Crest Logo

Stakeholder Bulletin - February 2020

Assistance for those affected by bushfires

With bushfires affecting many Australians we want to extend our thoughts and sympathies to all communities, organisations and individuals impacted.

If you or anyone you know has been impacted by the bushfires and require assistance with locating or creating a Unique Student Identifier (USI), please contact us on:

With the VET enrolment peak period upon us, if you have feedback about how the Office of the Student Identifiers Registrar can further assist students and training organisations affected by the bushfires with their USI matters, please contact us at BusinessStrategy@usi.gov.au.

A new department, but it is business as usual for USI

On Thursday 5 December 2019, the Australian Government announced the consolidation of departments across the Australian Public Service into a smaller number of larger departments — from 18 to 14.

Effective Saturday 1 February 2020, the Department of Employment Skills, Small and Family Business consolidated with the Department of Education, to form the new Department of Education, Skills and Employment.

While our new departmental website URL has been amended to dese.gov.au, it is business as usual for USI with no changes to our USI contact channels or operations.

No access to the USI registry system via AUSKey after 27 March 2020

Decommission date:
The AUSkey decommission date of 27 March 2020 is approaching fast. After this date (i.e. from 28 March 2020), AUSkey is being replaced by a new whole of government digital identity service. Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) will no longer be able to use their AUSkey to access the USI Registry after the decommission date, therefore we recommend you transition now to avoid impact on your business’ administration.

Transition now:
All RTOs accessing the USI Registry must complete the transition steps and move to the new authentication method. You can now access the USI Registry System via the Organisation Portal or a Student Management System (SMS) using myGovID and Relationship Authorisation Manager (RAM):

  • Organisation Portal users need to acquire their own digital identity. Principle authorities of an RTO’s ABN must acquire a digital identity (myGovID) and can authorise another person with a digital identity to connect to the USI Registry Organisation Portal (on behalf of the RTO) through RAM. This is similar to how a Standard/Personal AUSkey is set up, however, new mechanisms are used and the replacement file is not stored on a computer or USB. A connection can then be made using any device, anywhere, anytime.
  • Student Management System users will need a new Machine-to-Machine (M2M) credential to replace a Device AUSkey in order to interact with the USI Registry.

We also encourage you to update and clean-up your information in the Australian Business Register (ABR), AUSkey Manager and Access Manager.

Setting up your digital identity is easy:
Just download and install the app from the Apple App or Google Play stores and set up your myGovID. If you have any difficultly setting up your digital identity contact the ATO on 1300 287 539:

  • myGovID option 2
  • RAM option 3
  • Technical issues option 4.

Importantly, if your organisation is utilising an SMS, you must also update to USI Web Service Version 3.0 by the end of March 2020. For further information, visit usi.gov.au/auskey

Privacy Notice: RTOs applying for USIs on behalf of students

Before your training organisation applies for a USI on behalf of a student, you are required under the Student Identifiers Registrar’s terms and conditions to give the student a privacy notice explaining how their personal information will be used.

To assist your organisation in meeting this requirement, we have developed a Privacy Notice which you can incorporate in your student information.

If your organisation wishes to include information on the USI in your enrolment form and obtain a student’s authorisation for your organisation to apply for a USI on their behalf, we also have suggested text that you can use.

Training organisations should also note the following:

  • You may be an Australian Privacy Principle (APP) entity bound by the Privacy Act 1988 or an entity bound by State or Territory Privacy legislation. Please consider whether your organisation is bound by any privacy legislation and, if so, what your organisation’s obligations under such legislation would be. You should seek independent legal advice as to what your privacy obligations may be.
  • Please note, in addition to the above, if your organisation contravenes sections 11, 16 or 17 of the Student Identifiers Act 2014, then pursuant to section 23 of the Student Identifiers Act 2014, your organisation will be considered to be an APP entity bound by the Privacy Act 1988 and the contravention may be subject to investigation by the Information Commissioner.
  • Where your organisation is bound by Commonwealth or State or Territory Privacy legislation, your organisation may need to provide students, either in connection with applying for the USI on their behalf or more generally as part of the enrolment information, advice about how the student’s information is stored and protected, such as secure server at the Registered Training Organisation, third-party server in the cloud, or if hard-copy, in a locked file/cupboard.

See our privacy notice for students when applying on their behalf page for further information.

Our re-established USI Working Groups kicked-off in December 2019

The re-established USI Advisory Group (USIAG) and USI External Reference Group (USIERG) met face-to-face in Melbourne on 10 December 2019. The intention of these working groups is to discuss the operation of the USI initiative, including the USI Transcript Service.

USIAG membership includes: Commonwealth and all state and territory departments with responsibility for vocational education and training (VET) and skills and workforce development; the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER); and representatives of the VET regulatory authorities (ASQAVRQA and TAC WA).

USIERG membership includes: A range of public and private stakeholders who represent industry, students and the VET sector.

During 2020, the USIAG and USIERG will meet quarterly with the Student Identifiers Registrar who is keen to soundboard ideas and seek feedback from these valued stakeholders.

If you are interested to learn more, please contact us at BusinessStrategy@usi.gov.au.

USI extended contact centre hours

Support with all things USI will be increased from 17 February 2020 with our Contact Centre extending its opening hours for a three month trial period.

During the trial period, opening hours will be 9.00am to 6.30pm (AEDST), Monday to Friday. These extended times will particularly support customers in Western Australia during the peak period of VET commencements.

Publication Date
Office of the Student Identifiers Registrar (OSIR)
Last Modified on Thursday 18th February 2021 [43]