PICS Released

2017 QAR Calculations

The ESFA recently announced that they would be making interim Qualification Achievement Rate (QAR) reports available for the first time in several years. These reports will be based on the 2017 QAR calculations.

We’re pleased to announce that in PICS the Achievement Rates reports can now be run using the 2017 calculations. To do so, select either the 2017 Apprentice or 2017 Education and Training report in the Achievement Rates section of PICS Reports.

The 2017 calculations have few changes compared to 2016, and these are listed here:

  • Funding Model 36 aims are now included in the apprenticeship report – selecting the 2017 calculations in PICS will automatically tick the Include FM36 Aims option for you.
  • Apprenticeship standards (Programme Type 25) aims are included in Overall figures only in the apprenticeship report.
  • Several Education and Training exclusions have been removed:
    • Additional Unit Aim
    • Diagnostic Test Aim
    • First steps aim
    • Foundation Learning Weekly aim

The QAR Reconciler is available to compare the ESFA data extracts to the PICS QAR data. Most differences can often be attributed to data being changed after previous ILR years have been closed. As the 2017 contract year remains open until October it is therefore possible to correct any errors and resubmit before the final QARs are calculated after the year has hard-closed.

PICS Messaging Functionality in the REST API

We have expanded the REST API to include functionality to support PICS Messages. There are two new functions, one to send a single message and one retrieve PICS messages for the logged in user. See the inbuilt guidance for more information.

Non-ILR qualification plans

We have added a facility in Qualification Plans to link qualifications purely for local tracking and not reporting to the funding organisation. These are useful for monitoring any element of the programme that you wish to track in the achievements section of PICS but do not want to appear in the ILR. This can be particularly useful when interface PICS with a third party ePortfolio and may need qualification records representing Gateway Assessment & End Point Assessments to trigger the corresponding record in the ePortfolio.

Full release notes are available from the release notes section of our website.

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