XCRi (Exchanging Course-Related Information) – Course Advertising Profile (CAP)

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Title: XCRi (Exchanging Course-Related Information) – Course Advertising Profile (CAP)

Standards Profile

ISB STATUS =  RECOMMENDED.   XCRI CAP v1.1.  A standard for publishing and handling course offering information.   

Further Education;Higher Education;Life-Long Learning

ISB Decision


The XCRI CAP v1.1 specification has been developed to enable learning providers to publish online prospectus information in a standard format that facilitates efficient collection by aggregator and broker agencies (such as UCAS, the National Learning Directory and 14-19 Prospectus websites) and systematic comparison of learning opportunities 


In 2005, the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) funded a project to review specifications used to represent educational learning opportunities for quality assurance, marketing, enrolment, transcripts and reporting. The project was called XCRI (eXchanging Course-Related Information).

Informed by initiatives in countries including Norway, Sweden, Finland and France, the project concluded that the sector could benefit (see below) from a common information model for course advertising. Through trials with Further and Higher Education institutions in England and Scotland the XCRI CAP XML schema was developed and tested.

Current methods for passing online prospectus information from learning providers to aggregator organisations, such as UCAS and LSC, typically involve re-keying data already used to populate institutions’ prospectus websites into bespoke web-based forms designed by the aggregators. A sector standard for electronic publishing and harvesting of prospectus information offers clear benefits in terms of accuracy and comparability of content, agility for responding to changes, cost-savings on data entry and re-use for value-added services.

Furthermore, the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) has agreed a Metadata for Learning Opportunities (MLO) reference model, which is likely to be adopted as a European Norm in 2010. Adopting XCRI CAP v1.1 now would set the sector on a trajectory likely to lead to compliance with this European Norm when it emerges.

The XCRI CAP v1.1 approach of making prospectus data available as XML using standard (HTTP) web protocols is similar in many ways to the highly-popular RSS format used for news feeds. Its approach of making public-domain data (prospectus content) available in a standard web format (XML) using standard web protocols (HTTP) is fully compatible with sector trends toward an increasingly service-oriented technical architecture.

A European standard based on XCRI is being developed as "Metadata for Learning Opportunities (MLO)".  This standard once approved will supercede the XCRI CAP v1.1 standard.


Standards Links

Click here - to download the specification.

Click here - to download the XCRI - ISB fast track approval document. 

Click here - to go to the XCRI Wiki site: