Apprenticeship Frameworks in LARA

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This topic contains 14 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Martin West 6 years, 11 months ago.

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  • Martin West

    The ILR specifications require that a framework code Field length is 3 with a Data Type of xs:int

    An example for one of the latest additions to LARA is ‘FR01149’ which is inconsistent with the specification.

    There also seems to have been an unnecessary duplication in LARA where new pathways has been created when there has been no change to the framework aims apart from a requirement to update the Effective To date for Key Skills.

    Does anyone know if there is any documentation that outlines the requirements or rational for recoding framework pathways in LARA as MI systems and the ILR will not be able to cope with none numeric framework codes.


    Martin West

    As a follow up

    This may cause LIS errors as with today’s LARA I get the following error:

    Error importing the Framework_Cmn_Components table. (Data type mismatch in critera expression)

    All is ok if I use the compacted version of LARA (an earlier date) but is this only a coincidence or a result of the problem identified in my previous post.



    Hi, unfortunately there are two frameworks which have been added to LARA with the incorrect framework code. They are:

    FR01149 which belongs to framework 548
    FR00994 which belongs to framework 494

    The LARA team have been informed and are working to rectify the situation as soon as possible.

    Thanks, Sharon


    Martin West

    Hi Sharon,
    Thank you for that but I have found more than the two you have mentioned.

    Do you know if there is any documentation that outlines the requirements or rational for recoding framework pathways in LARA?

    Should not the data service inform the sector that there is a problem?



    Martin West

    It seems that the root cause of this problem is due to the FRAMEWORK_CODE in LARA being held as a 10 character text field while in the LIS it is a numeric integer and in the ILR it is a numeric integer limited to 3 characters.

    Any programmer who allows this poor practice would not be surprised when it comes back to bite them, I say no more than that.



    I have just downloaded a new LARA this morning different to the LARA I downloaded on Friday and I am still getting the same error.

    This is rather frustrating to say the least.



    Hi, further information can be found in the known issues document on the LARA page on the Data Service website,

    Thanks, Sharon


    Alan Taws

    Same issue and I can’t see anything on the LARA Known Issues doc that seems to address this – suspect Martin is right and this is a change in a LARA field type that hasn’t been matched in LIS.



    Anyone have any news on when this will be sorted? I emailed the Data Service a few minutes ago and I eagerly await their response…


    Martin West

    Hi Grumpus,

    You must use the download from (Misc Downloads) and not the LARA Downloads as the problem still exists in LARA.




    I note the difficulties currently being experienced with pathways these are being pursued with the Data Service. You ask a couple of times about the reasons for collecting pathway data. These are set out, along with the results of consultation, in paragraphs 58-62 of paper 5 for the information authority board meeting in September 2011 which can be found at this link


    Martin West

    Hi Peter,

    Yes I remember that this originated from a NAS request to enable tracking of multiple pathways so that they could identify which pathways a provider currently delivers. Additionally it was indicated that different pathways within a framework could be at different rates.

    The secretariat did consider that there was some purpose to collecting apprenticeship pathway as NAS requested. However this was approved by the board even though the secretariat did have concerns as it was unclear whether the advantage of collecting pathway was greater than the burden of its collection and that implementation would be depend on when the learning aim reference application (LARA) could be amended to support pathways.

    It seems that the implementation difficulties have been encountered to the extent that the validity of the current data has not only be questioned but it has also created problems for users in that the current standard LARA downloads cause operational errors in the LIS.
    Some frameworks incorrectly indicate up to 20 pathways while others with known multiple pathways only indicate a single pathway, while the data may be currently incorrect you do have to ask are all the SCCs working from the same hymn sheet.
    As a data issue this should not be difficult to accomplish in LARA, the data may be of use to NAS and pathways should have different funding rates so that there is fairness for providers when there are differences in delivery requirements.

    I am not against the recording of pathways but I do question the process so far and if your supplier and the SCCs understanding of pathways are the same.



    Hi, do you have examples of any frameworks which you believe have incorrectly recorded pathways and we will investigate.



    Martin West

    Hi Sharon,

    The following may have incorrectly recorded pathways in LARA

    422 Beauty Therapy – Intermediate Level Apprenticeship –Pathways 3 to 20
    422 Beauty Therapy – Advanced Level Apprenticeship –Pathways 4 to 20
    449 Creative and Digital Media – Intermediate Level Apprenticeship –Pathway 1
    507 Barbering – Intermediate Level Apprenticeship -3 to 20
    507 Barbering – Advanced Level Apprenticeship –Pathways 3 to 20
    508 Hairdressing – Intermediate Level Apprenticeship -5 to 20
    508 Hairdressing – Advanced Level Apprenticeship –Pathways 5 to 20
    509 Nail Services – Intermediate Level Apprenticeship -2 to 20
    509 Nail Services – Advanced Level Apprenticeship –Pathways 2 to 20
    565 Legal Services – Intermediate Level Apprenticeship –Pathways 1 to 3
    585 Fashion and Textiles:Technical – Higher Level Apprenticeship –Pathways 3 to 20



    Martin West

    Hi Sharon,

    As an afterthought here is an example of what I think is missing data.

    528 – Agriculture – Intermediate Level Apprenticeship
    This has a single pathway in the framework which is reflected in LARA as Pathway 1-Agriculture
    But the actual pathways within the single combined framework qualification identifies the following pathways
    Crop Production
    Mixed Farming
    Livestock Production
    Poultry Production

    You do have to ask if the framework is correct and should it reflect the above pathways.


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