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ILR data: provider data self-assessment toolkit (PDSAT)

Colleges, independent training providers, employer-providers, local authorities and other organisations can use a number of reports and tools to test the integrity of Individualised Learner Record (ILR) data.

Reviewing PDSAT reports: user guide

The user guide will assist users (colleges, independent training providers, employer-providers, accountancy firms, other organisations and Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) staff in performing detailed reviews of the suite of PDSAT reports for the respective funding year. It will assist providers in carrying out their routine data cleansing and submitting accurate ILR data returns to the ESFA. Therefore, we encourage providers to use PDSAT to regularly check ILR data and, thus, minimise the risk of overclaiming funds from ESFA and subsequent repayment of funds. The guide is also used by the ESFA and accountancy firms in the delivery of funding audits.

This guide does not explain how to use the PDSAT software. You can access the PDSAT User Guide in the Documentation section of the Settings tab within PDSAT itself.

Provider data self-assessment toolkit (PDSAT)

PDSAT is a tool for analysing learner and learning delivery data. It interrogates ILR data and produces reports on this data, so that providers can identify and investigate potential anomalies in the ILR data.

We have developed PDSAT to include new functionality for the 2021 to 2022 funding year as well as maintaining existing functionality applicable from the 2016 to 2017 funding year onwards. As a result, PDSAT will process ILR data for all such funding years.

We have designed it to:

give providers a toolkit to analyse ILR data
assist auditors in the audit of providers’ ILR data
select audit samples and create a set of audit working papers

It is providers’ responsibility to implement processes to ensure that they return timely and accurate data in their ILRs.

Whilst the use of PDSAT is not mandatory, we strongly recommend its use to assist providers in their routine data cleansing, as well as assisting in their preparation for assurance visits.

We have designed PDSAT to process data that has been validated through the funding information system (FIS). We recommend that all ILR errors and warnings are reviewed and corrected before the ILR file is processed in PDSAT.

PDSAT allows the user to import ILR XML data files and FIS data files for each funding year. Note that reports run from PDSAT using an ILR XML data file will not include funding but will include any non-validated records.

PDSAT download

You can download PDSAT.

All future updates to PDSAT will install automatically if the user has an internet connection that allows connection to the ESFA website and PDSAT download websites.


To install PDSAT:

select the download link above to begin downloading PDSAT.
your browser will offer you a choice of whether to “Run” or “Save” the download. Select “Run”.
a message box will display, asking if you wish to install PDSAT. Select “Install” to install PDSAT.
if you do not have the necessary prerequisite software for PDSAT, you will be asked to select “Install” up to three times. If you do not have administrator rights, you will need an administrator to accept installation of the prerequisites. Please note, PDSAT will not run if the prerequisite software is not installed.
once the installation is complete, the PDSAT opening screen will appear and will begin the initial set-up.
a PDSAT shortcut will be created on your desktop and in your start menu, which you can use to start PDSAT in any future sessions.

If you have any problems running PDSAT, or have any queries please contact the PDSAT helpdesk.

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