Support for machine account owners

What is a Machine Account Owner?

Machine accounts are a type of ESL account that is used by Student Management Systems (SMSs) to log in to education sector systems such as the National Student Index (NSI) and Early Learning Information (ELI).  It has previously been standard practice to have a user account linked to each machine account. However in the upgraded ESL, this linked user account is now known as the Machine Account Owner. Only the Machine Account Owner can set or reset the password for a machine account – Education Service Desk can no longer do this.

ESL self-service

ESL provides a simple interface for the management of machine accounts. You must log-in using your individual user account in order to manage your machine account(s).

Key changes to machine account behaviour with the upgraded ESL

A summary of the changes to machine accounts is:

    • The upgraded ESL enforces stronger distinction between user accounts and machine accounts
    • You can no longer login to websites with a machine account, including to ESL self-service.
    • A Machine Account Owner must log in with their individual user account to complete the setup of a new machine account or to change the password for their machine account.
    • Machine accounts do not get ‘locked’ in the upgraded ESL. This will make the sequence of updating a password easier for Machine Account Owners.
    • Education Service Desk cannot set or reset the password for a machine account.

Resetting the password for your SMS

To reset the password for an ESL account used in your Student Management System (SMS) you will need to complete the password reset process in ESL before you enter your updated password into your SMS.

For a machine account, you must log in to self-service with your individual user account to change the password for the machine account.

For your user account, if you have forgotten your password you must:

  1. Initiate the password reset process by:
  • going to and click the 'Forgotten password' link, or
  • request your school's Delegated Authoriser to initiate the password reset process for your account, or
  • call the Education Service Desk
  1. Complete the password reset process by going to
  2. Once you have reset the password, you can then access your SMS with your new password.


Does a Machine Account Owner have to be an existing ESL user Yes, a Machine Account Owner must have an ESL user account.
How does a user complete a machine account invitation? You must log in using the Machine Account Owner's ESLaccount (no the machine account) to set the password for themachine account.
How does a user change a machine account password? You must log in using the Machine Account Owner's ESLaccount (not the machine account) to change the password forthe machine account.
Do machine account passwords expire? No
Can machine accounts become locked? No