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USI PromotionalEach time your students complete nationally recognised training, you must collect and verify their Unique Student Identifier (USI) before you can confer a qualification or statement of attainment.

When you submit your data according to the new VET data collection and reporting requirements, it will now include the USI for each of your students. This USI will be reported to the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) and entered in the national data collection.

The new Unique Student Identifier (USI) scheme is underpinned by the Student Identifiers Act 2014, Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTO) 2015 and Student Identifiers Regulation 2014 and these require that you, the training organisation:

  • Collect a USI from each student
  • Verify a USI supplied by a student
  • Ensure a student has a valid USI before conferring a qualification or statement of attainment on that student
  • Ensure the security of USIs and related documentation
  • Destroy any personal information which you collected solely for the purpose of applying for a USI on behalf of a student
  • Adhere to all legislative requirements under the USI legislative requirements

You will be required to have a valid and verified USI for each of your students before you issue a qualification or statement of attainment to that student. When a student logs into their USI account it will link to the national data collection using the USI. The students USI account will then be able to see their records and results completed. Your student's results from 2015 will be available in their USI accounts in 2016.

Click here to open the USI Registry System - User Guide for Training Organisations.

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asqa logoWhat this Standard means for your RTO - The Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) is the national policy for qualifications in the Australian education and training system. The National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011 requires that RTOs comply with the AQF as a condition of their registration. The AQF recognises RTOs as ‘authorised issuing organisations’, able to issue AQF qualifications and statements of attainment to learners who have satisfied the relevant competency requirements. All authorised issuing organisations are required to comply with the requirements of the AQF, including the volume of learning. The AQF has full effect from 1 January 2015.

Clauses 1.1 – 1.4 - Implement a comprehensive training and assessment strategy

Clause 1.1

The RTO’s training and assessment strategies and practices, including the amount of training they provide, are consistent with the requirements of training packages and VET accredited courses and enable each learner to meet the requirements for each unit of competency or module in which they are enrolled.

Clause 1.2

For the purposes of Clause 1.1, the RTO determines the amount of training they provide to each learner with regard to:

  • the existing skills, knowledge and the experience of the learner
  • the mode of delivery; and
  • where a full qualification is not being delivered, the number of units and/or modules being delivered as a proportion of the full qualification.

Clause 1.3

The RTO has, for all of its scope of registration, and consistent with its training and assessment strategies, sufficient:

  • trainers and assessors to deliver the training and assessment;
  • educational and support services to meet the needs of the learner cohort/s undertaking the training and assessment;
  • learning resources to enable learners to meet the requirements for each unit of competency, and which are accessible to the learner regardless of location or mode of delivery; and
  • facilities, whether physical or virtual, and equipment to accommodate and support the number of learners undertaking the training and assessment.

Clause 1.4

The RTO meets all requirements specified in the relevant training package or VET accredited course.


 Volume of Learning Webinar - Determine the amount of training required for a particular training program and learn how to use the AQF volume of learning indicators as a benchmark. Click Here

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asqa crisisThe Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) are a set of principles designed to shape the unique characteristics of an RTO. Their application is paramount to safeguard the integrity of nationally recognised training.

These Standards are not steps, formulas or guidelines but are the essential characteristics of the VET system, as they ensure quality and industry responsive training outcomes.

The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) reported that 80 per cent of audited RTOs were initially assessed as not compliant, but 77 per cent of them achieved compliance status within 20 days after the initial assessment. ASQA concluded that based on its own experience, after three years regulating the VET sector, only 20 per cent of RTOs have adopted the Standards as a benchmark, while 60 per cent of RTOs find it difficult to meet the Standards, and 20 per cent were unwilling or unable to comply with them.

These statistics suggest that for an important number of RTOs (at least 60 per cent) training is needed. This major group of RTOs wants to accept the Standards, but seems to have difficulty understanding how to adopt them.

How the Standards affect the operations of an RTO will depend on how the principles are understood, including their characteristics, intention and purpose (the effect). When a training organisation applies for registration as an RTO, it is basically accepting the powers of the regulator to administer the consistent application of the Standards.

What type of training is required?
Interpreting principles and adapting them to different operational environments are "strategic skills" and must be treated as such. ASQA's initial attempt to educate RTOs through 27 "interactive information sessions" is clearly the wrong approach to training strategic skills.

Firstly, the intention of those sessions was not clear. There was an agenda but no learning objectives. What were the application and impact objectives for this "training program"? Seems like ASQA's instructional design for this program did not meet the Standards itself.

To illustrate this point, I refer to slide 6 of the Standards presentation, which states that "RTO objectives/business planning, and continuous improvement of client services..." "... are no longer required". Really? Is that the intent of the Standards?

Are we going to achieve quality training and assessment practices, integrity for employment and further study, and ethical operations without objectives and planning, or continuous improvement of client services? Just this example shows that the analysis of the training session "content" was superficial.

As there was neither application, nor impact objectives, we will never be able to calculate the ROI on those sessions, or evaluate the program. Evaluating these events will have to be based on irrelevant input data about number of attendees, and perhaps cost – A cost that seems difficult to justify.

At this stage I wonder if ASQA has developed the structure and allocated the resources required to design, deliver, and evaluate its own training.

The training session I attended on 10 November at Doltone House, Sydney, was more like training for the sake of it, something Minister Ian Macfarlane wants to eliminate.

We need to review the strategy for ASQA's educational functions now, before the trust of the regulator's ability to deliver industry relevant training is compromised.

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