Skip to main content

Student 2017/18 - Learner reference number

Back to C17051

Student 2017/18

Fields required from institutions in All fields

Learner reference number

return to field list

This field records the provider's reference number for the student, where a reference number for submission to the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) is already in place.

Applicable toEngland

Students at providers in England where Institution.ILRGEN = 1 and any Instance.PROGTYPE = 25.


This field exists as a complement to Student.HUSID. It is normally expected that for Apprenticeship funding purposes, the Student.HUSID will be used as the identifier for a student. Exceptionally, however, a provider may indicate the existence of another identifier for a student in cases where this number may have already been submitted to the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), in order to maintain the ability to link students across years.

Where this field is not returned, the first 12 characters of the HUSID will be used to populate the ILR file generated for Apprenticeships.

The learner reference number must be retained by the student for any period of study with the provider and must not be re-used for a different student.

The number should be retained following any period of absence.

Changes to the learner reference number should be avoided if at all possible between years for continuing students. If a provider does unavoidably have to change the learner reference numbers used, for example because of a change to their MIS system, they should ensure that the Student.PREVLEARNREFNO field is completed.

A single learner reference number should be used for each student wherever possible and providers should work towards eliminating the use of more than one learner reference number for the same person.

Where a student starts a new learning aim, it is expected that providers will use the existing learner reference number and not create a new one even if they are using different MI systems to hold the student's details.

Providers must not include personal data that could be used to identify a student in the learner reference number.

Quality rules
Quality rules relating to this field are displayed here.
Part of
Field length12
Minimum occurrences0
Maximum occurrences1
Schema components
Data type: LEARNNOType
OwnerEducation and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA)

Contact Liaison by email or on +44 (0)1242 388 531.