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HLS: HUSID Look-up Service

What is the HLS?

The HUSID Look-up Service (HLS) allows providers to find the HUSID of a student who has been included on the HESA Student and AP Student Record in previous years. The HLS searches against the database containing all student records submitted to HESA since 1994/95.

The database only contains students who have studied at a publicly funded UK higher education institution, who return student data to HESA. Providers should only search for students who match this criteria and will therefore be included in HESA datasets.

Why should it be used?

The HLS searches the existing HESA database to find a student's HUSID. The required items of personal information used in the look-up need to be relatively unchanging over time, but need to provide a key that is sufficiently unique to ensure that incorrect HUSIDs are not returned. The items chosen for the HLS are:

  • Date of birth
  • Surname
  • Forename/s
  • Gender
  • Last (HESA-returning) HE provider attended

The HLS requires all five items of data to ensure that the matching algorithm does not return an incorrect HUSID.

How do I access the service?

To access the HLS, you will need to have the 'HUSID Look-up Service Contact' role in the HESA identity system (IDS). Your Student or AP Student record contact will be able to invite you to this role in IDS for you to accept. Once accepted, you will be able to access the HUSID look-up service (HLS) from the drop-down menu (top right corner) in the data collection system.

Uploading a file?

The file must be uploaded in XML or CSV format with either '.hls' or '.csv' at the end of the file name. The fields in the file are as follows:

  • Own identifier (Optional)
  • Date of birth (Compulsory)
  • Surname (Compulsory)
  • Forename/s (Compulsory)
  • Gender (Compulsory)
  • Previous HE provider (Compulsory)

Example of a valid formatted file:

Remember - the file that you upload contains personal data and must be held securely.

How do I get my results?

Once a file has been successfully uploaded onto the system, it will be processed and the results will be displayed in a download table (example below):

Remember - the file that you download contains personal data and must be held securely.

HLS submissions and results will be kept for up to three years by HESA, to allow us to keep an audit trail of activity. 

Invalid Results

If your results are invalid, then one or more of the following errors messages will appear when you download your file:

  • INVALID FORMAT - The record was returned in the incorrect format or the date of birth (DOB) was not returned or formatted incorrectly.
  • INVALID FORENAME - The forenames are missing or not in the correct format.
  • INVALID SURNAME - The surname is missing or not in the correct format.
  • INVALID INSTID - The previous HE provider identifier is missing or not in the correct format.
  • DUPLICATE - A duplicate HUSID was found but is also in use by another record with a similar DOB - i.e. 01/02/93 & 02/01/93 - and with all other personal information matching.
  • NOT FOUND - No HUSID was found that matched the personal information returned.
  • AMBIGUOUS - More than one HUSID was found that matched the personal information given and is unable to determine a result.
  • INVALID GENDER - The gender returned is missing or not in the correct format (M or F). The HUSID Look-up Service (HLS) currently holds the gender fields M or F only as the system was built before the addition of ‘O’ as a valid gender entry. If you receive an INVALID GENDER error because ‘O’ is not recognised in the database please email the Liaison team at HESA who will manually retrieve the HUSID for the HE provider from our database. The HE provider MUST NOT send personal data over email, we will check your uploaded file in the HLS system for the error.

Help?

If you have any queries about the HLS, please contact the Liaison team at HESA ([email protected]).