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Getting NetIDs for Affiliate Populations

This document outlines when Manifest should be used to invite an affiliate and when other means, such as requesting POI status from HR should be used.

Guest NetID Service

As of March 2021, the Guest NetID service has been decommissioned. For any temporary visitors requiring VPN access or other services, please use the manifest NetID invitation instructions and request services:  Manifest - Using a Manifest Group to Invite People to Create Identities (NetIDs)

For more information, please see Guest NetID Service - Decommissioned

Table of Contents

When should you create a NetID for Affiliate Populations?

First, consider if the person belongs to a population that is already eligible and could be added via an existing business process. The following broad categories are eligible for a NetID:

  • Current faculty, staff, and students. If the person is supposed to be an employee or student, contact the appropriate HR Office or Registrar's Office for help.
  • Persons eligible as HRS Person of Interest (POI) snd have an "employee-like" relationship with UW such as (but not limited to) external contractors, volunteers, and emeritus faculty and staff. Contact your departmental HR office, or the UW Service Center for more information.
  • Persons in Special Authorizations (Spec Auth), departmental affiliates that act like employees, Student Employees or Interns who are not UW-Madison employees, large "traditional" affiliate populations that require Wiscard like WARF, UW Foundation, USDA, ROTC, among others. Contact netid@ohr.wisc.edu for more information.
  • For more information on NetID eligibility, please see NetID - Eligibility Policy.

What services is this NetID eligible for?

  • All identities that are NetID eligible — especially (but not limited to) POIs, Special Authorizations, or invitation to Special Populations — are not inherently eligible for any services, especially services like Office365. Administrators are able to request services for groups within Manifest using steps in Manifest - Services.
  • For people who are going to become employees, an HR office can enter them into HRS as far in advance as they'd like to activate their NetID services, such as Office 365 and MyUW access. They can then activate the future employee's NetID early by following the steps in My UW Early NetID Activation for New Employees/POIs (UW-Madison only).

Consider using Wisconsin Federation (UW System) Login 

University of Wisconsin is part of international Federations that may provide the ability for people to use identities from their home institution to access your resources. We can connect with identities from any UW System Institution (Wisconsin Federation), UW Health, US Higher Education and Research (InCommon Federation), and worldwide (eduGAIN).

Federation is usually a better option (if possible) because:

  • There is one less account for a person to manage, i.e. one less username and password for the person to forget, lose, or have compromised.
  • NetIDs cost the University of Wisconsin money to support because we have to support the infrastructure used to maintain them, Cybersecurity needs to monitor them, and people need to contact the Help Desk or otherwise recover the account when it is lost.
  • Helps prevent accidental duplication of accounts

Contact NetID Login support with a description of your situation for more information on Federation if you think this could be a good option for your application and users.

How to Create a NetID Using Manifest Invites

If the person falls outside of other existing populations, they can be invited in via a Manifest group. For more information on Manifest, see Manifest - Getting Started.  For instructions on how to invite users to create a NetID using Manifest, please see Manifest - Using a Manifest Group to Invite People to Create Identities (NetIDs). Please keep the following information in mind:

Identities created for people in Special Populations (Spec Pop) through an invite to a Manifest group are NetID eligible and can be added to groups and authorized for electronic services just as any other NetID can.

A NetID is a NetID is a NetID. There is no difference between a NetID issued through this process or any other process.

Never assume you know that someone doesn't have a NetID already: there are hundreds of thousands of people who have active affiliation with University of Wisconsin-Madison, and many more who are former students or employees. It is impossible to guess who does or does not have a NetID. Always encourage people to click "I have a NetID" and contact the Help Desk if they think they might have a NetID.

Conversely, if someone activates a NetID, they must identify that they have a NetID in the future, for example during activation or on an invite to a Manifest group. Failure to do so will create problems that have to be resolved manually and may result in lost data.


If you are inviting UW Health or UW Medical Foundation staff, beware that UW Health and UW Medical Foundation are already eligible for NetIDs and may already be active. The information in the warnings above is especially important.

  As of February 2020 for technical reasons, Identities created through Special Populations alone cannot currently be issued a Wiscard.

See Also:




Keywords:enterprise groups grouping gams manifest create group special authorization spec auth people affiliate pop population spec populations specpop identity netid guest netid   Doc ID:28825
Owner:MST Support .Group:Identity and Access Management
Created:2013-02-27 10:50 CSTUpdated:2021-11-26 14:58 CST
Sites:DoIT Help Desk, Identity and Access Management
CleanURL:https://kb.wisc.edu/helpdesk/affiliate-netids
Feedback:  3   4