doesn’t have one, (because they are already past 19 or did not go through state secondary education) you will need to register firstly on the UKRLP and you can do this at http://www.ukrlp.co.uk/ This provides you with a UK Provider Reference Number (UKPRN) which you will need to quote to register with the Learning Records Service to be able to find or create ULNs for pupils.
There is a step-by-step guide showing you how to register with the LRS at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/lrs-registration-documents
How do I supply the ULN to the ISTD and what happens then?
Learners registering for the DDI and DDE will need to enter their ULN on the Learner Registration form at the beginning of their course, and we will cross refer each of their written Unit entries with that information, so it will not be required on any other paperwork.
A space for the ULN has been added to the Timetable Entry forms for Theatre and Dancesport examinations. The revised Timetable forms are available on the ISTD website at http://www.istd.org/examinations/uk-examinations/examination-documents/ and the revised DDI/DDE registration form at http://www.istd.org/courses-and-training/teaching-qualification-update/downloadable-documents-for-ddi-and-dde/ . Both are also available on request from the relevant departments at the ISTD.
The details given must be correct and must be supplied on that timetable form prior to the examination. The ISTD cannot accept new requests by telephone calls or email after receipt of the Timetable.
Once we have that ULN, we have to validate these details of full name, date of birth and ULN for every candidate who wants us to enter an examination result on their Learning Record before we can enter it, and this includes Units of the DDI and DDE as well as practical ISTD examinations. We will be unable to do this if we have differences in the candidate registration names between their registered ULN name and that which we hold at the ISTD. If that happens it will be rejected, and we would then have to ask you to confirm details with the candidate, which we appreciate may cause some difficulties, especially in the short term. If the ULN has been incorrectly quoted, the learner will have to check again, probably with their school, which may take more time than is available before the examination.
This will be needed by the ISTD before the results are processed – but if not received, results will not in this case be held up awaiting the information. The ISTD trusts its teachers will appreciate that to hold results in these cases is not in the interests of the majority of learners, and the ISTD is not obliged to continue to follow up on incorrect information supplied. Learners with incorrect details outstanding at the final processing stage will not have the result added to their records.
The ULN will not appear on either the teacher’s or the examiner’s copy of the timetables.
After the results have been checked and the certificates issued, the ISTD will then enter their examination details and results on learners’ Records, using that ULN. Those learners who have supplied a ULN to the ISTD will find that it appears on their certificate for every regulated qualification in future.
What happens about ISTD PIN numbers?
The ISTD registration process carries on in the same way as before; your candidates still need to be registered with their full names and date of birth and an ISTD PIN number issued before they take an examination. This applies to all candidates regardless of age, genre and whether they have a ULN or not.
Do I have to supply the ULN every time they then take an examination?
No, once we have it recorded on our database against their details, every time they take a regulated qualification, we will automatically download the result on to their Learner Record.
Further information on the ULN is available on the Learning Records Service website https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/lrs-unique-learner-numbers
If you have any difficulties or further questions, please contact the Customer Services and Quality Assurance department at the ISTD for further assistance.