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Clause 3.6—Participate in the Student Identifier scheme

Clause 3.6

The RTO meets the requirements of the Student Identifier scheme, including:

a) verifying with the Registrar, a Student Identifier provided to it by an individual before using that Student Identifier for any purpose
b) ensuring that it will not issue AQF certification documentation to an individual without being in receipt of a verified Student Identifier for that individual, unless an exemption applies under the Student Identifiers Act 2014
c) ensuring that where an exemption described in clause 3.6 (b) applies, it will inform the student prior to either the completion of the enrolment or commencement of training and assessment, whichever occurs first, that the results of the training will not be accessible through the Commonwealth and will not appear on any authenticated VET transcript prepared by the Registrar
d) ensuring the security of Student Identifiers and all related documentation under its control, including information stored in its student management systems.

What clause 3.6 means for your RTO

The AVETMISS is a national data standard that ensures consistent and accurate capture and reporting of VET information about students.

The Student Identifier scheme, enabled by the Student Identifiers Act 2014, allows students to access a single online record of their VET outcomes. The scheme also helps employers and other RTOs to confirm these outcomes.

The online system provides each student with a USI.

Unless the student him/herself or the training the student undertakes is exempt, your RTO must only issue a qualification or statement of attainment to a student after:

  • the student has provided you with a verified USI, or
  • you have applied for a USI on behalf of the student.

Some RTOs are exempt from providing full AVETMISS data under the National VET Provider Collection Data Requirements Policy for delivery of certain training programs to certain types of student. Where an exemption has been acknowledged, you do not have to obtain a USI before issuing a qualification or statement of attainment. However, you must advise students before they enrol or start their training or assessment that their achievements will not appear on their authenticated VET transcript or be available to them via the USI transcript service.

USIs can be created and verified using the USI Organisation Portal. To avoid any delays in issuing certification documentation, ensure that you apply for or verify the student’s USI when they enrol.

Your RTO must protect the security of all information related to USIs. Put sufficient security measures in place to protect both digital and hard-copy records from loss, damage or unauthorised access. This may include:

  • storing records in locked cabinets
  • restricting access to data stored on networks
  • requiring strong passwords on all network-connected computers
  • other security measures.

Create back-up copies of records and store them securely.

Records of all AQF certification documentation issued by RTOs must be kept for 30 years. Where a qualification or statement of attainment is recorded in the Student Identifier scheme, your RTO will not need to retain additional records to demonstrate this, as the records required will exist within the Student Identifier scheme.

A guide to compliance

For many RTOs, a proprietary student management system provides most or all of the evidence required to demonstrate compliance with clause 3.6. An effective system ensures a verified USI for a student is stored in the system prior to their qualification or statement of attainment being issued. Be prepared to demonstrate that records have been stored correctly in your student management system.

Some students are exempt from requiring a USI
An RTO should ensure prior to or at enrolment if a student is entitled to a USI. There are approved exemptions identified in the Student Identifiers Act 2014 and the National VET Provider Collection Data Requirements Policy identifying students who are exempt from requiring a USI.

You must retain evidence about the security of both digital and hard-copy records. The evidence may vary depending on the approach taken, but must show that records are secure from unauthorised access, loss or damage.

If your RTO’s delivery to a particular student has an exemption from reporting AVETMISS data (and therefore from requiring a verified USI prior to issuance) you must retain evidence of that exemption having been granted to the RTO or being entitled to by the student.

Where exemption applies, you must also retain evidence that you inform students that their assessment results will not appear on their authenticated VET transcript or be available to them through the USI system. For example, this might involve a declaration the student acknowledges during the enrolment process.

Guidance for applicants for initial registration

You must provide evidence of how your RTO will ensure compliance with all requirements of the Student Identifier scheme.

Additional guidance

The National VET Provider Collection Data Requirements Policy and the USI Office’s published exemptions from reporting the USI provide details of the current exemption arrangements. In 2017, these include situations where the collection and reporting of training data by specified types of RTOs:
  • raises national security, border protection and policing issues
  • affects the provision of emergency, fire, rescue or first-aid services to the Australian community
  • relates to a specific list of short standalone units/modules.

If your RTO holds an exemption (for certain types of training to certain types of student) from the USI and reporting requirements, you must inform your clients and students (before training starts) that the training:

  • will not be included in the National VET Provider Collection
  • will not appear on the authenticated VET transcript obtainable from the USI Registry System.

Where an exemption applies, training organisations will be able to issue VET qualifications and statements of attainment to students who do not have a USI. Training organisations with an exemption will not be required to include a USI for those students in any submissions of AVETMISS data to the National VET Provider Collection.