Unique Student Identifier verification – Phase 1

USI in higher education

From 1 January 2021, new higher education students must have a Unique Student Identifier (USI) to be eligible for a Commonwealth supported place (CSP) and Commonwealth financial assistance (HECS-HELP, FEE-HELP or OS-HELP).

From 1 January 2023, all higher education students, including those who commenced prior to 2021, must have a USI in order to graduate and receive their award. This includes all students who started before 2021, all onshore international students, and now including students requesting SA-HELP assistance.

USI for VET providers

USI reporting will be seemingly unaffected for VET providers – USI verification will be processed through TCSI and will continue to be verified through eCAF as it is currently. The only change for VET providers will be the USI verification notifications on the notifications table as noted in more detail below.

USI verification in production

USI verification through TCSI will commence in production on Wednesday 23 June 2021.

From this date onwards:

  • any new USI reported will pass through a USI verification process.
  • any first name, last name or DOB updates will trigger USI verification.

Provider notification table

From 23 June 2021, a notification will be placed on a provider's notification table if a USI they have reported or updated fails verification – notification category "USI Verification Error".

USI verification attempts will continue for 42 days, then on the 43rd day, the USI verification period will conclude. Providers will need to re-report the USI for the USI verification to recommence.

Further information about USI notifications can be found on the Notifications page. 

Failed USI verification

If a USI you have reported fails verification, please check that the first name, last name and DOB for the student is correct. These details must exactly match those entered against the student's USI account. This includes an exact match with spelling and placement of any special characters.

If providers are still experiencing difficulty in verifying a student's USI, below are some troubleshooting tips from the USI team:


  • Students can log into their USI account and provide their USI details to their provider. This could be done through the USI Registry System via the 'Provide your USI' functionality. When the student enters the provider's email address an auto generated email is sent which contains the student's USI, name and DOB.
  • If the USI account is incorrect the student can log into their USI account and correct the details.

    Please note, students need to have an acceptable identification document with their current name details.


  • Providers can directly access the student's account to view and update personal and contact details within the USI Registry System if the student provides account permission. This is available through the USI Organisation Portal.

Contact the USI Office

If you are experiencing ongoing difficulty with the student's USI failing verification after you have troubleshooted as above, please contact the USI team on 1300 857 536.

USIs already reported TCSI IT will manually run USI verification for all existing USIs in TCSI where the course commencement date and unit of study census date are on or after 1 January 2021.

Providers will see notifications on their notification table relating to any failed USI verifications for these existing USIs.

USI – Phase 2

After USI verification rollout on Wednesday 23 June, TCSI IT will be working on a provider notification for a 'USI verification period concluded'. This will enable providers to action unverified USIs after the 42 day attempts have concluded, similar to the Tax File Number verification concluded notification.

The department will communicate this Phase 2 work to providers when it is developed and ready for production.