Unique student identifier

The Unique Student Identifier commenced on 1 January 2015.

The USI legislative framework

The USI legislative framework, the Student Identifiers Act 2014 and the Student Identifiers Regulations 2014 are now in effect. The Student Identifiers Act 2014 established the USI scheme that came into full effect from 1 January 2015. 

The Minister for Industry, in consultation with the Ministerial Council, has appointed Mr Jason Coutts as Acting Student Identifiers Registrar effective from 16 September 2014 to oversee the implementation and ongoing management of the USI scheme.

System readiness

In August, RTOs were invited to participate in third party testing of the USI system. A small group of NT RTOs volunteered and worked with the national taskforce on this important task to ensure the USI registry system was working and ready to go live. 

The feedbacks from RTOs in terms of system readiness have been positive. RTO is encouraged to keep in touch with their software vendors to ensure their system compatibility with the USI system.

RTOs will need to make contact with the Student Identifiers Registrar about their preferences for accessing the USI Registry System, if they haven’t already done so.

USI live

The USI Registry System went live on 15 October 2014.

The USI registry system access is opened for:

  • RTOs and students to access the system to create USIs
  • RTOs to establish their access arrangements for the USI and bed down their businesses processes prior to formal commencement of the scheme in January
  • continuing students to apply for a USI and reduce workloads in early 2015
  • RTOs to consider their businesses needs and settle how best to access the USI Registry System - this will vary from organisation to organisation. 

All RTOs must verify a student identifier provided to them by an individual before using that identifier for any purpose, collect and verify a USI for each student prior to issuing a qualification or statement of attainment. 

They must also include the USI in their returns to the national VET data collection from 2015 onwards.

The onus will be on the student to obtain a USI but RTOs may choose to assist students. The best options for each RTO preparing for the introduction of the USI will vary depending on their size, scope and existing business arrangements.

Resources and supporting materials

To assist RTOs with the introduction of the USI, the USI taskforce have released a suite of information to assist students and training providers to obtain a USI. Please visit the USI website for more information.

The USI Office has developed a policy and procedure to assist RTOs in limited circumstances that are applying for a USI on behalf of students who do not have, or cannot obtain, one of the required Proof of ID documents needed for the Document Verification Service (DVS) check. 

Information on the website will assist RTOs to build the staff and student awareness of the USI. 

USI user guide

A user guide for RTOs is also available for view and download from the new USI website.

Webinar videos

The USI Office ran a series of USI webinars in early November, if you missed them or if you would like to revisit the sessions the videos are now available for viewing on the VELG Training YouTube channel using the links below:

Preparing for the USI Webinar - RTO session
This webinar was presented to RTOs on 5 November 2014.

Preparing for the USI Webinar - VET in Schools session
This webinar was presented to Vocational Education Training (VET) in Schools on 30 October 2014.

Preparing for the USI Webinar - ERTO session
This webinar was presented to Enterprise Registered Training Organisations (ERTO) on 3 November 2014.


Email skills.reform@nt.gov.au or contact the USI Taskforce at usi@industry.gov.au. You can also phone the USI hotline on 133 873.

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Last updated: 27 September 2016