Learning & Development blog

A new student numbering system for the VET sector is coming


The introduction of a Unique Student Identifier (USI) for Vocational Education and Training (VET) students, was agreed by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) in early 2012 for implementation from 1st January 2014.

The USI initiative will allow students to use their number to access records of their VET achievements in one place. There is no system to maintain this information for students at present. Currently it is the responsibility of the individual to maintain their own records and to contact the Registered Training Providers (RTOs) they may have completed courses through if they happen to lose copies of Certificates or Statements of Attainments.

The Department of Industry Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education recognised this as a concern as they announced on their website:

In a major step forward in improving the transparency of the vocational education and training (VET) sector, the Australian and state/territory governments have agreed that a new national initiative will be developed to give students easier access to their VET records.

This new unified approach will mean that regardless of what state a student completes a course in or how many courses they have completed, their records will all be in one place and accessible online. An individual will have their USI for their lifetime so their entire history (from 2014 onwards) will be available to them with ease.

At this stage we are not sure how or where the USI records will be kept, though it is implied that some kind of online portal will be available for participants. As an RTO we are preparing for next years implementation by ensuring our database for student information has the ability to maintain these details.

The Department of Industry Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education will be releasing information at various times throughout the year and we will be sure to share any updates with you all.

All the acronyms in this article a little confusing? Check out our article on What is an RTO? What is VET? What’s the point?