PICS Released

The latest version of PICS includes improvements to the Achievement Rates reports to include the 2016 calculations, improvements to FM36 reconciliation, and more. Find more information in our release blog below or visit the release notes section of our website for a full line by line breakdown of the release.

2016 Achievement Rates

The ESFA has published the Calculation Specifications for the 2016 Qualification Achievement Rates (QARs) and PICS has been updated to include these calculations in the Achievement Rates Report.

This report is similar to the 2015 QAR Report, but supports Trailblazer Apprenticeships and excludes some funding models. See our article on Changes to PICS Achievement Rates Reports for full details.

The 2016 Achievements Rates Report can be run from our reporting tools by selecting either the Apprenticeship or Education and Training report under 2016 QAR Reports in the Report Tree.

FM36 Reconciliation – Insert PMRs

When reconciling the Monthly Funding Report for FM36 in PICS, you can now insert PMRs for a given period due for collection for any learners who were expected to be Levy funded, but have instead become co-invested. To do this, select Show Missing PMRs in the Actual tab in the Reconciler:

This will open a window with three sections:

  1. The top section shows a list of PMRs that PICS has detected are missing, based on current data and information provided in the Monthly Funding Report. Select each record using the tick box and select Insert Missing PMRs to insert them into PICS data.
  2. The bottom-left section shows some basic information about the learner and programme. This information will be updated as you change records in the above section.
  3. The bottom-right section shows existing PMRs for this learner episode, allowing you to decide if you want to insert the PMRs or not.

Form Capture Application – Organisations

In PICS Configuration > FCA Settings > General, two new settings are available to control adding Companies (CRM Organisations) to PICS through FCA.

  • You can now disable this feature by deselecting User Can Create Companies.
  • You can also set the default status for new Organisations added in FCA in the Default Status for New Companies drop-down menu.

These changes require upgrades to PICS, the PICS SOAP Service, and FCA.

Bug Fix: Maintain option from Officer and Organisation picklists

In PICS Version, the option to launch CRM from the Officer and Organisation picklists by selecting Maintain stopped working. We’re happy to announce that the issue has been fixed and the option should work as before.

Removal of old supporting databases

PICS stores copies of the FIS (Funding Information System) and LARS (Learning Aim Reference Service) databases in order to provide accurate and up-to-date information for reports. These databases are stored in the FIS and LARS folders in your PICS data folder. Within these folders, databases are sorted into different folders for each year.

As databases for 2015 and earlier are now irrelevant for PICS, in this update they will be removed to reduce the amount of disk space used.

This will only affect you if you have any third-party systems or reports which connect directly to the removed databases. If this is the case, you will need to update the references in these systems to ensure that they are connected to the latest data folders, which are named FIS16 and LARS16.

The removed databases are: LARS14, FIS13, FIS14 and FIS15.


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