Unique Learner Numbers

Following a successful trial in 2017-18 with Online Centres funded through the Future Digital Inclusion programme, we are now opening up the chance for all members of the Online Centres Network to create or validate Unique Learner Numbers for their learners.

Creating a Unique Learner Number means your learners can access a personal record of all the learning they have done, which can be useful when applying for jobs or for courses in Further and Higher Education. Having a Unique Learner Number can have a positive effect on learners’ motivation to progress to further learning. And data from Unique Learner Numbers is used to improve policy and services across Government, and Further and Higher Education, helping us to continue to widen participation in learning.

Finally, it gives Online Centres an additional way of highlighting their work in reaching people who are disengaged from formal learning, and supporting them to progress to accredited learning or training.

We would like to encourage as many centres as possible to start creating Unique Learner Numbers. It’s not a requirement, but showing how the Online Centres Network is re-engaging people and supporting their progression is really important for the future success and sustainability of the network.

What is a Unique Learner Number?

Unique Learner Numbers (ULNs) are assigned by the Learning Records Service within the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), and allow an individual’s learning to be registered against a Personal Learning Record (PLR).

For Good Things Foundation and the Online Centres Network, ULNs are a way of recognising how centres support the progression of learners, helping them take part in education and accredited learning - especially people who otherwise wouldn’t engage with formal learning.

How does it work?

A ULN tool has been built into the Learner Management area of the Learn My Way website for tutors to use.

All you need to do is enter some additional information about a learner against their Learn My Way record, and the tool will check with the Learning Record Service and either validate their account against an existing ULN or create a new number.

NB: You will need to verify the learner’s identity and confirm that the learner has agreed that their information can be entered into the ULN tool.

There’s information on this, as well as more on creating or validating ULNs for your learners, how the tool works and more FAQs in our ULN Step by Step Guide.