In April 2012, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed to the implementation of a specially designed tool called the Unique Student Identifier (USI). COAG also agreed that the Standing Council on Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment (SCOTESE) take forward the implementation of the USI.
The Student Identifiers Bill 2013 was listed for debate in the Winter Sittings 2013. Due to a full legislative program in the Winter Sittings of Parliament, and the federal election being called, the Bill was unable to be considered by the Parliament.
As a result, implementation of the Unique Student Identifier scheme will not commence on 1 January 2014. Further advice will be provided when available.
If you have further queries please contact the USI Taskforce.
The Unique Student Identifier field will remain in the VET data standard (AVETMISS R7.0) as a placeholder but the field will be permitted to be blank. For more information on AVETMISS, see:
About the USI
Currently there is no way for vocational education and training (VET) students to obtain a comprehensive and authoritative transcript of their VET achievements online.
In April 2012, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed to the implementation of a specially designed tool called the Unique Student Identifier (USI) to address this issue. COAG also agreed that the Standing Council on Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment (SCOTESE) take forward the implementation of the USI.
Once USI's become available new and continuing students undertaking nationally recognised VET courses will need to have a USI to receive their statement of attainment or qualification.
The USI is a randomly-generated alpha-numeric code that is available online and at no cost to the student. That code will stay with that individual student for life and be recorded with any nationally recognised VET course that is undertaken from when the USI comes into effect.
The USI initiative will:
- Seamlessly link information about a student’s VET achievements, regardless of where they studied
- Enable students to access secure digital transcripts of their achievements
- Give students access to, and more control over, their educational information.
Students often need to provide evidence of their academic achievements – for example, when applying for a job or to undertake further study.
Currently, it is not possible for students to obtain a complete record of their VET enrolment and achievement history from a single source. This is inconvenient not only for students and employers, but can also make it more difficult for training organisations to assess pre-requisites, credit transfer and Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). Incomplete data about access to and use of the VET sector also inhibits the development of evidence-based VET programs.
The USI will make it easier for students to find, collate and authenticate their VET achievements into a single transcript. It will also ensure that students’ VET records are not lost if their training organisation ceases to operate.
Features and privacy of the USI
The USI system has a number of features built into the design to ensure both privacy protection and that students have control over their USI, for example:
- Personal information (such as name, date of birth, etc.) will be quarantined and stored separately from education and training records
- The USI will be stored with a student’s personal information and be held by the Student Identifiers Agency
- The USI will also be attached to a student’s training records which will be held by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).
Using the USI, the personal information would only be linked to the educational information when a student asks to see his or her own records or when a student authorises someone else to do so (such as a training organisation) or as otherwise authorised by Commonwealth legislation.
Continue reading about privacy and security.
If you have any questions or need more information, you can email the USI Taskforce.
Read more about the USI initiative: