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Every year almost four million Australians build and sharpen their skills by undertaking nationally recognised training. All students doing nationally recognised training need to have a Unique Student Identifier (USI). This includes students doing Vocational Education Training (VET) when they are still at school (VET for secondary students).

What is a USI?

The USI is a reference number made up of ten numbers and letters that:

·           creates a secure online record of your recognised training and qualifications gained in Australia, from all training providers you undertake recognised training with

  • Will give you access to your training records and transcripts

  • Can be accessed online, anytime and anywhere

  • Is free and easy to create and

  • Stays with you for life


Who needs a USI and why?

If you are a new or continuing student undertaking nationally recognised training, you need a USI in order to receive your qualification or statement of attainment. If you don't have a USI you will not receive your qualification or statement of attainment.

Your USI will give you access to an online record of the training you have done since 1 January 2015. You will also be able to produce a comprehensive transcript of your training. This can be used when applying for a job, seeking a credit transfer or demonstrating pre-requisites when undertaking further training.

If you are an international student studying offshore and do not intend on coming to Australia to do your study you do not need a USI. However, if you are an Australian expat or resident student studying offshore with an Australian training organisation, you will need a USI.

If you are an International student who will be studying in Australia you will require a USI. All international students in Australia will have been issued with an Australian Visa. Once you have arrived in Australia your visa will be activated and you will be able to apply for a USI.


Do I need a USI if I'm only doing part of a course?

Yes, even if you enrol with a training provider just to complete part of a course, a module, or a single unit you will still require a USI.


Can my training provider create a USI for me?

Yes, as long as they have your permission, your training provider may create a USI for you.

Will my USI appear on my training certificate?

No, under legislation your USI must not be printed on your qualification or statement of attainment.


Can my USI be used by my training provider as student number or identifier?

No, your USI cannot be used by your training provider as an identifier for you.

Benefits of the USI

Individuals with a USI will be able to easily access their training records online in a password protected secure environment. As well as helping students keep track of their training qualifications, the USI initiative will provide more precise data through longitudinal studies to help the Australian Government make sure that our Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector provides the skills businesses need – now and in the future. There are advantages for training organisations and industry too, as the USI will make our training system more efficient, streamlined and responsive.

Benefits for students

·      students can get easy access to a complete record of VET achievements from a single, secure and password protected online source. This will be especially beneficial if they have lost their hard copy records or if the provider is no longer operating

·      students can easily provide proof of their VET records to employers or other training organisations

Benefits for Australian industry and training organisations

·      job applicants can quickly confirm their nationally recognised training qualifications

·      training information easily can be shared between training providers and for Australian businesses

·      smarter, evidence-based regulation to provide more transparency in the VET sector

·      greater efficiency in interactions with government and regulators

·      simplifying government VET programme eligibility and entitlement processing

·      streamlined assessment of course prerequisites, credit transfers and assessment of eligibility for funding assistance.


Benefits for Government

The USI captures longitudinal data on course completions which is used to develop VET sector policy initiatives. This data will provide accurate and comprehensive information about students’ training achievements and movements within the VET system.

The USI initiative will also assist government with the management of their student entitlement programmes by providing a much clearer picture of how many students are in the VET sector. It will show the length of time students undertake VET and the pathways students are taking through the training system.

Collecting and analysing information is essential to ensuring that the VET sector can respond to students’ preferences and to the skills needs of industry and the Australian economy. The USI initiative will provide an important foundation for understanding and improving VET performance and for better meeting students’ needs.

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