Unique Learner Number: Guidance for schools (Roll-out 2015/16)

Unique Learner Number (ULN) guidance and support information.

If you have any queries dealing with exceptions contact the LRS Helpdesk directly via email lrssupport@sfa.bis.gov.uk or telephone 0345 602 2589.

For any general advice or queries regarding adjusting 'Share Status' for the PLR please contact David Crosbie dcrosbie@ccea.org.uk or James Doran jdoran@ccea.org.uk directly via email or telephone 028 9026 1200.

2. Registering with the LRS and Privacy Notices

2.1 Providing Information to Parents/Guardians

Action Required

  1. Share a Privacy notice with Learners and include a ‘not-shared’ option for learners in SIMS
  2. Include the UKPRN in SIMS

Unique Learner Numbers (ULNs) will be issued for all learners aged 14+ in schools during the autumn term 2015. The ULN will be used initially for examination entries and to populate the Personal Learning Record (PLR) of each learner. The PLR is an electronic record/transcript of accredited qualifications.

The information in a learner’s PLR will be accessible to each learner, and can be made available to a number of organisations involved in providing and funding this. A ‘privacy notice’ is used to inform the learner of this and includes the option to restrict this access by other agencies. Completion of a Privacy Notice will allow the education provider (the learner’s school) to meet its obligations under the Data Protection Act 1998, by providing all learners with information on what personal data is being stored, why it is being held and who has access to it.

Please note: A Privacy Notice reply need only be completed by learners and/or parents/guardians if they do not want to share their personal data with other external agencies.

2.2 Registration with the Learning Records Service

Action required: Registration by end of September 2015

The Learning Records Service (LRS) provide Unique Learning Numbers (ULNs) to schools for a list of aged 14+ learners provided either through the schools census/C2K, or on individual application. (The majority of ULNs will be issued on the basis of data provided for your learners through the ‘census’). In order for the LRS to issue ULNs for your learners you must register with the LRS by the end of September prior to census collection.

This is a two part process;

Part 1: Obtain and record a UK Learning Provider Number (UKLPN)

A UKPRN has been provided to the school superuser (where a nominated superuser contact has been sent to CCEA). 

If you don’t have a UKPRN, getting one is a straightforward process which involves you visiting the UK register for Learning Providers website and obtaining a registration number, by entering:

  • the school's contact details;
  • the NI Schools Institution Number (organisation registration number); and
  • the user's personal details – preferably the school ‘superuser’ details.

The personal contact will receive a UKLPN by email, which you will need to complete registration with the LRS.

The UKPRN must be entered into SIMS in the box titled ULN Centre Registration Number.


  • DE - Department of Education
  • LRS - Learning Records Service, the organisation that allocates and manages ULNs
  • PLR - Personal Learning Record
  • SIMS - Schools Management Information System
  • ULN - Unique Learner Number
  • UKPRN - UK Learning provider number, used to register with the LRS