Unique Student Identifier

The USI Universal Student Identifier public consultation was held in Brisbane today and I have to say that it was an interesting event,

or should I say non-event.  It is clear that DIISRTE have made a decision that they are going to move forward with this and that it is a good thing and that really this was not so much a consultation process rather it was more of an information update of what was going to happen.  So lets take a bit of a look at what they said and what I think of it;

  1. Overall I am in favour of the concept of a single identifier for all VET students conceptually it makes sense and allows for much easier validation of student result or it will at some point in the future as the data starts to build up.  That’s right, it will only collect and validate date from 1 January 2014, there will be no data held in the system relating to any VET qualifications issued prior to that date only for qualification issued after that date.  Is this a big issue, yes and no, it means that for people like me my qualifications list is never going to be complete on the national system, in fact given that there is not a lot more VET courses that I would see myself undertaking it will be very sparse indeed.  They did however have to start somewhere and trying to link all of the qualification data together would be more than a nightmare and in the long run providing it all works and stays in place there will be a system for validating student qualifications.
  2. There seemed to be a real lack of knowledge on the part of the presenters around the sorts of data, including AVETMISS that was collected and reported by RTO to the government and I don’t think they understood that for a lot of people in the room the statement, ‘It is just another field on your AVETMISS data collection that you need to report when you report your AVETMISS didn’t really seem to capture the impost both in terms of staff and financial considerations that RTO’s may and I say may here, have to endure to get this up and running.
  3. I can see that there is going to be or there could be an extensive time lag around the ability of the system to generate a validated transcript.  AVETMISS data is only required to be uploaded by 31 March for the previous years activities, so therefore unless RTO are required to more regularly update their AVETMISS uploads people who complete their qualifications in March or April of one year will not see their qualifications in the verified system for at least 12 months, which to some extent seems to defeat at least some of the purpose of the system.

I would be interested to hear what everyone else has to say about the USI and its impact on RTO’s both big and small.


About pauldrasmussen
Paul Rasmussen is one of Australia’s most widely read Vocational Education and Training Commentators. He provides deep, unbiased analysis and insights not only on topical issues, but also on the underlying structure and policy which supports the industry. His writing and analysis has been praised for its uncompromising and thought provoking style and its ability to focus on the issues of real importance to the sector. He has advised various government departments and ministers, training providers, public and private organisations, not for profits and small to medium enterprises on the VET sector and the issues and opportunities facing it. He is one of Australia’s most awarded learning professionals and a regular speaker at a range of conventions and forums. His extensive experience in vocational education, and learning and development coupled with formal qualifications in philosophy, ethics, business and education management allow Paul to provide a unique view of the road ahead and how to navigate it.

One Response to Unique Student Identifier

  1. Christine says:

    I recently went to one of these presentations in Perth. My view is that the USI is a good move however feel that unless we as RTO’s report student outcomes at the completion of the competancy the usefulness of the system will be lost. I would like to see the addition of say a send button added to all sms’s which once a certificate is produced the information on that student is sent automaticly to ONE body who then onsends the information to the agencys accross Australia who require the reporting. It seems to me that we are all sending so many reports each year that are duplicated that this would be simpler and much more relevant to our students.

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