Introduction to Qualification Achievement Rates (QARs)

A comprehensive set of QAR resources to offer information and support for training providers.

Applies to England

Resources for further education colleges and other training organisations to:

  • understand what qualification achievement rates (QARs) are and their purpose

  • access QAR dashboards and data extracts

  • resolve QAR queries

Links to guidance documents for technical specifications, business rules and QAR data are also provided.

The purpose of QARs

Qualification achievement rates (QARs) give one measure of how well further education (FE) colleges and other training organisations perform each year. QARs use individualised learner record data to calculate what proportion of learning was successfully completed and the result is shown as a percentage figure.

QAR uses include:

  • national statistics

  • monitoring activities such as performance management by funding organisations such as the Education and Skills Funding Agency and Mayoral Combined Authorities.

  • self assessment (training organisations analysing their own performance)

QARs are produced for apprenticeships, traineeships, 19+ education and training (Adult Education Budget and Adult Learner Loans) and 16 to 19 programmes reported to the ESFA under Funding Model 25.

National achievement rates tables

QARs are published annually in national achievement rates tables (NARTs), which enable training organisations to benchmark their performance.

Apprenticeships and traineeships NARTs

Education and training NARTs

Qualification achievement rates guidance

The QAR guidance consists of three key areas: business rules, technical specifications, and QAR data.

2021 to 2022 business rules, technical specification and QAR data guidance

  • Business rules that explain how the policy for calculating QARs is implemented for apprenticeships and education and training.

  • Technical specifications that define precisely how QARs are calculated, what data is included / excluded and so on.

  • QAR in-year data releases and data extract guidance give information on what in-year data is shared and how training organisations can identify and resolve data issues.

Previous QAR guidance:

Checking QAR data in-year

Although all of the achievement data will not yet have been recorded in the individualised learner record, training organisations get early sight of their data to identify and resolve potential data issues prior to the final ILR collection (R14) that closes in mid-October each year.

The in-year data releases guidance gives examples of common data issues to check for, such as duplicate records, and explains how to resolve them.

It is important that training organisations use this in-year QAR to review their data, as it cannot be changed after the R14 ILR collection. Summary QAR data and a detailed data extract are created:

  • in June/July each year using the training organisation’s R10 ILR data

  • in August/September each year using the training organisation’s R12 ILR data

In-year data is not published externally, it is only intended for use by training organisations.

Provisional QAR data

Training organisations can view their provisional QAR data in January each year. This gives them a final chance to check that the QAR methodology has been applied correctly. The final QAR data is published in National achievement rate tables in March each year.

Possible errors with the way the methodology has been applied should be reported through the ESFA online enquiry form.

How to access QAR data

Training organisations access their QAR data through View your education data.

For access, users must have the ‘View Your Education Data - QAR’ role added to their IDAMS account.

Get help with QARs

The business rules, technical specifications and in-year data release guidance contain all the information needed to understand how QARs are calculated.

General queries should be raised through our online enquiry form, select the QAR query type.

If your enquiry relates to specific learners, you should also complete and submit the QAR data query form.

There is an online forum which training organisations can use to discuss data related queries with other training providers.

Approach to school and college accountability, performance tables and data during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

In July 2021, it was announced the approach for QARs for 2021 to 2022 will continue to align with that for school and college performance tables.

For the 2021 to 2022 academic year, Education and Training, Apprenticeships and Traineeships QARs will be published at provider level. This is a change from 2019 to 2020 and 2020 to 2021, when we confirmed that we would not publish any provider-level QARs in response to COVID-19.

Full details of the announcement can be found at Coronavirus (COVID-19): school and college accountability 2021 to 2022.

End of use of minimum standards

The use of minimum standards has now finished for all-age apprenticeships, up to 2018 to 2019, and Adult Education and Training, up to 2017 to 2018.

The Apprenticeship training provider accountability framework 2021 to 2022 provides more detail on how the Department for Education monitors apprenticeship training providers.

You can still view the Minimum standards 2018 to 2019.

Published 25 January 2023