Looking for more up to date information on the USI? Read our USI blog post from November 2014 or our onCourse user handbook chapter on Unique Student Indentifiers

Don’t have the onCourse Student Management System and need a real time USI compliant solution? The good people at ish would be happy to help you out. Visit us at www.ish.com.au or contact us at info@ish.com.au or on (02) 9550 5001.

Posted March 2013

This week, <a href=”http://www.ncver.edu.au>NCVER</a> has released an update regarding the AVETMISS 7.0 standard for providers. This will be the new mandatory reporting format that will be used across Australia from January 1st 2014.

At the same time, the USI (Unique Student Identifier) system is undergoing legislative approval through Parliament to be endorsed for implementation in January 1st 2014.

At this stage, the USI is being implemented in the VET (Vocational Education and Training) sector only, with plans for it to be implemented across other education sectors in the future. Think of the USI like your Tax File Number, once issued it will follow you from birth to death through all the education and training you engage in, allowing the Australian Government to track longitudinal activity and education progression for all individuals throughout their lifetimes.

Under the new guidelines, no Statements of Attainment or Qualification Certificates can be issued to new or continuing students from January 1 2014 unless the student has supplied a valid USI to the RTO (Registered Training Organisation). The USI field will also be mandatory for all students in AVETMISS 7 reporting.

So what does this mean for RTOs?

First and foremost, this means that greater student data collection responsibilities will fall on all RTOs, delivering fee for service or government funded training, regardless of whether you are delivering a one day single unit of competency like the Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) course, or a two year Diploma qualification. There are no exemptions.

All students reported under the AVETMISS standard will also be required to have supplied a USI, so even if the student has agreed not to be assessed, or has not passed their assessment and can not be awarded a certification, for reporting purposes the collection of their USI is still mandatory. This may have other implications for our Community College customers who report non-VET training activity under the AVETMISS standard. It has not been decided at this stage if those students will also require a USI.

In conjunction with the proposed Total Vocational Education and Training Activity, all students enrolled in all RTOs, public and private, will be reported via AVETMISS for all their delivery and assessment. Even if you do not have to report AVETMISS data today, as part of your RTO compliance, you may need to in the future.

How will my students know their USI?

Obviously, in the early stages of implementation, most students will not have, or know, their USI so the RTO will have to assist them in obtaining one. Current published information says that students will need to provide proof of their identity via a drivers’ licence number, Medicare card number or other official document, and will then be issued with a USI.

From a practical point of view, this will now mean that during the enrolment process (or at a time soon after enrolment), students will need to supply multiple types of proof of identify to enable a USI to be issued. This will apply to students of all ages engaging in VET training e.g. young students who may not have multiple types of government issued identity documents, overseas students engaging in fee for service training who will not have Australian issued documentation and students from disadvantaged backgrounds who may not know how to access this information. Overseas students undertaking training overseas through an Australian RTO will also be obliged to obtain a USI.

There is no clear information available at this stage how a USI will be issued if a student does not have access to such documentation or if their documentation is unable to be verified.

How can ish help?

Since 2012, ish has been actively involved in the USI consultation process for Student Management System providers with the USI taskforce. We have had the opportunity to raise and discuss implementation and technical issues with the taskforce on behalf of our RTO clients.

We have accessed and discussed the implications of the AVETMISS 7 standard and the Technical Service Contracts for the existing onCourse online enrolment processes and AVETMISS reporting mechanisms. Our development plans are in place, where possible already underway, and as soon as the standards and legislation is finalised, we will be in a position to make these services available to our onCourse users.

onCourse 4.1, currently under development, already includes USI provision and draft AVETMISS 7 reporting standard.

onCourse is committed to remaining Australia’s only free to use AVETMISS compliant reporting system. This will not change with the advent of USI and AVETMISS 7 requirements. The onCourse community product will remain free to download and use. For new or small RTOs, we are determined that the cost of accessing a quality Student Management System to assist you in meeting your AQTF or NVR reporting requirements should not be a barrier to your successful delivery of quality training to your students.

For clients who have purchased a <a href=”>supported onCourse self managed or cloud hosted solution</a>, integration into the existing student portal service will include automatic student services for obtaining USIs, linked directly to the governments’ USI Web services system. Office or web enrolments in VET classes will initiate the automated process without you needing to lift a finger. Our service to you is to make your increased compliance requirements as painless as possible.

ish onCourse has got you covered.

onCourse with USI field ready to roll in the next release