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Background to Skills Recognition in Australia

Australian Skills Recognition Information (ASRI)

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Australian Skills Recognition

In Australia there is no single authority which assesses or recognises all overseas qualifications. Many professional, government and other organisations are involved, depending on the type of qualification or occupation and whether the assessment is for the purpose of migration or employment in a particular state or territory of Australia.

Please note: Skill assessments are not an assessment of your suitability for employment or the likely success or failure of you obtaining Australian residency status.

Skills Assessment

For certain skilled migration visas, you must provide evidence that your skills have been assessed as suitable for your nominated occupation by the relevant assessing authority. For more information on skills assessments and assessing authorities.
See: Skills Assessment and Assessing Authorities

Information on the skill level of each occupation is consistent with the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) and may differ from the requirements set by the assessing authorities for obtaining a skills assessment.

It is your responsibility to contact the relevant assessing authority for your nominated occupation and obtain a skills assessment. Each assessing authority has its own assessment procedures, requirements, timeframes and fees. You are strongly advised to contact the relevant assessing authority well before you intend to lodge your application to arrange your skills assessment. For Points Tested skilled migration visas, it is a requirement that you obtain a skills assessment in your nominated occupation dated before your invitation to apply in SkillSelect.

Licensing or Registration

All Australian states and territories governments have their own rules for certain occupations. You may need to obtain state-level licensing and registration to practice your occupation in the state or territory you settle in. Information provided on ASRI is general and it is your responsibility to contact the relevant State or Territory government to confirm requirements.

You should also note, it is not always necessary to have your overseas qualifications recognised in order to obtain employment in Australia. In many occupations you can apply directly for employment and the employer will decide whether to 'recognise' your overseas training and experience or not. However, a number of occupations require registration or licensing under state or federal Government legislation. In other occupations, employers may prefer to employ people who are members of professional associations or unions or who have obtained an academic assessment that indicates the educational level of the overseas qualification.

Mutual recognition

In some cases, under the provisions of the Mutual Recognition Act, 1992, a person who has current authority to practise their occupation in one Australian State or Territory is eligible to be registered and to carry on that equivalent occupation in a second State or Territory. Conditions and exceptions may apply.

Under the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Arrangement (TTMRA) a person registered to practise an occupation in any Australian state or territory is generally entitled to practise an equivalent occupation in New Zealand, and a person registered to practise an occupation in New Zealand is entitled to practise an equivalent occupation in the jurisdiction of any Australian state or territory.

To find out if you can obtain registration under the provisions of the Mutual Recognition Act or the TTMRA you should contact the relevant registration authority in the Australian State or Territory in which you intend to practise.

English language requirements

You must have sufficient English language ability to be able to work in Australia. Generally, you will be required to sit the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test or Occupational English Test (OET) to evidence your English language ability.

A higher level of English may be required for certain occupations, which is set by the relevant assessing authority not the Department. You can find out if your occupation requires a higher level of English by contacting the assessing authority for your nominated occupation.


If you want to report any errors, omissions or broken links regarding ASRI content, please use the department's feedback form.
See: Feedback – About our Service

Last reviewed Friday 20 December 2013

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