Comprehensive Learner Record Specification Version 1.0

IMS Comprehensive Learner Record Standard Version 1.0

IMS Final Release
Version 1.0
IMS Final Release
Date Issued: January 14, 2021
Status: This document is made available for adoption by the public community at large.
This version:
Latest version:

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The IMS Comprehensive Learner Record (CLR) Standard has been designed to create, transmit, and render an individual's set of achievements, as issued by multiple learning providers, in a machine-readable format that can be curated into verifiable digital records of achievement.

1. Introduction

The IMS Comprehensive Learner Record (CLR) Standard supports interoperability in that CLR publishers and consumers can consistently send, receive, and verify records among conformant systems. The CLR Standard describes an information model, service definition, and implementation guide to allow institutions, suppliers, and others to 'extend' the traditional transcript with records and types of information that are typically not found in a traditional transcript, such as competency attainment, co-curricular activities, Open Badges, and to define and facilitate an institution's learner achievements record store for collection of CLRs.

CLR Standard data can be consumed by other schools, institutions, employers, and any other entities that are conformant as CLR consumers. In this machine readable format, CLR data enables granular and expansive discoverability of learning achievements and competencies that was not previously possible.

1.1 Status of this Document

This document is intended as a starting point for those looking to implement the Comprehensive Learner Record Standard in their system. This guide can be used to get a fundamental understanding of the CLR Standard data structure and API through the examples and definitions included in the guide, as well as a central hub containing links to the specification documents, conformance certification requirements, and other important resources. This guide may be updated over time.

IMS strongly encourages its members and the community to provide feedback to continue the evolution and improvement of the CLR Standard. To join the IMS developer and conformance certification community focused on CLR please visit the IMS Digital Credentials and Badging Alliance online here:

1.2 Specification Documents

CLR Standard specification documents are available on the IMS website:

1.3 Where Can I Get Help?

If you have questions or need help with implementing the CLR Standard or achieving conformance certification, here are some available resources:

  • Public Forum for all parties interested in CLR.
  • Affiliates Forum for IMS Digital Credentials and Badging Alliance Members, Affiliate, and Contributing Members.
  • Reference Implementations for a CLR Client Application, a Resource Server, and an Authentication Server.
  • IMS Contributing Members have access to private GitHub repositories and a Slack channel for CLR Project Group discussions and collaborations. Contact an IMS staff member to gain access.

1.4 Conformance Certification

IMS offers a process for testing the conformance of products using the IMS certification test suite. Certification designates passing a set of tests that verify the standard has been implemented correctly and guarantees a product’s interoperability across hundreds of other certified products. The CLR Conformance Certification Guide [CLR-CERT-10] provides details about the testing process, requirements, and how to get started.

Conformance certification is much better than claims of “compliance," since the only way IMS can guarantee interoperability is by obtaining certification for the latest version of the standard. Only products listed in the official IMS Certified Product Directory can claim conformance certification. IMS certification provides the assurance that a solution will integrate securely and seamlessly into an institution's digital learning ecosystem.

In order to become certified a paid IMS membership is necessary. Here's why: while conformance certification provides a "seal" for passing prescribed tests it is much more than that. It is a commitment by a supplier to the IMS community for continuous support for achieving "plug and play" integration. Certification implies ongoing community commitment to resolve problems, revise implementations and retest as need. For that reason, only IMS Contributing Members, Affiliate Members and Alliance members are eligible to apply for conformance certification. Details and benefits of membership are listed here:

As well as sections marked as non-normative, all authoring guidelines, diagrams, examples, and notes in this specification are non-normative. Everything else in this specification is normative.

The key words "MAY", "MUST", "MUST NOT", "OPTIONAL", "RECOMMENDED", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT", "SHOULD", and "SHOULD NOT" in this document are to be interpreted as described in [RFC2119].

An implementation of this specification that fails to implement a MUST/REQUIRED/SHALL requirement or fails to abide by a MUST NOT/SHALL NOT prohibition is considered nonconformant. SHOULD/SHOULD NOT/RECOMMENDED statements constitute a best practice. Ignoring a best practice does not violate conformance but a decision to disregard such guidance should be carefully considered. MAY/OPTIONAL statements indicate that implementers are entirely free to choose whether or not to implement the option.

1.5 Product Directory Listing

The IMS Certified Product Directory is the official listing of products that have passed IMS Global conformance certification testing. Products that are listed in this directory are guaranteed to meet the IMS standards for which they have passed testing. If you experience an integration issue with a product listed here, IMS will work with the supplier to resolve the problem. If a product is NOT listed here it has either not passed IMS testing or its certification has expired.

1.6 Key Terms and Definitions

A document of structured data created by a Publisher containing one or more Assertions about one Learner.
An accomplishment such as a degree, evidence of competency mastery, a course completion, or other accomplishment. An achievement may be asserted about one or more Learners (though a CLR contains records for only one Learner).
A relationship between an Achievement and a node in an external educational framework such as a [CASE-10] framework.
The attestation made by an Issuer about a Learner regarding an Achievement. The Assertion may also include associated evidence, results, or other metadata regarding a specific Achievement.
A relationship (e.g. isChildOf, precedes, etc.) between multiple achievements.
A REST API actor that makes requests to CLR endpoints on a Provider.
Information supporting the issuance of an assertion such as URL to an artifact produced by the Learner.
A Consumer that inspects a CLR to verify or validate the data.
The profile of an organization or entity that has made a particular Assertion about a Learner. The Issuer of an Assertion is the authoritative source for that specific Assertion.
The profile of the person who is the subject of the CLR and assertions contained in a CLR.
Protected Information
In the United States, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a Federal Law that protects personally identifiable information (PII) from students' educational records from unauthorized disclosure. CLRs fall within the definition of educational records; and the CLR Learner Profile contains PII. Therefore FERPA may apply to some uses of the CLR spec.
A REST API actor that responds to requests to CLR endpoints from a Consumer.
The profile of the organization providing the CLR (typically the educational institution, a 3rd-party agent, or the learner). The Publisher is the official record keeper for Assertions in a CLR. In the majority of cases, the Publisher is also the Issuer of some or all of the Assertions in a CLR. Except in the case of a self-curated CLR, the publisher is either the issuer or has a trusted relationship with the issuer of all the Assertions in the CLR. In the case of a self-curated collection of Assertions, the Learner is the Publisher of the CLR.
Instructive information for third parties to verify Assertions.

2. Specification

The Comprehensive Learner Record (CLR) Standard has four layers split between two documents:

2.1 IMS Comprehensive Learner Record Standard Information Model Version 1.0

  1. Data Dictionary which defines the data elements including their name, type, and description.
  2. Logical Data Model which defines the logical grouping of entities and elements, and the relationship between entities.

2.2 IMS Comprehensive Learner Record Standard REST/JSON Binding Version 1.0

  1. Serialization which defines the specific digital format (JSON-LD) for transmission of entities. The CLR Standard DOES NOT define a serialization format for storage.
  2. Protocol which defines the messaging framework (REST), security framework (OAuth 2.0), transport layer (HTTPS), and message formats for exchanging serialized entities.

A. Revision History

This section is non-normative.

Version No. Release Date Comments
CLR 1.0 Final January 14, 2021 First release of CLR 1.0 Final. Incorporates changes since May 2020.

B. References

B.1 Normative references

Competencies and Academic Standards Exchange (CASE) Service Version 1.0. IMS Global Learning Consortium. July 2017. IMS Final Release. URL:
IMS Comprehensive Learner Record Standard Version 1.0. IMS Global. January 14, 2021. IMS Final Release. URL:
IMS Comprehensive Learner Record Standard v1.0: Conformance and Certification Guide. IMS Global. February 5, 2021. IMS Final Release. URL:
IMS Comprehensive Learner Record Standard v1.0: Implementation Guide. IMS Global. January 14, 2021. IMS Final Release. URL:
IMS Comprehensive Learner Record Standard Information Model Version 1.0. IMS Global. January 14, 2021. IMS Final Release. URL:
IMS Comprehensive Learner Record Standard v1.0: JSON Schema. IMS Global. January 14, 2021. IMS Final Release. URL:
IMS Comprehensive Learner Record Standard v1.0: JSON-LD Context. IMS Global. January 14, 2021. IMS Final Release. URL:
IMS Comprehensive Learner Record Standard v1.0: OpenAPI Schema. IMS Global. January 14, 2021. IMS Final Release. URL:
IMS Comprehensive Learner Record Standard REST/JSON Binding Version 1.0. IMS Global. January 14, 2021. IMS Final Release. URL:
Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement Levels. S. Bradner. IETF. March 1997. Best Current Practice. URL:

C. List of Contributors

The following individuals contributed to the development of this document:

Name Organization Role
Tamer AbuelsaadIBM
Jeff BohrerIMS Global
Sherri BraxtonUniversity of Maryland, Baltimore County
Deb EverhartLearning Objects
Steve GanceWA Comm & Tech Colleges
Jeff GrannCapella University
Matthew HailstoneBrigham Young University
Chris HoustonCapella University and eLumenCo-Chair
Alex HripakCredly
Tracy KorsmoNorth Dakota Information Technology
Mark LeubaIMS Global
Jeff McNealState of Michigan Department of Education
Andy MillerIMS Global
Greg NadeauPublic Consulting GroupCo-Chair
Nate OttoConcentric Sky
David WardPublic Consulting Group
Ozgur YogurtcuAEFISCo-Chair

IMS Global Learning Consortium, Inc. ("IMS Global") is publishing the information contained in this document ("Specification") for purposes of scientific, experimental, and scholarly collaboration only.

IMS Global makes no warranty or representation regarding the accuracy or completeness of the Specification.

This material is provided on an "As Is" and "As Available" basis.

The Specification is at all times subject to change and revision without notice.

It is your sole responsibility to evaluate the usefulness, accuracy, and completeness of the Specification as it relates to you.

IMS Global would appreciate receiving your comments and suggestions.

Please contact IMS Global through our website at

Please refer to Document Name: IMS Comprehensive Learner Record Standard Version 1.0 1.0

Date: January 14, 2021