How to return monthly ILR (individualised learner record)

When your ILR data is correct, returning the monthly ILR is actually quite simple.

How to return monthly ILR (individualised learner record)

Providers have to submit ILR data for each of their apprentices every month to claim funding from the ESFA.

When ILR data is submitted, the ESFA will go through the record with a fine-tooth comb. If they find any errors or missing fields, the ESFA will return the ILR so you can correct it. You’ve not got long to make the corrections and resubmit the data – if you don’t resubmit the data in time, there may be a delay in your funding.

Getting ILR data right and submitting it on time is really important for providers. Using an ILR tool or MI system is the easiest way to make sure all the data is up-to-date and accurate.

These systems will autofill personal data fields in the ILR – like address, date of birth and national insurance numbers – so you don’t have to worry about errors being made during duplication or data being out of date. A great ILR tool will also autofill fields using data from the apprentice’s portfolio – including information like off-the-job progress. This means you won’t have to copy information into the ILR and check it’s correct. Information is automatically updated as the apprentice completes their course.

An incredible ILR tool will also use the ESFA’s latest funding rules to apply funding validations on the fly. The system will flag any errors in the ILR data before you submit it to the ESFA – improving your QA process and reducing errors. This means you won’t have many (or any!) errors to fix and you won’t be at risk of delays in your funding.

When you know ILR data for all your learners is complete and correct, returning the monthly ILR is actually quite simple.

1. Check the guidance, rules and timetables

If you’ve worked in FE for a while, you’ll know that funding rules have a tendency to change. Check your learner data complies with the latest funding rules and guidance for your provision. These can be found on the ESFA website.

You’ll also need to check the ILR data collection timetables to make sure you’ve collected the right data at the right time.

2. Generate an ILR file

If you use an MI system or ILR tool, you’ll be able to download an ILR file for each of your learners.

3. Submit the ILR file

Log in to your account on the ESFA’s Information Management Services site and upload the ILR file.

4. Resolve any data issues

If there are any errors in the ILR, the ESFA will return the file so you can make corrections. If you’ve used a good ILR tool to collect the information, there should be little to no errors.

When you’ve made the corrections, upload the updated ILR file.


As you can see, the process of submitting ILR data is actually very simple – if you know your data is correct and complete.

At OneFile, we’re working on an ILR tool that’ll share data from across the OneFile platform. This means live information from each learner’s portfolio will be automatically updated in their ILR – things like off-the-job hours, progress data and any changes to personal details. The ILR tool will also use the ESFA’s latest funding rules to flag any errors or compliance issues, so you know the ILR data you’re submitting is as complete as possible.

The OneFile ILR tool will be a gamechanger for providers. You’ll have a one-stop-shop tool that shares up-to-date data between platforms – making your ILR submissions as simple as possible.

The OneFile ILR tool is coming soon! To find out more about how it will work and have a sneak peek of the product, register your interest below.

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This article includes research and opinion sourced by OneFile at the time of publication. Things may have changed since then,
so this research is to be used at the reader's discretion. OneFile is not liable for any action taken based on this research.