Unique Learner Number (ULN)

The Unique Learner Number (ULN) is used to match a student to their Personal Learning Record (PLR). The PLR is an online lifelong record of their achievement that can be shared with colleges, universities and employers. PLRs are administered by the Learning Records Service (LRS).

Please make sure the ULN is correct, or the student's results won't be added to their PLR.

Who needs a ULN

ULNs are mandatory for all students entered for an exam at a state-funded school or college in England. They'll appear on students' results slips and certificate.

ULNs are not mandatory for private candidates. 

Get a ULN for a student

There are two ways to get a ULN for a student: through LRS, or through your MIS provider.

Through LRS

You can send your student's details in a Common Transfer File (CTF) to the Learning Records Service – either through your school or college's management information system (MIS), or uploading an Excel file directly.

Gov.uk's Unique Learner Number page has helpful information and guides on this. Please allow five working days to receive the ULN.

Through your MIS provider

Check with your MIS supplier whether you can import the ULNs through an automated data upload or if you need to enter them manually. Please refer to version 14 of the JCQ Formats for the Exchange of Exams Related Data.The ULN should be recorded in positions 86-95 in the 'entries and amendment detail record' for a student.

Access a student's PLR

You can access a student's PLR if they're over 14 and in education or training. You'll need their ULN to do this. See gov.uk's Learning Records Service pages for more information.

Select the correct ULN for your student

Before selecting a ULN you must ensure the data is correct for each of the five key fields:

  • given name
  • family name
  • gender
  • date of birth
  • postcode

If all these fields cannot be confidently matched then a new ULN should be created.  

Please always use the student's legal given name and family name. If there are any discrepancies, please check with the student.

Mismatch reports

We will generate a mismatch report and contact you when your ULN data does not match the LRS data. You will then need to resolve the issue with the LRS and re-submit the entry with the correct information. A mismatch will occur if data is submitted to us that cannot be verified by LRS.