Changes to National VET Data Policy – Schedule 1 Privacy Notice
From 1 January 2019 the Privacy Notice and Student Declaration at Schedule 1 of the National VET Data Policyis changing. It is important to note that changes to the National VET Data Policy – Schedule 1 Privacy Notice for VET data collection relating to records of student consent DO NOT extend to USI-related processes. RTOs are still required to seek permission from students to search for their USI and are still required to seek and record permission from students to create a USI on their behalf. You can find more information on the changes to Schedule 1 of the National VET Data Policy here.
RTO USI Onboarding Pack
As an RTO, the USI is an important component of your reporting requirements. To help you get started, the USI RTO Onboarding Pack has useful information outlining your USI obligations. Get up to speed with everything you need to know!
RTO Quarterly Reporting
All RTOs that normally report annually on fee for service training directly to NCVER can now elect to report on a quarterly basis to the National Provider Collections. The Office of the Student Identifiers Registrar encourages RTOs to do this so students can have their USI Transcripts updated more frequently. More information is available here.
The top three things you can do at enrolment that will benefit you
1. Create or collect and verify USIs at enrolment before training commences
The most common cause of USI reporting issues arises from delaying or deferring USI collection and verification. Creating or collecting and verifying USIs at enrolment will ensure you meet your reporting obligations. Make sure you follow up quickly for any missing or incorrect USIs.
2. Get access to your student’s USI Transcript to get proof of prior qualifications.
The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) now recognises direct access to USI Transcripts as an alternative checking procedure for credit transfers and prior qualifications (ASQA User Guide Clause 3.5 – Accept and provide credit to learners).Ask your students to set permission within their USI account for you to view their transcript online. A fact sheet and information video on how they can do this are available.
3. Use the ‘Provide your USI’ functionality
Use your enrolment documentation to ask your students to use the ‘Provide your USI’ functionality in their USI Account so they can email you their USI verification details. This will assist you to easily and quickly verify the USI and avoid transcription errors which can occur with hand written USIs.
Requirement to collect and report USIs
As an RTO, collecting and reporting your students’ USI numbers is a requirement under Commonwealth legislation and a condition of your registration.
This applies to:
- new students
- pre-enrolled students
- continuing students
- school students completing nationally recognised training
Unless you have received total exemption from your VET Regulator, the USI initiative requires that RTOs:
- collect a USI from each student
- verify a USI supplied by a student
- ensure a student has a valid USI before issuing a qualification or statement of attainment for any nationally recognised training
- ensure the security of USIs and related documentation
- destroy any personal information which you have collected solely for the purpose of creating a USI on behalf of a student
- adhere to all USI legislative requirements
You are not required to create a USI on behalf of a student, however, this service is available through the USI Registry System and may be the most appropriate option for your business model.
We strongly recommend that you create or collect and verify USIs at the time of enrolment. This can save valuable time if you need to confirm details with the student later on.
To meet your obligations under the USI initiative you will need to have access to the USI Registry System.
You can access the USI Registry System via this website or alternatively using a web services interface with a Student Management System.
A USI cannot be used as your own student identifier, such as a student number or printed on qualifications and statements of attainment, student results or testamur documents.
The USI is a mandatory data element of the Australian Vocational Education and Training Management Information Statistical Standard (AVETMISS). AVETMISS is the national data standard that ensures consistent and accurate capture and reporting of VET information about students. The National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) manages AVETMISS and administers the National VET Provider Collection.
You must report a USI for every student undertaking nationally recognised training whenever you submit AVETMISS data as part of the National VET Provider Collection, unless an exemption applies. We recommend that you consult the AVETMISS for VET providers reporting specifications and the NCVER’s RTO fact sheets for further information.
All RTOs that normally report annually on fee for service training directly to NCVER can now elect to report on a quarterly basis to the National Provider Collections. The Office of the Student Identifiers Registrar encourages RTOs to do this so students can have their USI Transcripts updated more frequently with nationally recognised training appearing on USI Transcripts around six weeks after each quarterly collection period. RTOs in receipt of government funding must continue to report as per state requirements.
Quarterly reporting may also reduce the end of year reporting workload for RTOs and bring resolution of reporting issues closer to the time of original data capture. More information on submitting quarterly data is available here on the NCVER website.
Note: Leaving the USI field blank when you submit your training information will trigger a warning or error (depending on other conditions) within the AVETMISS Validation Software (AVS). State Training Authorities and Regulators monitor the percentage of missing USIs for RTOs. If you have requested a USI for a student and followed up without success, you must leave the field blank. We recommend you keep a record of the attempts made to contact the student. Creating or collecting and verifying USIs at enrolment and following up quickly with students without a USI is the best way to avoid problems in reporting.
Credit Transfer and the USI Transcript
Standard 3.5 of the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015 identifies the requirements for the acceptance and provision of credit transfer to students.
An authenticated VET transcript (USI Transcript) issued by the Registrar can be used as evidence for the assessment of credit transfer for units of competency and/or modules (unless licencing or regulatory requirements prevent this).
Note: RTOs regulated by the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA) should contact their Regulator for further advice.
- Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015
- ASQA Users' Guide to the Standards for RTOs 2015
- Australian Quality Training Framework (AQTF) Essential Conditions and Standards for Initial Registration
- Australian Quality Training Framework (AQTF) Essential Conditions and Standards for Continuing Registration
- National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011
- Australian Qualifications Framework