From 1 January 2015 all students undertaking nationally recognised training delivered by a registered training organisation will need to have a Unique Student Identifier (USI) which has been introduced by the Australian Government Department of Industry in line with the Student Identifiers Act 2014. A USI gives students access to their online USI account which is made up of ten numbers and letters.
It will look something like this:
A USI account will contain all of a student’s nationally recognised training records and results from 1 January 2015 onwards.
When applying for a job or enrolling in further study, students will often need to provide their training records and results. One of the main benefits of the USI is that students will have easy access to their training records and results throughout their life. Students can access their USI account online from a computer, tablet or smart phone anywhere and anytime.
This system was implemented by the Australian Government in 2015, so it will show student achievements from 1 January 2015 onwards.
Do I need a USI
Assuming you will be undertaking nationally recognised training, the following will assist you with determining whether you need a USI.
I am an Australian resident – you need a USI.
I am an Australian expat or resident studying offshore with an Australian training organisation – you need a USI.
I am an international student studying offshore and do not intend on coming to Australia to do my study – you do NOT need a USI.
I am an international student who will be studying in Australia – you will need a USI.
How to find your USI
You have two options. Create a USI yourself, or ask your RTO to do it for you.
Option 1: Creating a USI yourself Step 1: Have at least one and preferably two forms of ID ready from the list below:
Visa (with Non-Australian Passport) for international students
Birth Certificate (Australian)
Certificate of Registration by Descent
IMPORTANT: To make sure all student training records are kept together, the USI will be linked to the student’s name as it appears on the form of ID used to create the USI. The personal details entered when a student creates a USI must match exactly with those on their form of ID. If a student has no proof of ID from the list above, they will be required to contact their training organisation about other forms of ID they can accept to help a student get a USI
Step 2: Have contact details ready (e.g. email address, or mobile number, or address).
Step 3: Visit the USI website at: usi.gov.au.
Step 4: Select the ‘Create a USI’ link and follow the steps.
Step 5: Agree to the Terms and Conditions.
Step 6: Follow the instructions to create a USI – it should only take a few minutes. Upon completion, the USI will be displayed on the screen. It will also be sent to the student’s preferred method of contact.
Step 7 The student should then write down the USI and keep it somewhere handy and safe.
Option 2: Asking your Training Organisation to create a USI for you
The USI transcript service was only activated on 22 May 2017. RTO’s can elect to report transcript data to the USI quarterly or annually. Depending on your RTO and on the time required for the department to update the records, your transcript may not appear on the database from anywhere between 3 months to 1 year. Given this delay in updating, it is probably best you keep your academic transcripts from your training organisation securely if you need it immediately.
It is also important to note that the online transcript does NOT replace the qualifications or documentation issued by training organisations. It is more useful as a backup when original documentation is lost, or where duplicate documentation cannot be obtained from the training provider (for example because they are no longer operating).