If you are a student undertaking nationally recognised training, you will need to have a Unique Student Identifier (USI). This includes nationally recognised training delivered as part of the VET delivered in secondary schools programme.
What is VET delivered in secondary schools?
VET delivered in secondary schools training is:
- undertaken as part of your senior secondary certificate
- earns credits towards a nationally recognised VET qualification within the Australian Qualifications Framework
- in some states and territories it is included in your Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) score.
Participating in VET delivered in secondary schools is becoming increasingly common in schools around Australia. This training may be provided either directly by the school or by one or more Registered Training Organisations (RTOs). Training organisations that deliver VET delivered in secondary schools have completed VET regulatory requirements and are listed on training.gov.au. In some cases, the school itself may also be an RTO or training organisation.
Across Australia, delivering VET delivered in secondary schools has a variety of models, parameters and requirements. Systems and processes for reporting may also vary between jurisdictions and across public and private school sectors. The USI has been set up to accommodate all these variations.
How can schools help students?
As a school delivering or facilitating nationally recognised VET delivered to secondary schools training, you can help your students by:
- raising their awareness of the USI, what it is and why they need it
- making sure students only create one USI
- guiding them through the process of creating a USI themselves during school attendance time
- providing information to guide students and parents
- advising them on the importance of keeping their USI safe as it will remain theirs for life.
Schools that are also RTOs
Some schools that deliver VET delivered to secondary schools programmes are also RTOs. This means that they are a training organisation registered on training.gov.au.
Before an RTO can issue a student with their certificate or statement of attainment, they must ensure the student has a valid USI. They will also need to include each student’s USI in their reporting under the VET data collection and reporting policy.
Business processes for training organisations delivering VET delivered to secondary schools vary widely across Australia. Training organisations and schools can incorporate the USI into their business processes in the way that works best for their organisation.
Schools that operate their own Student Management System (SMS) can also contact their SMS provider for the most effective way to incorporate USI requirements. The USI Compatible SMS Register has been compiled for their information.
Schools that are not training organisations
Schools that are not training organisations and deliver nationally recognised VET delivered to secondary schools training through one or more external training organisations are authorised by legislation to collect, use and disclose the USI. Specifically, they can exchange USIs with training organisations, other schools or their School Authority and Board of Studies where this is in connection with the delivery or reporting of VET delivered to secondary schools activity.
In some instances, external training organisations that deliver VET delivered to secondary schools training may be unable to apply for a USI. In this case, schools should, in the first instance, check with their School Authority to see if they already have processes in place to implement the USI Initiative, including the process for making USI applications on behalf of students.
Alternatively, schools can apply to be granted VET Admission Body (VAB) status so that they can apply directly for a USI on behalf of their students, with their students’ permission.
From 1 January 2015, external training organisations must ensure that each student has a USI before they issue a certificate or statement of attainment. The training organisations also need to include students’ USI details in their reporting under the VET data collection and reporting requirements. Therefore, it is important that schools work together with training organisations to incorporate the USI into business processes and contractual arrangements.