2 min read

Important information regarding late data changes

Featured Image

We have recently identified an issue concerning the updating of ILR aim information in PICS with end dates before 1st August 2021. This article explains the background of the issue, the steps we have taken to rectify it and how this may affect your PICS data and ILR submissions.

Background of the issue

When aim data in closed ILR years is changed, such as when changing an aim from Break in Learning to a withdrawal, PICS automatically sets the Export in Year flag for that aim to Always. This ensures that the updated aim data is reported to the ESFA even though the data is no longer relevant in the latest ILR year.

Since the release of the 2022 version of PICS in August, the Export in 2022 flag has incorrectly been set to Always whenever aim data has been changed where the aim end date is in the 2020/21 ILR year. This means that the aim would be exported in the 2022 ILR file, but not 2021. While this would not present any immediate problems with ILR data and funding, this would mean that the 2022 Achievement Rates would be affected where aims were first reported completed in the 2022 ILR, instead of 2021.

Steps we have taken to rectify this

On the weekend of 1st October, we released an update to PICS which fixes the issue described above. Any changes to aims with a 2020 end date will cause the Export in 2021 flag to be set to Always instead of the 2022 flag, and these aims will now appear in the 2021 ILR file.

For existing data, we identified cases where aims have been updated and the Export in 2022 flag has been set automatically by using the change logging feature in PICS. We have automatically updated all PICS data and changed the Export in 2021 flag to Always, and the Export in 2022 flag to Automatic for the affected aims. This update only affects aims with end dates before 01/08/2021, and which have been updated since the release of PICS on 13th August 2022.

Steps you should take

You should ensure that you export a 2021 ILR file and check for errors using the FIS or Submit Learner Data. You may find that the number of exported learners and aims has increased, and if any of these learners do not conform to the 2021 validation rules they will need to be updated before they will be accepted by the ESFA.

If you have any questions about the issues or fixes mentioned above or would like further information on how many aims are affected, please contact the Pellcomp support team who will be happy to assist.