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This research paper details the findings of a project involving 2 distinct elements: a quantitative survey of adult learners undertaking level 2 and level 3 courses in late 2008, and a qualitative study of face-to-face in-depth interviews with providers. It aims to provide a comparison of individual learner record data with survey assessments of firstness for a sample of providers across further education. Also covers qualitative research among providers to explore how the level of prior attainment is recorded, to identify best practice, and to investigate collection problems.