Changes to Employer Identifiers and the Employer Data Registration Service  

Further education and training providers


Last updated

From: Education and Skills Funding Agency

What’s changing?

From 1 April 2022, we are changing the way you look up Employer Identifiers (also known as ERNs or Employer Reference numbers).

We are decommissioning the current Employer Data Service (EDS) from the 1 April 2022. A search facility will be available on the submit learner data (SLD) service to enable providers to search for Employer Identifiers issued before this date.


The new Employer Data Service (EDS) search facility is now available on submit learner data (SLD).


Users with required access will see a new tile under ‘Reports and data: EDS – Search EDS Data’. Access to EDS has been provided to super users only.


Users who require access will need an Identity and Access Management System (IdAMS) account. Instructions on how to register for this are available for users who do not already have an account.


To access EDS users will need to request a new role ‘Submit Learner Data – EDS’ and this will need to be approved by the providers’ super user.


 What about requesting new Employer numbers?

 From 1 April 2022, you cannot request new Employer Identifiers, and you are no longer required to record new Employer Identifiers on the ILR.

If you cannot find an Employer Identifier using the new search facility on SLD, you should use the value 999999999.

It will no longer be necessary to update the submitted 999999999 value within 60 days. This error (EMPID_13) has now been changed to a warning for the remainder of the academic year. No action is required if you receive this warning on your rule violation report.


Where a 999999999 EMPIDs/ERNs is used on the ILR, as long as the learner is registered on the apprentice service, the employer name will be displayed on provider reports that display this field.


The Provider Support Manual will be updated to reflect this change.


Why has the change been made?

We are making these changes as the need for information on employers on the ILR has reduced. The programmes that used this data either no longer require it (such as apprenticeships) or are coming to an end over the next 2 years (such as ESF).

We are simplifying the data that is being returned in the short term, from 1 April 2022 and plan to remove it from the ILR for the academic year 2023 to 2024.


Need support

If you have a specific query about payment history not covered by the previous information or the guidance, please contact us using our enquiry form.



Other ways to get help

Talk to our community

Discuss topics on further education and skills with other providers.

Contact us

Use our web form to submit an enquiry.

Is this page useful?

You have 500 characters remaining

Other helpful resources