Registered Training Organisations must not use the Student Portal to create, amend, verify or activate student USIs. The USI student portal is for students only and as an RTO, you have a responsibility to protect the student’s privacy.
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 instant access to your student’s USI transcript Do you have trouble getting proof of prior qualifications or do lost certificates slow down your enrolment finalisation?
ASQA now recognises direct access to USI transcripts as an alternative checking procedure for credit transfers and prior qualifications (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.
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.
The USI is a mandatory data field for reporting nationally recognised training.
Unless exempt, you must collect and verify a student’s USI before you can issue a qualification or statement of attainment for any nationally recognised training undertaken by them.
We strongly recommend that you 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.
When do I have to report a USI?
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 accredited training whenever you submit AVETMISS data as part of the National VET Provider Collection, unless an exemption applies.
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.
Detailed information on training providers USI reporting requirements is set out in NCVER's AVETMISS data as part of the National VET Provider Collection
What do I have to do with student's USIs?
The USI initiative requires that you:
- collect a USI from each student
- verify a USI supplied by a student
- ensure a student has a valid USI before conferring a qualification or statement of attainment on that student
- ensure the security of USIs and related documentation
- destroy any personal information which you collected solely for the purpose of applying for a USI on behalf of a student
- adhere to all legislative requirements under the USI legislative requirements
Are there restrictions on how I use a USI?
You must adhere to the following restrictions when integrating the USI into your business processes. A USI cannot be:
- used as your own student identifier, such as a student number
- be printed on statements of attainment, student results or testamur documents
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 learners.
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). This means RTOs should continue to exercise due diligence when assessing a student’s eligibility for credit transfer but can now use the online version of the USI Transcript by asking students to give them permission to view their transcript.
Note: RTOs regulated by the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA) should contact their Regulator for further advice.
Standards for Training Providers
- Standards for Registered Training Organisations 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
More information about:
When can I submit quarterly data?
I report annually, but I can I report more often?
RTOs can now elect to report quarterly into the National Provider Collections, regardless of how the training was funded.
RTOs in receipt of government funding must continue to report as per state requirements. For more information on reporting government-funded training activity, see the AVETMISS: Quarterly Reporting fact sheet.
The quarterly collection windows open four weeks after the end of the quarter, and remain open for a two week period. The collection periods for 2018 are available here on the NCVER website.
What is the deadline for AVETMISS reporting for 2017?
The collection window for direct reporting of 2017 AVETMISS fee-for-service activity to NCVER opened on 2 January and closes at 5pm on 28 February 2018.
If a student does not have a USI and should have one, do I just leave the USI field blank for AVETMISS?
Students undertaking nationally recognised training are in scope for a USI. Leaving the USI field blank when you submit your reporting 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 report the field as blank.
You cannot issue an AQF qualification or Statement of Attainment until the student has supplied you with a valid USI that has been verified by you. Doing so contravenes the Student Identifiers Act 2014 and the Standards for RTOs 2015. Collecting and verifying or creating a USI at enrolment and following up quickly with students without a USI is the best way to avoid problems in reporting.
What about providers that report directly to their STA but no longer receive state funding and now want to report to NCVER?
RTOs can report fee for service training directly to NCVER. For more information on different ways you can report, see the NCVER ‘Where, when and how do I report my AVETMISS data?’ fact sheet.
In alignment with the new National VET Data Policy, NCVER will be developing mechanisms for RTOs to report fee-for-service training activity more frequently in 2018.
Ensure you are signed up for their Data Support Bulletin (https://www.ncver.edu.au/subscription) select Data Support Bulletin from the ‘Our newsletters’ option) to keep abreast of developments.