Transcript CANHEIT 2012
Introducing PESC –
Postsecondary Electronic Standards Council
Building the Digital University
Brian Patton – Manager, Application Systems - Ontario Universities’ Application Centre
Kelly McMullen – Business Analyst – ApplyAlberta
PESC - Postsecondary Electronic Standards Council
The Ontario Universities' Application Centre (OUAC), located in
Guelph, Ontario, Canada, is a central bureau whose key function is
the processing of applications for admission to the province's
About the OUAC
• The OUAC manages the flow of student applications to Ontario’s 20 universities so that the
universities can make offers of admission for Undergraduate, Law, Medical, Rehabilitation
Sciences and Education programs.
• The OUAC is a non-profit organization, classified as a charity.
• Proceeds, in excess of operating costs, support the admission services at the universities.
• The OUAC provides contracted development for university-specific,
applicant-related systems (graduate applications and undergraduate part-time).
• The OUAC processes more than 600,000 applications annually, for 175,000 applicants.
• The OUAC has over 1000 data exchange partners based on a number of standards
• ApplyAlberta is a made-in-Alberta post-secondary application
• ApplyAlberta makes it simple to apply to one or more postsecondary institutions.
• ApplyAlberta takes the guesswork out of requesting Alberta high
school and post-secondary transcripts.
• ApplyAlberta is secure.
• In 2005, the Access to the Future Act was passed by the Alberta
government. Among other thing, this legislation called for the development of a
common application system for Alberta’s publicly funded post-secondary
institutions. Twenty-one universities, colleges, and technical institutes collaborated
with Alberta Advanced Education and Technology to develop ApplyAlberta.
• In July 2008, the Alberta Post-Secondary Application System was incorporated as a
non-profit society under the Societies Act of Alberta. Membership was
subsequently expanded to include the five Independent Academic Institutions in
the province, bringing the number of participating institutions to 26.
• ApplyAlberta went live in October 2009. Since that time, over 281,000 applications
have been submitted and more than 340,000 electronic transcripts have been
transferred through the system.
How important are
• It is estimated more than 500,000 consensus
standards exist in the world today.
Donald E. Purcell, Chairman, The Center for
Global Standards Analysis (2008)
Mankind has always struggled to agree on the best way to do
certain key tasks. This is the origin of society itself - every
culture that has ever existed has at its heart a shared set of
standards by which it lives and through which it interacts with
the world around it.
These standards define what is and what isn't acceptable, and
they give the members of that society a shared frame of
reference by which they can understand each other.
Language, commerce and even religion have all been
expressions of that shared set of standards.
Stephen Lindsay, Business Manager, Standards, SWIFT.
Have you been there???
• Picture this….
• You have travelled to Argentina for a vacation
• Fresh out of Argentinean Pesos
• All you have is Canadian dollars
• Canadian dollars not accepted
• What do you do?
• Visa or Mastercard of course… they are
standards accepted almost everywhere
• Not for Profit; established in 1997
• 2 employees
• Over 70 members and affiliates including
AACRAO and the major software vendors
• Standards are driven by member working groups
• Establishing data exchange standards for colleges,
universities and their data exchange partners
• PESC XML standards have evolved from existing
X.12 EDI standards
PESC: Their Mandate
• The Postsecondary Electronic Standards Council
(PESC) has become the North American
postsecondary education community’s XML business
• In its simplest terms, PESC is a North American
standards group that is driving XML in standard
formats for post-secondary education.
What is PESC XML?
• Think of the PESC XML standards in 3 parts
• A transport based on XML
• Standard attributes for each data element
• Standard definition of content
More flexible than traditional X.12
Better data integrity
Standard definitions of data elements and attributes
PESC XML Standards include…
Transcripts (Secondary and Postsecondary)
Education test score reporting
IPEDS (Integrated Post Secondary Education Data
System)… 12 month enrollment and completions
• PDF attachment
• Student Aid
• Data Transport Specification
PESC XML in Canada
• PESC XML is gaining support on a broad basis….
• PESC Canadian User Group
• 4 Application Centres in Canada have already
made commitments to PESC XML standards
• Major Vendors–Oracle, Ellucian (Datatel+SGHE)
• Statistics Canada
• Some have already implemented, others in
PESC XML in Action!
ApplyAlberta PESC Success Story
• ApplyAlberta uses the PESC standards for:
• Application for Admission
• High School Transcripts
• Post-Secondary Transcripts
• Data transport
• Transcript request and response
• University of Lethbridge was heavily involved in
the creation of the Application for Admission
standard and helped to ensure it reflected what
Canadian institutions needed
BCcampus PESC Success Story
BCcampus is an organization used connect the expertise, programs and
resources of all BC post-secondary institutions under a service delivery
framework. It provides an infrastructure for student data exchange, shared
services, online learning and distant education.
The PESC data types are used as the underlying types for
• Online admission portal to post-secondary BC institutions
• Province-wide directory of confine and distance courses in BC
• Course record retrieval (unofficial)
The PESC standard is used for the transcript exchange service for 3
institutions now and is expanding.
OCAS PESC Success Story
Using SPEEDE EDI standards since 2001
Active member of PESC since 2008
Significant contributor in PESC Cdn User Group
PESC XML standards available for Ontario High
School transcripts and College transcripts
• OCAS eTMS (Electronic Transcript Management
System) allows High Schools to upload “105”
(non-direct) transcripts in PESC XML compatible
OCAS eTMS Portal
electronic transcripts Portal
automated version Web Services
Send the most up to date
academic record to
colleges for past
and current students!
...days waiting for transcripts
OUAC PESC Success &Development
• Extensive adoption of existing x.12 standards
• PESC XML; long term objective & core strategy
• 2 key initiatives over the next 12-18 months
• PESC XML beta with Historical Statistical File
• PESC XML Transcript exchange with Algoma
• Potential to work with OCAS for 105 (non-direct)
transcripts in PESC XML format using eTMS
• Defining longer term strategy for PESC XML
PESC Across Canada
• Are there other PESC initiatives in Canada that we
don’t know about?
• Who else is interested in the PESC Canadian User
What is in the Future?
• Gaining momentum and acceptance within all
• More extensive incorporation of PESC standards by
• Can we move towards Canada-wide transcript
transfers using XML transcripts?
• If all provincial/regional systems adopt PESC,
information would be readily transferable without
having to combine or translate information in various