Garry Welborn

ILR Error R131 'Prior Learning'



I can see this topic has been discussed previously but this has not been an issue for us until recently.

Previously on our ILR errors report the R131's were coming through as warnings.

In the last week they have started to come through as errors.

An example of the error is below

My understanding of this is that the above is saying that we have the prior learning recorded against an aim with a Start Date of 2/10/21 but the earliest start date should be the 1/10/21.
There is an aim with a Start Date of the 1/10/21 however this is a Community Learning aim (FM10) which according to the ILR specifications do not need a Prior Level recorded. 
Just one other thing, at the beginning of the year the R131's showed as errors, then they moved to Warnings without us having to do anything and now they are back to being errors. Due to this I'm wondering whether the issue is with the FIS as opposed to the way we are recording this information?
I would appreciate any feedback
Kind Regards


No one has replied to this post.

Martin West

The validation rule checks against Earliest Learning start date (for all learning aims) so it does not distinguish what the funding stream is.


Garry Welborn

Thanks Martin,

But if that's the case and we have FM10 enrolments which have the earliest start dates then wouldn't the ILR specifications say that we would need to enter the prior learning for FM10? 

Also, when I update the enrolment and put a Prior Learning entry against the aim with the earliest start date (the FM10 and then run the ILR through Submit Learner Data, I get an additional error.



Martin West

A prior attainment record is required when you start a new learning agreement, see the notes from the ILR specifications below:


This entity is completed when the learning agreement has been agreed between the learner and provider. The prior attainment relevant to the agreement is recorded on the ILR with the start date matching the earliest learning aim start date for the agreement.

Where all learning activities relating to the agreement have been completed and if the learner progresses into further learning with the same provider, a new learning agreement is made and a new prior attainment to reflect that learning agreement is recorded.

The prior attainment is not updated during the period of learning where all activities relating to the learning agreement are continuing.

The prior attainment is not updated at the end of all learning activities relating to the learner agreement. A new record is only added at the start of any subsequent learning where a new learning agreement has been signed.

In your case the community learning agreement would have a prior attainment record dated 01/10/2021 and the subsequent FM 35 learning would have a record dated 02/10/2021.

They may not have thought through all the scenarios in the validation rules.


Yolanda De Luca

I put this in a couple of days ago but have not had any response, so will be cheeky and add to this thread. The R131 error is in it's hundreds and I need to fix these for R05.


I have read the posts regarding this error dated from about 3 months ago and wondered if anyone has any further updates since then.

When recording the new Prior Level fields, we have done the following:

  • added a record for the original prior attainment (previous years) in the new entity, using the new values with the learner's earliest start date in previous years, if this remained unchanged for 21/22 we didn't add any further records, effectively leaving us with a prior attainment with a date <01/08/21.
  • The same as the above but if prior attainment changed for 21/22 we added another record making the "date level applies" equal to the earliest start date for 21/22.
  • For learners new to the college (first enrolment in 21/22),  we created a single record making the "date level applies" equal to the earliest start date for 21/22.

I appear to have error R131 (If returned, There must be a prior attainment record matching the earliest learning ai/m start date for the learner) for any learners for which I have a date <01/08/21

Should we be recording the learner's prior attainment (level when first started at our institution), in the new entity, given that this information has always been required and that the new entity is there, or so I thought, to show the current attainment which could not be seen previously in the ILR?



I am very cautious of removing the old attainments input into the 21/22 Prior Level fields (converted to new values), in case it turns out that it should be there. If I can determine whether the old data should be included, I then know, I need to get to the bottom of why these are errors. I think deleting the old records may well get rid of the errors but may not be the right thing to do.


I would really appreciate any feedback on this.



Martin West

I do not think that you return a prior attainment record for:

  • The same as the above but if prior attainment changed for 21/22 we added another record making the "date level applies" equal to the earliest start date for 21/22.

For carry over learner you do not need to add another prior attainment until they have completed and started a new learning agreement (it’s not applicable to aims but the whole learning agreement)

There is also an issue in that prior attainment is not collected for all funding streams but this may not be recognised in the R131 validation rule as the collection requirement are only Adult Skills (FundModel 35), Apprenticeships (FundModel 36), ESF (FundModel 70) ,Non-funded (FundModel 99) and Other Adult (FundModel 81).


Yolanda De Luca

Thanks Martin for replying

Just to clarify:

  • The same as the above but if prior attainment changed for 21/22 we added another record making the "date level applies" equal to the earliest start date for 21/22.

I'm not referring to learning agreements which started in 20/21 and have continued on the same learning agreement in 21/22.

This is a little difficult to explain but effectively what we have done is created a record to show the learner's earliest prior attainment at our institution (this could be 3 years ago but have started a new learning agreement year on year), then added  their current attainment for the 21/22 Learning Agreement.

e.g. Learner had a Prior Attainment of level 1 in 20/21, when they first attended our college, they completed all aims on Learning agreement by the end of 20/21. The learner then enrols in 21/22 but their attainment level has is now Level 2, achieved with us

It always used to be that prior attainment was collected when the learner first enrols at an institution and had to remain unchanged - previous ILR Spec below.

The data captured in this field should be the learner's prior attainment when they first enrol with
the provider. This field should not be updated if the learner progresses to subsequent learning
aims within the same or subsequent teaching year, after completing their initial learning
Where a learner returns to a provider after an absence of more than one teaching year, then the
Prior attainment field should be re-evaluated and updated.

Has that rule completely gone now? As the old Prior Attainment field has now been removed from the ILR, is it right that we would only show the current attainment level so that in my example above only the level 2 would be recorded? Does it mean that the Prior Level data will only exist from 21/22?


Martin West

You should not include show the learner's earliest prior attainment at your institution, the ILR specification reference to the learner's prior attainment when they first enrol with the provider only applies to the current enrolment be it a continuation from a previous year (Carry over learner) or a new enrolment in the current year.