Provider data self assessment toolkit (PDSAT) and reports to help FE providers make accurate and complete individualised learner record (ILR) data returns.


Reviewing provider data self assessment toolkit (PDSAT) reports for 2018 to 2019: user guide

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Colleges, training organisations, local authorities and employers (further education providers) can use a number of reports and tools to test the integrity of Individualised Learner Record (ILR) data and to prepare for audit.

Reviewing PDSAT reports: user guide

The user guide will help users of PDSAT to perform detailed reviews of the suite of PDSAT reports for the 2018 to 2019 funding year. The guide explains how the Provider Risk and Assurance (PRA) team reviews all of the PDSAT reports so it will be of use to providers in preparing for a PRA assurance review, as well as part of their routine ILR data checking procedures.

Provider data self-assessment toolkit (PDSAT)

PDSAT is a tool for analysing learner and learning delivery data. It interrogates Individualised Learner Record (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 2017 to 2018 funding year as well as maintaining existing functionality for the 2016 to 2017 funding year. As a result, PDSAT will process ILR data for both 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 both funding years. 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.


  • 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.

Published 29 July 2019