Engagement start date(ENGSTARTDATE)

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Engagement start date
Short Name
Parent Entity
Applicable To
England Northern Ireland Scotland Wales

All Engagements

This field records the start date for the Engagement.

A student is considered to have started their Engagement if they have attended a class/ lecture or another timetabled activity such as a freshers' or induction week, or engaged with online materials. For providers in Scotland, the start date of the Engagement should reflect the point at which teaching starts.

It is expected that this should be the same as the first associated StudentCourseSession.SCSSTARTDATE. In general it would also align with the start of the Session Year (SessionYear.SYSTARTDATE), except where a student commences later than the rest of the cohort.


  • A student enrols on a course that commences in October 2022. Access to the online learning platform is granted in August 2022 and the student has access to online content from this point.  There is no expectation that the student engages with the online material until October. In this case the ENGSTARTDATE would reflect the October date.
  • A student joins a course with a start date of 20 September 2022. Teaching is scheduled to commence on 20 September however freshers’ week, which includes orientation and induction sessions for the course, commences on 13 September 2022. In this case the ENGSTARTDATE would be 13 September 2022.
  • A student commences studies on 5 October 2022 but doesn’t fully complete their registration until 20 October 2022. In this case the start of the Engagement would be 5 October.
  • The timetabled activity for the student begins on 30 September 2022, however the student agrees a deferred start date with the provider for personal reasons, instead commencing studies on 10 October. In this case:
Engagement. ENGSTARTDATE StudentCourseSession. SCSSTARTDATE SessionYear. SYSTARTDATE 
2022-10-10 2022-10-10 2022-09-30 
  • A student joins a course on 13 April 2023 with some previously awarded credits or Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL). As the student will be keeping up with the planned course the ENGSTARTDATE will reflect the actual start date but the SessionYear will reflect the planned course start date (which was 21 September 2022).
Engagement. ENGSTARTDATE StudentCourseSession. SCSSTARTDATE SessionYear. SYSTARTDATE 
2023-04-13 2023-04-13 2022-09-21 

If a student transfers from one HEP to another, the date they entered the current HEP for this qualification aim should be returned in this field.

Where a student transfers from one course to another, the date should not be updated if the same Engagement.NUMHUS is kept. For example, changes of subject without change of general qualification aim will not usually reset the engagement start date.

The engagement start date should not be reset where a student registers for an 'intermediate' qualification aim with the clear intention (acknowledged by both student and provider) that, subject to satisfactory performance, they will progress seamlessly (and usually without being awarded the intermediate qualification) onto a 'higher' qualification aim. For example, if a student registers first for an MPhil then switches to a PhD, and this is regarded as normal progression in the provider, such that the same engagement number is kept, the engagement start date should not be reset.

All date fields must be completed using the ISO8601 format of YYYY-MM-DD.

Reason Required
To determine whether to include a student in any particular population definition, to calculate the duration of a student's education.
Field Length
Quality RulesQuality Rules to follow
Minimum Occurrence
Maximum Occurrence
Primary Key?
Revision History
Coding Manual VersionElement VersionNotes of guidance and examples given on the start of an engagement. example added to guidance notes to illustrate a student with Accreditation of Prior Experimental Learning (APEL) added to confirm that for providers in Scotland, the start date of the engagement should reflect the point at which teaching starts.