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CHESSN toolkit


The CHESSN toolkit provides what you need to know about allocating and managing the Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support Number (CHESSN). Using the resources available here will help you meet your obligations under the Higher Education Support Act 2003 (HESA).

The CHESSN is a unique identifier that identifies a student who is Commonwealth supported, in receipt of HELP assistance or Research Training Program support. The CHESSN remains linked to the student for their academic life. The Australian Government uses the CHESSN to manage and monitor the student's HELP entitlements.

Details about what information you need to allocate CHESSN and the file format is provided in the Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support (CHESSN) file scope and structure guidelines. The VET CHESSN scope and structure guidelines are also available.

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Before you start – system and access information

You will need access to HEIMS applications. All users need to have their own logon ID and password. It is not permitted to share your ID and password with colleagues.

To request access you will need to complete and submit the Access to HEIMS applications form which is available on the Systems and access page.

The HEIMS Administration system supports Microsoft Internet Explorer Version 9.0 or above for Windows. You may encounter problems if you are using a different browser or an older version of Internet Explorer. More information is available in the HEIMS system requirements.

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How do you allocate and manage CHESSNs?


Students must be allocated a CHESSN before receiving any Commonwealth assistance. Approved VET, higher education providers and Tertiary Admission Centres (TACs) use the HEIMS Administration and HEIMS Web Services Interface to allocate CHESSNs.

When allocating a CHESSN, the HEIMS system will perform data matching on the student's key details and assign a new CHESSN or return the existing CHESSN if the student exists in HEIMS.


The department has prepared factsheets for providers outlining key information about CHESSN allocation.

HEIMS Administration

You may use HEIMS Administration to allocate CHESSNS for one student at a time. Step by step information about how to allocate a CHESSN via is provided in the Guide to Allocating CHESSN.

HEIMS Administration URLs

HEIMS Web Services Interface and test environments

A larger number of CHESSNs can be allocated at the same time using the HEIMS Web Services Interface. Using web services may incur IT support costs for your organisation to build an interface.

The requirements for the allocation of CHESSNs via HEIMS Web Services Interface including the URL for the interface are detailed in the CHESSN Technical Specifications.

CHESSN production environment URLs


Test environments allow you to test that your interface communicates with HEIMS web services.

From 1 August 2018 CHESSN test environment URLs

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Duplicate CHESSNs

Sometimes CHESSNs are duplicated. There are two types of CHESSN duplicates:

  • Type 1 – a student has been issued with more than one CHESSN or
  • Type 2 – two or more students are issued with the same CHESSN.

Whenever the system identifies a duplicate CHESSN, you can notify the department by accessing the "duplicate management" functionality in HEIMS Administration.

Detailed information about how to manage duplicate CHESSNs can be found in the Guide to submitting CHESSN duplicates.

 The Reporting - Getting Started webinar provides a range of information on reporting responsibilities, including how to allocate a CHESSN.

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Student HELP entitlement calculations

HELP entitlement calculations are undertaken after each reporting period for the Higher Education and VET student submissions. You can access student entitlement information through HEIMS Administration.

The Guide To Viewing Student Entitlement Information provides the information you need to know about viewing student entitlements in HEIMS Administration.

Information about student entitlements including limits is in the relevant sections of the Higher Education Administrative Information for Providers (AIP): Student Support and the VET Administrative Information for Providers.

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New to reporting?

If you are a new provider check out our New Starter toolkit for all the information you need to get started.

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Training is offered throughout the year and you may register on our Training page and via our eNews. Our training page also hosts training videos and recorded webinars on many key topics, which may be viewed at any time. We also offer webinar or face to face training tailored for your team or your organisation.

We recommend that you review our training page and mark the dates of webinars that are relevant to you on your planning calendar.

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Contact us

If you need advice about how to get started please contact us. We can help you plan your reporting calendar and training sessions, answer questions on reporting data or using HEPCAT, HEIMS Online and HEIMS Administration.

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