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Electronic data interchange

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is the electronic communication of exam related data back and forth between City & Guilds and centres.

Centres may make registrations and entries or submit results from their Management Information System (MIS) electronically as a data file which can be sent to us preferably via the Walled Garden.

There are some major benefits to adopting EDI:

  • Quicker and more reliable than forms both online and offline
  • Reduction of errors caused by re-keying data from forms such as spelling of candidates' names, dates of birth, etc.
  • No more forms to fill in
  • Data loaded via the Walled Garden is in the system within the same day
  • Less effort required in examinations office for file creation
  • Data can be returned electronically and downloaded directly back into some MIS
  • Base data (awards information for MIS) is available on the Walled Garden.

Find out more about which MIS systems support EDI.

Follow our detailed instructions to set up EDI.

If you have any questions please email edi@cityandguilds.com

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) Troubleshooting

Here are a set of answers to some of the FAQ's you have about EDI:

How can I check that my EDI file has been processed?
There is a Track EDI File option available to you from the Walled Garden. This will show you if your file has been completely processed by us, if it is awaiting processing or if there are any remaining errors. How to track your EDI files can be found within the EDI module training document. You can see if your registrations and/or results have been processed by using the Candidate Listing by Award option.

My Walled Garden does not have the 'Download Enrolments/Results/Awards' option.
Please contact our On-Line services team and they will be able to give you access to this menu option. Call 0192 4930 800 or email online@cityandguilds.com and supply your centre number.

Where can I get the latest version of the Base Data?
Base Data can be downloaded from the Walled Garden within the Data services section. You'll have the choice of downloading all qualifications, all approved qualifications for your centre(s) or individual qualifications.  You can find guidance on how to download the base data in the EDI module training document.

I have a candidate who has three different enrolment numbers. I'm not sure how to submit results for this candidate.
Forward all the enrolment numbers onto Customer Relations (tel 0192 4930 800 or email customersupport@cityandguilds.com) so that we can merge them. Then you can try and upload your results once the merge has taken place.

I put through an EDI file and an error came up for one of the candidates. Does this mean that the rest of the file has been processed?
No, when an error occurs, the whole file is rejected. You will need to correct the error/s; once this is done and the file is uploaded, a screen will come up with the message 'File Upload Completed Successfully'.  You can find guidance on locating and correcting errors in the EDI module training document.

I have tried importing several files which keep coming up with errors i.e. the person code is invalid, can you advise as to what the problem is?
You'll have to check the format of the file and see if this is correct (see file format specification page). If you are still having problems, email edi@cityandguilds.com.

I've uploaded an EDI file in error. Please can you delete it for me?
Please contact our Customer Relations team to get the file deleted. Contact them on 0192 4930 800 and quote your centre number along with the relevant EDI file name and batch number (this can be found on the Nominal Roll Report).

When we tried to register candidates on the Walled Garden it gave the message 'Unavailable', yet it will allow us to register candidates on other awards.
Your centre does not have approval for that particular award. Please contact you local regional office to activate this. If it is activated within three days the file with automatically be processed, otherwise it will reject and will need to be resubmitted for processing.

On a particular scheme within the Base Data there are several different papers, yet they don't all appear active for entry.
Depending on the scheme the only components that might show are the dated entries. This is because you have to specify a processing period. The other components you will not have to register for.

When we process our dated entries via EDI the ethnicity comes back incorrect. We submit a particular ethnicity but a different one comes back on our order confirmations. We have checked our data back to the government legislation and it is correct.
Ethnicity codes are determined by your MIS system. All of our ethnicity codes are in line with the DFE and QCA. You will need to contact your MIS supplier to let them know their ethnicity codes are incorrect. They will then send you an updated version of these codes.

When uploading my file I receive error messages along with record numbers. I have so many records on my file that it is very difficult to find these.
There is a simple way to find the record number in your EDI file just by using notepad. You can find guidance on how to locate errors in your file in the EDI module training document.

On the track EDI files option, my file has been at the amber status for more than 24 hours. Is there a problem?
Files are not expected to remain at amber for more than 24 hours, those that do remain at amber status will automatically be looked at by us. But if you would like to report a file stuck at amber status then contact EDI@cityandguilds.com.

On the track EDI file option, my file is at a red status and says there are errors on the file. What can I do to get this processed?
When you successfully upload an EDI file, there are a few errors that can still occur with the data. Any files that show a red status are automatically dealt with and corrected appropriately by a dedicated team - you may be contacted if necessary. You are not expected to make changes, but if the file does remain at a red status for more than 48 hours then please contact EDI@cityandguilds.com.

How to set up and use EDI

In order for you to be able to submit entries to us electronically via EDI you will need to find out what Management Information System (MIS) you are using.

If you do not know, then please contact your IT department and ask them. If you do already use an MIS system, please forward the Base Data to them, so that you can start using EDI. If your centre does not use one, then your IT department will be able to create their own.

Once you have imported your Base Data you will be able to create EDI files.

Below are PDF documents that will explain how to upload EDI files through the Walled Garden once they have been created. Also there is a file specification to identify the format of each file and an explanation of each form layout to show what types of forms can be created from your Base Data.

Downloading Enrolment, Results and Awards files
If you require your files to be imported back into your system, then you can use the 'Download Enrol/Results/Awards' drop down option from the Data Services section. For instructions on how to download these files have a look at the relevant section in the EDI module (PDF) training document.

The Return Files Specification document above, gives you the specification of these files.

EDI Upload Errors
The Walled Garden performs in depth validation of all EDI files that are uploaded, it checks centre, qualification and candidate details against the data currently in the system. The EDI module above, will give you more information on EDI errors and guidance on locating errors on you file, enabling you to correct and resubmit your EDI file.

We would like to hear what you think of the Walled Garden and EDI process. Are there any improvements you think would help your user experience? Do you believe it is a preferable process over paper based systems? Any general comments you may have will be valued. Please email us at EDI@cityandguilds.com.