Registrations and entries

Vocational registrations

Once you've enrolled learners onto an approved Pearson programme or individual units, you need to formally register them with us. Find out why, when and how to do it.

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Why do I need to register learners?

You need to formally register learners so that you can report achievement, we can plan quality assurance activities and issue awards.

We have two electronic processing methods to enable you to process registrations efficiently: Edexcel Online and EDI.

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For centres whose programmes follow the academic year, candidates who enrol or sign up in September must be registered by the following deadlines:

1 November following enrolment for:

  • Foundation Learning Awards, Certificates and Diplomas
  • First and National Awards, Certificates, Extended Certificates and Diplomas
  • Specialist and Professional Awards, Certificates and Diplomas
  • WorkSkills Awards, Certificates and Diplomas

15 November* following enrolment for:

  • Level 4 HNCs and Level 5 HNDs
  • Level 3 and 4 Diplomas in Art and Design

* The 15 November deadline is not applicable to private colleges. All learner registrations for Level 4 HNCs and Level 5 HNDs from private colleges must be made within one month of learner enrolment.

For the roll-on, roll-off and assessment-only programmes that start at various times during the year, registrations must be made within six weeks of enrolment.

This deadline is not applicable to learners registered for Level 4HNCs, Level 5HNDs and level 5 Diploma in Education and Training, who must be registered within one month of enrolment.

To ensure that all necessary quality control procedures are carried out, there must be at least 10 weeks between registration and a claim for certification.

For centres whose programmes follow the academic year, candidates who enrol or sign up in September must be registered by the following deadlines:

1 November following enrolment for:

  • Foundation Learning Awards, Certificates and Diplomas
  • First and National Awards, Certificates, Extended Certificates and Diplomas
  • Specialist and Professional Awards, Certificates and Diplomas
  • WorkSkills Awards, Certificates and Diplomas

15 November* following enrolment for:

  • Level 4 HNCs and Level 5 HNDs
  • Level 3 and 4 Diplomas in Art and Design

* The 15 November deadline is not applicable to private colleges. All learner registrations for Level 4 HNCs and Level 5 HNDs from private colleges must be made within one month of learner enrolment.

For the roll-on, roll-off and assessment-only programmes that start at various times during the year, registrations must be made within one month of enrolment. For example, if enrolment was on 1 January, learners must be registered by 1 February.

To ensure that all necessary quality control procedures are carried out, there must be at least 10 weeks between registration and a claim for certification.

The next generation of BTEC qualifications follow the same registration pattern, but because these qualifications have external assessment, you'll also need to make bookings for learners who'll be attempting the assessment in the current session.

  • Bookings for onscreen tests should be made at least two hours before the test is taken, unless you're applying for access arrangements. We need at least 15 days to process requests for access arrangements.
  • Bookings for the paper-based exams and the set tasks must be made by the entry deadline of the respective examination session.

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For ESOL, you can register candidates for either the full award or individual units. However, where candidates are registered for individual units, achievement of three units will not enable you to make a claim for the full award.

You can register candidates using Edexcel Online or via EDI at any point during the year; there are no late fees.

How to make registrations

Find out how to register learners for vocational programmes using Edexcel Online and Electronic Data Interchange (EDI).

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Edexcel Online (EOL) is a web-based service designed to make it quicker and easier for you to administer and access learner information. EOL allows you to make registrations within a few minutes and get immediate confirmation of registration numbers.

You will need an Edexcel Online account to make your registrations.

Find out how to get an Edexcel Online account

Watch the 'how to' videos below for a step-by-step guide on the processes detailed below.

How-to videos
How to make individual registrations

This video shows you how to make individual registrations:

Watch the video

How to make bulk registrations

This video shows you how to enter information that will apply to a whole group of learners on a particular programme or unit:

Watch the video

How to transfer a learner within your centre

This video shows how to change the programme a learner is completing at your centre:

Watch the video

How to register a learner for a top up

This video shows how to top up a registration so that a learner can complete a larger qualification in the same subject at the same level and against the same specification:

Watch the video

Before you begin making the initial registrations (individual or bulk), you need to enter the information below that will apply to a whole group of learners on a particular programme or unit.

Registration type

Full Award, Individual Units or Apprenticeship

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Enrolment date

This is when learners started the programme.

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Order number

A reference of up to 12 alphanumeric characters.

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After selecting the information that applies to all learners in a group, you're now ready to enter the individual learner details or, for large groups of registrations, register learners by spreadsheet.

The information required is the same, regardless of whether you enter learners individually or by spreadsheet. Therefore, if you download the spreadsheet to complete offline, you shouldn't change the format of the spreadsheet as this may prevent data from uploading correctly.

Remember to check all details carefully, as this information will be used for certification.

The information you'll need to enter is: 

Centre reference

This field allows you to enter a reference of up to 10 alphanumeric characters for your own administrative convenience. 

First names

The first names must be no more than 20 characters including spaces.

Last names

The last names should be no more than 30 characters, including spaces. 

Sex

Select either ‘M’ for male, or ‘F’ for female. 

Date of birth

This is a required field and should be in the format dd/mm/yyyy. 

Planned completion

This date must be in the future and should be in the format dd/mm/yyyy.

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ULN (Unique Learner Number)

The ULN is a learner identifier that's allocated by the government agency LRS (Learning Records Service).

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Study mode

For individual registrations, choose the main mode of study from the drop-down list. If you're making bulk registrations by spreadsheet, it's important to enter the correct letter for each learner in the study mode column. 

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Collaborative Partner Number

Leave this blank unless the learner is attending a franchisee institution approved to offer the programme.

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Combination (not NVQ programmes) 

Every programme should include a combination, which will be a single letter. For most programmes there is only one combination, which will usually be A. If you're not sure, please check the programme definition for combinations, which can be found in the ‘Qualifications’ menu under the ‘Reports’ option.  

Completing bulk registrations

Once you've completed and uploaded your registrations, the registration numbers of the learners will be listed in the right-hand column and you will be able to access the confirmation report for your records if you wish. 

Successful registration results in the creation of registration lists with individual records for each learner on an approved programme or unit at a specified centre. Listings will normally be produced weekly and will include all registrations processed that week.

Registration lists report back all registration details, with the registration number and the centre reference number, where submitted. Learners are listed by registration number within a programme in the order in which they were entered.

Please verify the details in the registration list, especially the learner names, and report any necessary changes to Account Services as soon as possible. Any learners not listed will usually have been queried by us already, or will appear in subsequent listings.

Please email eprocessing@pearson.com if you no longer wish to receive these listings.

Individual registrations

Any errors relating to the data you've entered will be displayed with instructions in red to tell you what the problem is – for instance, invalid characters in the name field, or a completion date in the past. You'll have a chance to correct the data before uploading it again.

The registration will also be rejected if it's found that a registration already exists for that learner and programme. If this is the case, the learner will be highlighted in green and their existing registration number will be displayed. You'll need to remove this learner from the list to be registered before continuing.

Where a record is highlighted in green you can view the specific error message by hovering the mouse pointer over the highlighted record.  

Bulk registrations

Any errors in the data you've entered will be displayed with instructions in red advising you of the problem - for instance, invalid characters in the name field, or a completion date in the past. You will have an opportunity to correct the data before uploading the spreadsheet again.

Possible reasons for errors are:

  • column added or deleted from spreadsheet
  • column headings deleted or amended (must be in bold font)
  • required field not completed
  • DOB or completion date not in dd/mm/yyyy format
  • sex entered as Male or Female, rather then a single letter M or F
  • study mode not entered as code (e.g. FT for full time instead of A)
  • LSC code entered when course is not LSC funded.

If you can't make a registration electronically, due to special circumstances, you'll need to email your Account Specialist.

Registrations that you won't be able to make online include:

  • special registrations (S type)
  • learners with an enrolment date before September of the current academic year.

If you make any mistakes whilst registering learners, it's important you correct them as soon as possible and before claiming certification.

You can use the 'Candidate Details' screen in Edexcel Online to amend a learner's:

  • first name
  • last name
  • date of birth
  • gender
  • ULN
  • planned completion date

You can find the 'Candidate Details' screen using either the ‘Search by Candidate’ option or ‘Search by Course’ options within the BTEC ‘Candidate’ menu. You will need to select details to get the candidate's specific information.

Changing-Learner-name

By clicking the ‘Edit’ button at the bottom of the screen, you can amend all of the fields shown above, as well as claim certification.

If the learner has a ULN, you will need to update their details on the LRS database before updating Edexcel Online.

To prevent one learner being substituted for another, you can only change one of the first name, last name or date of birth fields, and then only once. If you have any further amendments, please contact your Account Specialist.

Once your changes have been saved, any certificates issued will reflect the details on our database.

You may transfer a learner registration between programmes for which your centre has approval, and which are currently open for registrations. However, you need to ensure that learners will be able to complete the programme to which they're transferred. This includes making arrangements for accreditation of prior learning from their original programme, where appropriate.

You can't transfer an individual unit registration to a full programme registration.

You can make changes to a learner's registered programme using the 'Transfer within Centre' screen, found within the ‘Candidate’ menu of the BTEC section.

 

Transfer-within-the-same-centre

This screen allows you to transfer groups of learners or individual learners to any of your currently approved BTEC programmes. A new completion date is mandatory when transferring.

Groups of 20 or more learners will be transferred overnight. All other transfers should take place almost immediately, although a learner can only be transferred once within a 24 hour period.

If you can't transfer a particular learner, please contact your Account Specialist.

Transfer fees

Where the fees are the same for both programmes, you won't need to pay an additional fee.

Where the fee is higher for the transferred programme than the original registration, we'll issue an invoice for the difference between the two fees.

Where a learner transfers from a larger to a smaller qualification within the same specification (for example, from a Level 3 Diploma in Business to a Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Business), we'll issue a credit note for the difference between the two fees, minus a small administrative fee.

Where the fee is lower for the transferred programme than the original registration but the two qualifications are not from the same specification, we won't be able to credit you with the difference in fees. Examples of this include a learner transferring:

  • from a Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Business to a Level 3 Certificate in Engineering
  • from a Level 3 Certificate in Art and Design to a Level 2 Diploma in Art and Design.

A learner may transfer from another centre. This is usually so that the learner can complete the same programme of study.

You'll need to ensure that all previous achievement has been reported by the initial centre before you start the transfer.

For a certificate to be awarded, the learner’s record at the final centre will need to show all the required units have been completed. Therefore you should make a comparison between the units previously completed and the requirements of the new programme before transferring the learner.

You'll need to make the learner aware that additional work may be needed to meet the requirements of the programme in full.

Transferring a learner from a centre operating under the Licence Agreement

Learners registered under the Edexcel Licence Agreement at a higher education centre can't be transferred to a non-licenced programme and learners will need to be registered in the normal way

We don't hold achievement information for these learners so you will need to ask for the assessment records from the initial centre and use accreditation of prior learning (APL), where appropriate. 

Processing the transfer

You'll find the 'Transfer from another Centre' screen within the ‘Candidate’ menu of the BTEC section.

To validate the identity of a learner transferring into your centre, you'll need to provide their date of birth along with their registration number. If these details match, you'll be able to choose which currently approved BTEC programme you want to transfer the learner to.

screenshot-transfer

When you've selected the programme to be transferred to, just click ‘Transfer’. 

To ask for learners to be transferred between Apprenticeship schemes, please contact your Account Specialist.

A learner who has been awarded a nationally accredited qualification, and who wants to extend it to a larger qualification in the same subject at the same level and against the same specification, can have a top-up registration to the new qualification.

Learners may be topped up for now-expired QCF programmes as follows:

  • QCF Foundation Learning Awards, Certificates and Diplomas
  • QCF BTEC Firsts and Nationals – Certificates and Diplomas
  • QCF Level 4 HNC to Level 5 HND
  • QCF Level 3 Diploma in Art and Design to Level 4 Diploma in Art and Design
  • QCF Specialist and Professional Awards, Certificates and Diplomas
  • QCF WorkSkills Awards, Certificates and Diplomas
  • BTEC Specialist and Professional Awards, Certificates and Diplomas
  • QCF NVQ and QCF Competence-based Awards, Certificates and Diplomas at Levels 1-8.

The learner will retain the registration number allocated to the original programme registration.

Do not re-register the learner for the new programme. Re-registering will create a new registration number for the learner that, in turn, will generate an invoice for the full registration fee, and may cause problems on programme completion and delays in certification.  

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is a service for centres that use a Management Information System (MIS). It uses basedata to transfer data between awarding bodies and centres. Here, you can find out how to use EDI to register learners for vocational programmes.

New to EDI? Find out how to start using EDI here.

EDI basedata formats

There are two EDI basedata formats that support BTEC registrations: EDIFACT and JCQ. If you choose to make registrations and entries by EDI, we recommend that you still also have an Edexcel Online account so that you can use other facilities, such as EDI file tracking and access to entry and results reports.

EDIFACT file formats were developed by us to support the electronic administration of our vocational learners and can be used for BTEC, BTEC individual units, NVQ and Apprenticeships/MAS.

EDIFACT basedata contains details of all programmes and, if ordered, their unit structures. This can be downloaded into your software package to enable you to register learners onto all vocational programmes and individual units, and report unit grades.

EDIFACT supports the following activities:

  • provision of centre-specific basedata (Pearson to centre)
  • registration of learners (centre to Pearson)
  • email acknowledgement of file receipt and processing (Pearson to centre)
  • provision of registration numbers (Pearson to centre)
  • reporting of learner unit grades (centre to Pearson)
  • confirmation of learner unit and overall grades (Pearson to centre).

 

Find out more

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JCQ formats can be used for BTEC, ESOL and Functional Skills (Entry and on-demand) programmes. They cannot be used for NVQ, BTEC individual unit or Apprenticeship registrations.

Note: If you are a school using a session-based software package, such as SIMS, and you wish to send BTEC registrations in the same way that you send other Pearson entries, you will need JCQ EDI basedata.

JCQ supports the following activities:

  • provision of centre-specific basedata (Pearson to centre)
  • registration of learners (centre to Pearson)
  • email acknowledgement of file receipt and processing (Pearson to centre)
  • amendments to learner registration data (centre to Pearson)
  • confirmation of learner overall grades (Pearson to centre).

JCQ file formats can be obtained from the JCQ website.

See a full list of software that supports EDI here.

Downloading basedata from Edexcel Online
How-to videos
Requesting BTEC basedata

This video shows you how to request BTEC basedata from Edexcel Online:

Watch the video

If you need Apprenticeship basedata in an EDIFACT format, please email eprocessing@pearson.com.
Registration by EDIFACT EDI

We can only provide basedata for programmes that you're approved to offer. If you're awaiting approval for one or more programmes, you should request basedata for your centre and then, when you receive confirmation of approvals, request a refresh of your basedata.  

EDI registration files must contain all the required centre, programme and learner details.

Programme registrations should include the appropriate header and footer lines, one registration header line per programme, and one registration detail line per learner. The registration header must include:

  • registration type (R or S)
  • your centre number
  • programme number
  • date of learner enrolment
  • form/order number.

If the date of enrolment is missing or is of the previous academic year, the registrations will be initially rejected. We'll contact you to obtain the enrolment date.

The form/order number will be quoted in the corresponding registration fees invoice and will help to identify learners.

Individual unit registrations should include the appropriate header and footer lines, one registration header line per programme, one registration detail line per learner and one or more registration module detail lines per learner. The registration header must include:

  • registration type (I)
  • your centre number
  • date of learner enrolment
  • form/order number.

The programme number field must be blank.  

When we receive your file we will validate:

  • the centre number so that the file can be allocated to your EDI account
  • the format of the content to ensure that it may be processed.

An automated email receipt acknowledgement will be sent to the email address we have for your centre.

The learner details will then be processed through our learner registration process, and an automated email acknowledgement will be sent to inform you that the file has been processed.

The processing acknowledgements contain details of any processing rejections generated by our system. This is for information only and does not require any immediate action. We'll review all rejected learner registration data to resolve any errors, and will only contact you if necessary.

Remedial action taken may include reprocessing all or part of a file. This will generate a new processing acknowledgement email to you.  

We will send files of BTEC registration numbers to centres daily (.ern files) for all learners registered by EDI during the previous week if the .erd files don't have any rejections. These files may be downloaded into your system to record the BTEC registration numbers of your learners.

These files will be in version 6 of the EDIFACT file format regardless of the format version of the registration file we received. (Version 6 contains the programme number for the learner. This is essential where learners have multiple registrations.)

We can only send automated .ern files for learners registered by EDIFACT EDI.

We'll send you the .ern files to you by A2C. This might not be the same method you use to send us registration (.erd) files.

EDIFACT EDI formats don't allow you to make amendments to learner registration details. Instead, you'll need to use Edexcel Online to amend registrations.

Registration by JCQ EDI

JCQ basedata contains details of all programmes approved at your centre. It can be downloaded into your software package to enable you to create entries and register learners onto BTEC, ESOL and Entry/on-demand Functional Skills programmes.

You can download your centre’s basedata from Edexcel Online. You can request all programmes or a single programme.

Basedata is only issued for programmes that have current year approval. In June each year the default is changed to the forthcoming academic year.  

EDI registration files must contain all the required centre, programme and learner details. Programme registrations should include the appropriate header and footer lines and one detail line per learner, which must include the learner number and UCI.

The JCQ format does not permit you to report enrolment and completion dates. We'll therefore default the date of learner enrolment to 1 September this year and the completion dates to 31 July two years hence for BTEC Level 3-5 Certificates and Diplomas, and to 31 July next year for all other qualifications.

In December we'll send you a list of all your programme registrations and the allocated completion dates, and you can update the completion dates by returning the list.  

You can use JCQ EDI to make amendments to a learner's:

  • first name
  • last name
  • date of birth
  • gender
  • ULN
  • programme code (transfer) within your centre
  • deletion of learners (up to 31 January)
  • withdrawal of learners (after 31 January).

You will need to use Edexcel Online to make any other amendments to learner registrations including transfers from other centres and top ups.

EDI amendments should be submitted under the board, series and year codes for which the original registrations were made. Registration and amendment files should be created under Board 13 (Edexcel registrations) and series 9B (September).

When we receive a file, we'll first validate your centre number to ensure that the file can be allocated to your EDI account. Once we've done this, we'll validate the file format to ensure that we can process it. An automated email receipt acknowledgement will then be sent to the email address we hold on record for your centre (see Becoming an EDI centre).

After a file has been successfully validated, the learner details will be processed through our internal learner registration programme. You'll then be sent an automated email processing acknowledgement.

Changes to programme codes (transfer) within centre

You may transfer a learner registration between programmes for which your centre has approval, and which are currently open for registrations. However, you need to ensure that learners will be able to complete the programme to which they're transferred. This includes making arrangements for accreditation of prior learning from their original programme, where appropriate.

You can't transfer an individual unit registration to a full programme registration.

Transfer fees

Where the fees are the same for both programmes, you won't need to pay an additional fee.

Where the fee is higher for the transferred programme than the original registration, we'll issue an invoice for the difference between the two fees.

Where a learner transfers from a larger to a smaller qualification within the same specification (for example, from a Level 3 Diploma in Business to a Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Business), we'll issue a credit note for the difference between the two fees, minus a small administrative fee.

Where the fee is lower for the transferred programme than the original registration but the two qualifications are not from the same specification, we won't be able to credit you with the difference in fees. Examples of this include a learner transferring:

  • from a Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Business to a Level 3 Certificate in Engineering
  • from a Level 3 Certificate in Art and Design to a Level 2 Diploma in Art and Design.

Remember to update your system

If you register a learner for a particular subject through Edexcel Online, then send an amendment file for the learner that does not include the subject code, JCQ EDI formats will delete the subject registration. So if you make registrations using Edexcel Online, you must also update your system with the appropriate entry for the learner.

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