As the next performance reporting deadline approaches, one of the most common questions we receive during office hours is about the aggregation in the quarterly performance reports (QPR) generated by the HUB system for grantees.

This blog post will help you get to better know one data element, DE 304: Date of Education/ Training Program Completion. This particular data element affects a number of the aggregate totals on the QPR report, and if you believe some of your QPR totals are being under-counted it may be worth checking to see if DE 304 has been correctly recorded for all grantees.

What is Data Element 304?

Before we talk about how DE 304 affects the aggregation of the different lines on your QPR, let’s review what DE 304 is.  Data Element 304 is a participant’s “Date of Education/ Training Program Completion”.  The program completion here refers to the participant’s entire training program that was set for them as they entered your program and before training began. DE 304 is where you record the date when the last education or job training activity funded by the program is received by the participant who has completed their entire program.  For the majority of participants, this will coincide with the date the training is completed. Of course, you would leave this data element blank if the participant has not yet completed the training program.

It is important to note: a participant may enroll in several discrete education/job training activities that apply towards the completion of their “program”. A participant is considered to have COMPLETED when they have earned all the formal award units needed towards the degree, certificate, or certification that was the goal of their enrollment or has met another program-specific definition of successful completion.  Once a participant has completed their training program, they may continue to receive certain other services funded by the grant program.

Aggregation

Every line on the QPR is aggregated according to a unique set of rules for each performance item.  Within HUB, it follows a code for each line and counts how many of your participants fit the coded criteria.  As a relevant example, line D4 on the Ready to Work QPR aggregates the number of participants who have completed education or job training activities.  To aggregate this number, it will count every participant with a date in DE 304 that is before the end of the current quarter (that is: if you are submitting data for the quarter ending 12/31/18, the date cannot be after 12/31/18) AND that has a “yes” (or actually a “1”) marked in data elements 406, 416, or 426.

This is not to overly complicate things, and anyone who has called in to office hours has probably heard the line-by-line aggregation code as you tried to figure out why your QPR numbers may not have lined up with your internal numbers. The important thing to take away from this explanation is that HUB is following a code that looks at the data elements you’ve entered for each participant and calculates a number that then appears on your QPR. 

Which performance items and lines of the QPR, then, specifically look at DE 304?  Here’s a complete list:

  • D4 Number Completed Education/Job Training Activities
  • D5 Number Completed On-the-Job Training Activities
  • E1 Number Completed Program Activities and Obtained a Credential
  • E2 Total Number of Credentials Received
  • E4a Total Number of Incumbent Workers Retained Current Position
  • E4b Total Number of Incumbent Workers that Advanced into New Position

Each of these performance items requires a valid date in DE 304 in order to aggregate a participant.  If data element 304 is blank in a participant’s record, that individual cannot be counted for any of the performance items listed above.  Of course, each of those lines has additional criteria that the participant must meet in order to be counted, but it is important to remember that without a date in DE 304 any participants will be excluded from being counted towards those totals.

Conclusion

Data element 304 is just one example of how interrelated the Ready to Work data elements are, especially when it comes to the aggregation rules for the QPR report.  A document with all of the HUB aggregation rules can be found on the Ready to Work Community of Practice at this link:
https://h1breadytowork.workforcegps.org/resources/2016/02/26/13/30/H-1B_RTW_H-1B_HUB_Data_Aggregation_Rules

There are of course additional performance resources available on the Community of Practice.  But if you have any specific questions about data element 304, or generally about the aggregated totals on your QPR you can always contact the National Office at rtw@dol.gov, or call in to office hours in the weeks before a performance reporting deadline.