The Skills Funding Agency has extended its deadline for a key data collection, after the Hub suffered another breakdown.

The online data collection service is understood to have crashed last night (December 5), less than 24 hours before providers were due to submit their Individualised Learner Record (ILR) R04 (fourth return of the academic year) returns.

The SFA has now said that providers will now have until 6pm tomorrow (December 7) to get their data in.

It posted a message to its FEConnect forum this morning at 11.16am, which said: “We are currently experiencing technical issues affecting access to some of our systems, including the Hub.

“We are aware that the ILR R04 collection is scheduled to close today.

“Whilst we hope to resolve the issue shortly, we have decided to extend the collection for an additional day.

“It will therefore close tomorrow, Wednesday 7 December, at 18:00.”

A further message posted at 1.01pm said that the Data Collection Service still had not yet been restored, and that a further update would be issued before 5pm.

A number of complaints and questions about the latest breakdown were posted by FE Connect users.

One comment, posted by Chris Bradley, said: “I have submitted two ILR files today for two organisations for which I work and also one on Saturday for a third organisation. How do I know if these are all seen at your end?

“If any of the organisations fails to receive payment due to this problem affecting the correct load there will be a significant issue.”

Another user, Caspar Verney, commented: “When will the Hub systems be subject to Performance Review?

“This is by no means the first time that there have been ‘unfortunate issues’ and there seems to be no consequences, only repeating pain.”

As previously reported by FE Week, the Hub suffered repeated problems in the months after it launched – with breakdowns in September 2014 and January 2015, both on or just ahead of deadline days.

FE Week has asked the SFA for an update on the Hub, but has not yet had a response.

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