Using the learning records service (LRS) for awarding organisations (AOs) – GOV.UK

We use some essential cookies to make this website work.
We’d like to set additional cookies to understand how you use GOV.UK, remember your settings and improve government services.
We also use cookies set by other sites to help us deliver content from their services.
You can change your cookie settings at any time.
Updated 15 September 2021

© Crown copyright 2021
This publication is licensed under the terms of the Open Government Licence v3.0 except where otherwise stated. To view this licence, visit or write to the Information Policy Team, The National Archives, Kew, London TW9 4DU, or email: [email protected].
Where we have identified any third party copyright information you will need to obtain permission from the copyright holders concerned.
This publication is available at
This user guide is for awarding organisations (AOs) that sign up to use the learning records service (LRS) portal.
Awarding organisations are also known as awarding bodies.
The learning records service (LRS) allows you to:
As an LRS user your obligations are set out in the LRS user agreement, while the LRS requirements for data governance are found in the LRS AO agreement.
If you need to contact the service desk by email and are sending any learner data, you must:
Where users do not follow this process, we’ll need to contact their organisation’s super user. Continued security concerns could lead to:
These include:
You must not:
You’ll receive an email to the unique email address you provided when your account was created. Follow the link in the email to log in for the first time.
If the link has expired, contact your super user to re-send the registration email. If you’re the only super user in your organisation, contact the service desk.
When you follow the link, you’ll see the ‘Change password’ screen. Enter your username and create a password that meets the requirements shown on screen.
You can then login to the portal.
Once you’ve logged in, from the ‘My account’ page, you can change your email by selecting ‘Edit and verify email’.
Enter your new email address in both the ‘Email’ and ‘Confirm email’ fields, then select ‘Save changes’.
The email address you use must be unique and accessible only by you. Generic email addresses, for example [email protected] are not allowed.
You’ll receive an email with a link to validate your email address. Once you follow the link to validate your email address, you’ll be asked to accept the terms of the user agreement.
Once you’ve done this, you’ll be taken to the ‘Learner Management’ homepage.
If the link in your email has expired, you’ll need to log in again and re-enter your email to receive a new link.
If another account holder has already used this email address, you’ll see an error message. You’ll need to log in again then enter a different email to receive a new link.
Super users are the first contact point for your user community to:
Super users are responsible for managing other LRS users in their organisation, including setting up additional super users. We strongly recommend having at least 3 super users but no more than 5.
When you create other user accounts check:
You’ll first need to search for a user to check whether they already exist in the LRS.
Audit your users annually to check who’s using the LRS and whether they hold the right level of access. You can find your organisation’s users on the portal.
You’ll see a full list of users to review including allocated user roles. As a super user, you must decide how to administer your user community and set up all other users.
Super users and the service desk cannot reset passwords. Users must reset their own passwords using the ‘I have forgotten my password’ link on the login page.
Temporary staff must undergo the same checks that protect confidentiality. They should have access as users belonging to your organisation, so that all transactions conducted for your organisation are audited as belonging to your organisation.
If you’re an agency working for several different organisations, you’ll need separate user accounts for each organisation you work for.
To update the details associated with a user account, follow the steps below.
You can update:
You can also use this screen to update the roles allowed for your own super user account.
Never reassign user accounts. Instead, delete the account and create a new one for the new member of staff.
Remove a user account as soon as the user leaves your organisation or no longer needs LRS access. If an account is left active, that person could still access the portal and potentially misuse it.
If a user forgets their password they can follow the ‘I have forgotten my password’ link on the login page to reactivate their account and reset their password.
If a user makes more than 5 consecutive unsuccessful attempts to log in, we’ll send an email to their verified email to tell them their account is locked. They can use the reset process to login.
If an account is suspended, the super user is responsible for reactivating the user’s account, verifying the user’s identify first if necessary.
If your only super user account is suspended, you should reset your password using the link on the login page. If you’re still unable to access LRS, contact the service desk.
Make sure you can accept emails from [email protected]
If you’re still not receiving verification emails, check with your IT support.
Learner verification allows you to verify you’re uploading achievement results to the correct records. The system cross checks the information you’ve supplied against what is held by LRS.
This ensures that the ULN belongs to the correct learner, and that you’re uploading data to the correct personal learning record (PLR).
You should verify ULNs before uploading achievement results to the PLR. If LRS and AO records do not match, an exception is returned.
You can complete learner verification by:
Using web services is the preferred method, but it relies on your own MIS supplier providing the interface with the LRS.
Users with the appropriate permissions can manually verify a single learner.
The system will give a return code. You can check the list of return codes (appendix C) to understand what each one means.
Batch files are comma-separated values (CSV) or XML format files which you can upload to the LRS portal to quickly validate multiple ULNs in bulk.
You can use the batch file toolkit for AOs to help you do this.
Your organisation can develop its own system or use a solution from a third party developer to link your own management information system (MIS) with the LRS.
You can get more information about how to register as a developer.
You can download the web service certificate from the portal by selecting the ‘Certificate management’ link from the left-hand menu. When you download it, you’ll get an email to your verified email address with the password for the certificate.
As an AO, you can use the LRS to:
You can manage achievements by:
When dealing with achievement records, you should:
You should not:
You can use the portal to maintain a single achievement record at a time.
Use this function to create (upload) a new achievement to a personal learning record (PLR).
Once you’ve successfully created an achievement, you’ll see a confirmation screen.
Use this function to update an achievement record that has been previously been created on the personal learning record (PLR) by your organisation.
To make any changes the achievement:
You can update the grade for an achievement by following the steps below.
Alternatively, you can move the achievement to a new learner.
Use this function to withdraw an achievement record that was previously created on the personal learning record (PLR) by your organisation.
Once you’ve confirmed the withdrawal, you’ll see a success screen.
Use this function to reinstate an achievement record that was previously withdrawn on the personal learning record (PLR) by your organisation.
You cannot update the grade achieved when reinstating an achievement. If you need to do this, you should create a new achievement. Alternatively, you can update the grade by submitting a batch file with the amended grade included against the reinstated achievement.
Once you’ve confirmed the reinstatement, you’ll see a success screen.
Batch files are CSV (comma separated values) or XML format files containing learner data which, once submitted, can create new, update existing, withdraw or reinstate achievements in bulk.
You can use the batch file toolkits to help you prepare and process a batch file.
You can develop your own system or use a solution from a third-party developer to link your management information system (MIS) with the LRS.
You can get further guidance on web services.
The personal learning record (PLR) of each learner contains the achievements (also known as learning events) uploaded by awarding organisations (AOs).
Learning providers and local authorities can view PLRs using the LRS. If they notice any problems on the PLR, they can report this by raising an ‘event data challenge’ (EDC).
If a valid EDC is submitted that needs resolution by your organisation, we’ll send an email to your nominated EDC resolver to let them know.
We also send them a report of all open EDCs at the start of each month.
EDCs may be raised for the following reasons:
You can view all open EDCs in the portal, or filter by status.
You can change the status of an EDC to ‘In progress’ by:
Selecting ‘Process’ will show you the full details of the data challenge, including the user who originally raised it.
This section explains how to resolve a data challenge using the portal.
Once you’ve resolved the EDC and updated its status to either ‘Resolved – Upheld’ or ‘Resolved – Rejected’, the LRS service desk will receive an email notifying them that you’ve investigated the problem and giving them details of your resolution.
To address this, you should check your own internal records to validate the EDC. You can then take one of the following actions:
To address this, you should check your own internal records to validate the EDC. You can then take one of the following actions:
After accepting a EDC, you should change the Status drop-down to ‘Resolved – Upheld’ and entering the action taken into the Additional Comments box.
Sometimes one ULN is shared by two learners. The LRS support team will lead on the main investigation and notify your organisation of these instances in the monthly EDC report.
Your organisation should then validate the findings and take the necessary action to resolve the EDC.
This may be intentional, for example if a learner first failed the qualification before later passing. It’s therefore important you check your own internal records and confirm if one or more of the qualifications were uploaded in error.
If the qualification was uploaded correctly, reject the data challenge with a reason in the Additional Comments box.
If the qualification was uploaded incorrectly, you should withdraw any duplicate qualifications on the portal, then resolve the data challenge with the ‘Resolved – Upheld’ status.
You can mark an EDC as resolved by changing the Status drop-down to either of the resolved states. You should do this as soon as you have taken the required action or have confirmed no action is necessary.
Make sure you include some comments in the Additional Comments field to summarise the action you’ve taken.
If you receive any error messages or have any problems, you should contact the service desk.
There’s further guidance documents available to help you, including:
You can also contact the service desk for further support.
Sign up for email communications to receive the latest information and notifications about the LRS.
We recommend using a screen resolution of width at least 1280 pixels to remove the need for horizontal scrolling.
We do not recommend Internet Explorer before IE8. Any other standard compliant browser should work without any issues. Mobile browsers may work, but we do not recommend using them.
It’s your responsibility to make sure users only have the level of access they need. You can use the set roles below or ‘mix and match’ the level of accessed required.
You can only select the user types that you have been granted access to when your organisation was set up as an AO.
The following user roles are available:
Responsible for managing all users within their registered organisation.
Can submit, manage and retrieve ‘verify learner’ batch files.
This user role will have access to the following menu items:
Can access the portal to verify an individual learner.
This user role will have access to the following menu items:
Can submit, manage, and retrieve batch files of achievements to the portal. Batch files enable new creations, updates, withdrawals, and reinstatement of achievements. This user role can also perform a credit check.
This user role will have access to the following menu items:
Can create, update, withdraw and reinstate individual achievements using the portal. This user role can also perform a credit check.
This user role will have access to the following menu items:
There are some restrictions on the data that can be entered when registering and updating learner profiles.
The age of a learner must fall between:
Valid names must always contain at least one upper case character (A-Z) or one lower case character (a-z).
The following characters are also permitted:
No text other than the name itself (for example, text relating to the status of the name) should be included.
This restriction applies to the following fields:
Postcodes distinctly associated with prisons and offender institutions will be rejected.
This restriction applies to the Postcode field.
LRS restricts inappropriate words or phrases to prevent entry of data which may cause a learner to be discriminated against.
This restriction is applied to all fields.
View the list of prohibited text in section G4 of the web services interface specification.
This means all of the supplied learner’s details exactly match the learner’s details for that unique learner number (ULN) held on the system. For name fields, there will be an exact match after normalisation of capital and lower case letters.
You do not need to take any further action as the ULN has been verified.
This means that the supplied learner’s details exactly match those held on the system for that ULN, but the learner is also registered with another ULN. A link between the two ULNs has been made on the system.
The returned values you see will be for the learner marked as the ‘master’ learner.
You do not need to take any further action as the ULN has been verified.
This means that the supplied learner’s details do not exactly match a learner’s details held on the system. This will be returned if either or both supplied names ‘fuzzy match’ but do not match what we hold exactly character for character.
The date of birth and gender, if supplied, must match those held on the system.
The system also compares:
You should check the differences between the supplied information and the information returned by the system. If you have any doubt about the result, you should get clarification from the learning provider.
This means a possible match has been found against our database (as described in VRC003), but the learner is linked to another ULN that has been marked as the master (as described in VRC002).
The details returned are for the master ULN.
You do not need to take any further action as the ULN has been verified.
This means that the supplied learner’s ULN exists on the system but the other details supplied do not match the learner’s details on the system. This means the system cannot be confident that the correct learner has been identified.
This code will be returned if:
You’ll see failure flag(s) on the screen. You should take a note of the failure flag descriptions and send a request to the learning provider to do one of the following:
This means the supplied ULN does not currently exist on the system.
You’ll see failure flags on the screen. You should take a note of the failure flag descriptions and send a request to the learning provider to provide an update.
You can select one of the following reasons when withdrawing or reinstating a qualification:
Don’t include personal or financial information like your National Insurance number or credit card details.
To help us improve GOV.UK, we’d like to know more about your visit today. We’ll send you a link to a feedback form. It will take only 2 minutes to fill in. Don’t worry we won’t send you spam or share your email address with anyone.
Open Government Licence
All content is available under the Open Government Licence v3.0, except where otherwise stated