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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 previously been included on the HESA Student and AP Student Record. The HLS searches against a database containing the student records submitted to HESA since 1994/95. Since the HLS is only searching against existing HESA datasets, providers should only submit to the service students who have studied at a HESA-reporting provider (i.e. publicly funded UK HEI) since the reporting period 1994/95.

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 lookup 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) provider attended

The HLS requires all five items of data to ensure that the matching algorithm does not send back the wrong HUSID.

How do I access the service?

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

Uploading a file?

The file must be uploaded on to the HLS in a 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 provider (Compulsory)

An example of a valid formatted file has been provided below:

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, this will then process and display the results in the download table (example below):

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

The results and submissions to the HLS will be kept for up to 3 years, to allow us to keep an audit trail of activity. 


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