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Why You Need a USI Number for Skills Training

August 7, 2015 0 Comments

If you’ve looked at enrolling for skills training this year, you’ve probably read about the USI (Unique Student Identifier). Just a few years ago, the idea of an accessible, up-to-date government database of transferrable personal records was akin to science fiction, but now all students undergoing nationally accredited and recognised training are connected to this centralised account of vocational accomplishments.

The USI initiative was introduced to capture and provide the government with accurate student and training data, enabling them to develop practices and policies that help students, educators and the future of the Australian economy. In the short-term, the USI system provides a secure, convenient facility for students to track and access evidence of their training accomplishments.

USI Needed for Skills Training

Do you have your USI for Skills Training?

What is a Unique Student Identifier (USI)?

Your USI is a 10-digit identification code made up of letters and numbers, referencing information about nationally recognised training you have completed anywhere in Australia, regardless of which organisations you gained your qualification through.

As a student this means you never have to worry about misplacing paper certificates, as the complete record of your Vocational Education and Training (VET) accomplishments are available from a single, secure online source. Your qualifications are tracked as you attain them, making it easy to share timely and accurate evidence of your competence with future training organisations (for eligibility and entitlement assessments) or potential employers.

Though the government has been collecting data on nationally recognised training for years, these records were not linked to individuals until the introduction of the USI system. As such, only training completed after 1st January 2015 will be available in your USI records.

Why do I need a USI to undertake training?

The USI initiative is supported by the Student Identifiers Act 2014, the Student Identifiers Regulation 2014, and the Standards for NVR Registered Training Organisations 2015. These legislative articles make it mandatory for registered training organisations (RTO) to withhold qualifications from students who have not been assigned a USI, even if they have completed all the educational components of their course.

Only RTOs can deliver nationally recognised training, as their programs meet the industry standards for skills needed in the workplace. This means students must have a USI before they can attain a nationally recognised qualification.

A USI is not required for training delivered by non-registered organisations, such as courses undertaken for leisure, no matter how structured or formal they may be.

How do I get a USI?

You can create a USI for free through AusGov’s USI Portal:

Create Your USI Portal

Before you start, you’ll need one of the following forms of ID:

  • Driver’s licence
  • Medicare card
  • Australian Passport, or non-Australian passport with Australian Visa
  • Australian Birth Certificate or Certificate of Registration by Descent
  • Citizenship Certificate
  • ImmiCard

When signing up for your USI, ensure your personal details match the details on the form of ID supplied. It is recommended that you include an email address, as this can be used to log into your account if you ever misplace your USI.

Any training results and qualifications completed after 1st January 2015 will available through your USI account, starting in 2016.

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