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The Unique Student Identifier (USI) Initiative

Unique Student Identifiers (USI)

The Unique Student Identifier (USI) is a new initiative developed jointly by the Australian and State & Territory governments, scheduled to come into effect on the 1st January 2015. This specifically designed tool comes as a result of extensive consultation and critical feedback gathered from VET students, VET providers, peak bodies, industry skill councils and government policy makers. These studies discovered that there was urgent need for a streamlined tool which had the ability to provide students with a complete record of their VET enrolments and achievements from a convenient single source.

Available online at no cost to students the USI will stay with the student for the entire life and be recorded with any nationally recognised VET course that is completed from when the USI comes into effect on the 1st January 2015.

About the Unique Student Identifier (USI)

Known as the Unique Student Identifier (USI) this tool provides a simple reference number made up of a unique combination of numbers and letters that allows students to access their USI account. This process will allow an individual’s USI account to be linked with the National Vocational Education and Training (VET) Data Collection which will enable them to view their training results and achievements from all providers including their completed training units and qualifications.

This simple integration will make it much easier for students to find and collate their VET achievements into a single authenticated transcript and additionally ensure that students’ VET records aren’t lost.

What Does The USI Aim to Provide:

The goals of the USI initiative include:

  • To seamlessly link available information about a student’s VET achievements (regardless of where they completed their studies)
  • Give students unrivalled access to secure digital transcripts of their achievements
  • Enable students to have greater access to, and better control of their educational information.

Significant Benefits of the USI Initiative for Students

  • It’s currently not possible for students to obtain a complete record of their VET enrolments and achievements from a singular online source
  • Convenient tool for students and employers
  • Will enable students to provide training providers with access to an online authenticated record of student attainment

Significant Benefits of the USI Initiative for Training Providers

  • Assist with the recording of enrolment details and help to streamline the assessment of eligibility for funding assistance.
  • Longer term benefit in the form of longitudinal data on course completions, informing the providers on the development of future VET sector policy initiatives.
  • Serve as a building block for a range of VET reforms by providing accurate and comprehensive information about students’ training achievements and movements within the VET system.

Significant Benefits of the USI Initiative for Australian VET Sector

  • As a component of the VET Reform Agenda the USI initiative will greatly assist in the continued development of transparency in the VET sector.
  • Assist in building a consistent, national system for the storage of training information and ensure higher quality assurance and future growth.
  • The information that will become available following the implementation of the USI, will give a much deeper insight of how many students are in the VET system, for what length of time and the pathways students are taking through the system.
  • Aid the government with the management of their student entitlement programs
  • The data from the projected three million enrolments currently in the VET system each year will be collected and analysed. With this information essential to ensuring the VET system can respond and improve to meet students’ preferences and the skill requirements of industry and the economy.

RAM Training’s Interpretation of the Future USI Program

As a leading Australian Training provider RAM Trainings position on the USI initiative is that the program is a positive step forward by the Australian Government and provides all students’ with a streamlined system which promotes the attainment of VET qualifications. It also creates a more effective and efficient platform that will gather valuable information which can be used to improve the current VET training industry and tailor courses more specifically to students’ preferences and the needs of the Australian economy.

Unfortunately at this stage the USI is only collecting results on courses completed from 2015 onwards, with the need for future progression allowing students to upload their previous records of results/transcripts.

“The new student Unique Student Identifier is going to provide RTO’s with security in the area of documentation and student identity.  I also believe that this initiative has significant benefits to students, industry and the government with the uniformed approach across Australia with all VET qualifications. I see great potential in streamlining the collection of data and retention of records so that individuals are able to access the information when required as well as providing

This is a wonderful initiative and is going to streamline and improve the quality of data collection for the skills shortage areas nationally in all industries and provide the government with the opportunity to increase funding for training.” – Chris Jones, CEO at RAM Training Services

RAM Training will continue to monitor the implementation of the program and keep students informed in any further policy updates to further assist them in undertaking their VET qualifications

Written by Shenoa Gittins

Shenoa is the Operations Manager and co-owner of RAM Training Services.
You can connect with Shenoa Gittins via Google+ and Facebook.

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