Common skills assessment Bodies
The requirements of the skill assessment bodies are subject to change at any time. The current requirements for some of the frequently used assessing authorities are summarised below.
- General occupations – VETASSESS
- Trades – Trades Recognition Australia (TRA)
- ICT Professional – Australian Computer Society (ACS)
- Engineers and Technologists – Engineers Australia
- Accountants and Finance
- Translators and interpreters
- Doctors, nurses and allied health
Before lodging an application for skills assessment it is recommended that you contact us first.
General occupations – VETASSESS:
VETASSESS (see www.vetassess.com.au) assesses most professional and general occupations. For a full skills assessment, VETASSESS considers the following factors:
- the level of the applicant’s qualifications (i.e. bachelor, diploma);
- subject matter of the qualifications; and
- the applicant’s work experience.
VETASSESS draws on the Country Education Profiles published by the Australian Education International – National Office of Overseas Skills Recognition (AEI-NOOSR) to determine the equivalent level of overseas qualifications.
The Country Education Profiles were previously available in book format, but now AEI-NOOSR offers a fee based subscription service through the internet for up to date Country Education Profiles. Either an individual profile or a set of countries can be subscribed to.
Download the Australian Country Education Profile Guide
In order to obtain a full skills assessment from VETASSESS for use with a GSM visa application, an applicant must:
- show that their qualification is ”highly relevant” to the nominated occupation. The term “highly relevant” is not a term used as part of or defined in immigration laws, regulations or policy. It is a VETASSESS specific term and criterion. According to its website, VETASSESS considers a qualification as being ‘highly relevant’ to an occupation if it has a major area of study in the same field as the nominated occupation or in a field which is considered suitable preparation for employment in that occupation; and
- have a minimum of 12 months of recent work experience in the occupation. Up to three years of work experience might be required for certain occupations if the underlying qualification is not ‘highly relevant’ to the occupation.
Applicants for Skilled, Temporary Graduate, Graduate Work stream, subclass 485 visas who do not have appropriate work experience may apply for provisional skills assessment for use with their 485 application. A Skilled – Temporary Graduate, Graduate Work stream, subclass 485 visa applicant needs to demonstrate to VETASSESS that their qualification is ‘highly relevant’ to their occupation in order to obtain a positive skills assessment. Such applicants who then wish to lodge a subclass 489 or permanent 189 or 190 GSM visa application would need to obtain a full skills assessment from Vetassess once they have gained sufficient work experience in their occupation.
Trades – Trades Recognition Australia (TRA):
There are a number of ways to apply for skills assessment in a trade for GSM purposes:
TRA Job Ready Program
This pathway is available for international students completing at least two years of trade studies in Australia.
There are two main stages:
1) Provisional assessment: this requires the student to have completed the two-year study requirement and a Certificate III or higher in the trade occupation, show Competent English plus have at least 360 hours of work experience in the occupation. This assessment is used to apply for a Skilled – Temporary Graduate, Graduate Work stream, subclass 485 visa.
2) Job Ready Program: students need to work full-time for an Australian employer in their trade for at least 12 months, undertake workplace training approved by TRA, and pass a workplace assessment to obtain a positive assessment. This assessment can then be used to apply for a permanent or provisional GSM visa.
Offshore Skills Assessment Program (Trade Test)
Applicants with certain trades (see http://www.tradesrecognitionaustralia.gov.au/Programs/Offshore/Pages/default.aspx) and with passports from certain countries (currently China (including Hong Kong and Macau), Fiji, India, Iran, Ireland, South Korea, Philippines, South Africa, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom) must undertake a trade test through an authorised TRA approved Registered Training Organisation (RTO). TRA approved RTOs include VETASSESS, Victoria University and Future Skills International.
TRA Migration Skills Assessment
This pathway is for applicants seeking a skills assessment for migration purposes and who are not required to seek skills assessment through the TRA Job Ready Program or the Offshore Skills Assessment Program.
In summary, an applicant needs to demonstrate that:
- their qualification is at a comparable quality standard to an Australian qualification;
- their qualification is relevant to their nominated occupation;
- they undertook a period of apprenticeship (whether formal or informal);
- they undertook paid full-time employment in their nominated occupation for at least three years (including 12 months in the last two years).
ICT Professional – Australian Computer Society (ACS):
For Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Professionals, including ICT Managers (see www.acs.org.au) – the Australian Computer Society has a number of skills assessment pathways.
Recent Australian graduates who have satisfied the Australian study requirement require a Bachelor degree or higher with an ICT major in a field of study closely related to the nominated occupation. Recent Australian graduates do not need to show relevant work experience in the nominated occupation for skills assessment purposes.
If an applicant does not have an ICT-related qualification, they may apply for a Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). For skills assessment purposes they need to have at least six years of full-time professional ICT work experience (relevant to the nominated occupation) if they hold a non-ICT qualification, and at least eight years if they do not hold any tertiary qualifications. In addition to evidence of work experience, such applicants are required to submit two project reports providing a detailed description of a career episode in their employment history with sufficient detail as evidence of applying the claimed knowledge to a working situation.
For an applicant that does not come within the above categories:
- if they hold a Bachelor degree or above with an ICT major, closely related to the nominated occupation, they need to show at least two years’ relevant experience in the past 10 years or four years in any time period, whichever is earlier, for skills assessment purposes;
- if they hold a Bachelor degree or above with an ICT major, not closely related to the nominated occupation, they need to show at least four years’ relevant experience, for skills assessment purposes;
- if they hold a Bachelor degree or above with an ICT minor, closely related to the nominated occupation, they need to show at least five years’ relevant experience, for skills assessment purposes;
- if they hold a Bachelor degree or above with an ICT minor, not closely related to the nominated occupation, they need to show at least six years’ relevant experience, for skills assessment purposes;
- if they hold qualifications below a Bachelor degree with an ICT major, closely related to the nominated occupation, they need to show at least five years’ relevant experience in the past 10 years, for skills assessment purposes;
- if they hold qualifications below a Bachelor degree with an ICT major, not closely related to the nominated occupation, they need to show at least six years’ relevant experience in the past 10 years, for skills assessment purposes.
The ACS accepts ICT work experience where the person has worked 20 hours or more per week.
Engineers and Technologists – Engineers Australia:
The following occupational groups are assessed by Engineers Australia (see www.engineersaustralia.org.au):
- Professional Engineers: degree level qualification in Engineering;
- Engineering Technologists: diploma or degree level qualification in Engineering Technology;
- Engineering Associates: diploma level qualification in Engineering;
- Engineering Managers: professional engineers, with experience in management.
There are four main skills assessment pathways through Engineers Australia:
- Australian qualifications: where the applicant holds a degree accredited by Engineers Australia;
- Washington Accord (Professional Engineers): where the applicant has been awarded an overseas professional engineering bachelor degree which is accredited by an overseas engineering body which is a signatory to the Washington Accord (ie Canada, Ireland, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, UK, USA);
- Sydney Accord (Engineering Technologists): for an applicant who holds an overseas bachelor or diploma level qualification which is accredited by an engineering body which is a signatory to the Sydney Accord (ie Canada, Ireland, Hong Kong, New Zealand, South Africa, UK, USA);
- Competency demonstration report: which requires an engineering qualification at the required level, plus three career narratives demonstrating how the applicant uses engineering knowledge to solve problems in the workplace.
Postgraduate (ie graduate diploma or masters) qualifications are not sufficient in lieu of the relevant bachelor level qualification in engineering.
Engineers Australia requires at least six or more for each component of IELTS but waives testing where the applicant is a native English speaker or has completed a bachelor degree, masters or PhD in Australia or at a recognised English speaking educational institution.
Download the Engineers Australia Migration Skills Assessment handbook guide here:
Accountants and related:
There are three skills assessing authorities for a number of accounting related occupations on the Skilled Occupation List. A positive assessment from any of the following suffices in applying for skilled migration:
- Chartered Accountants Australia (ICAA: see www.charteredaccountants.com.au);
- Institute of Public Accountants (IPA : see www.publicaccountants.org.au) – formerly National Institute of Accountants;
- CPA Australia (CPA: see www.cpaaustralia.com.au).
All accounting assessing authorities now require a minimum of 7 in each of the four bands of Academic IELTS, or completion of the Professional Year in accounting.
There are two pathways for skills assessment in these occupations:
- holding a qualification comparable to an Australian bachelor degree, covering at least nine of the 12 core accounting subjects;
- membership of a recognised overseas accounting body. This type of assessment is available through ICAA. Examples of overseas accounting bodies recognised are the Chartered Accountants Institutions in the UK, Ireland, Canada, South Africa and New Zealand, as well as The Hong Kong Institute of Public Accountants (only members who have completed the HKICPA Qualifications Programme and trained under an authorised employer/supervisor), and US CPAs.
Each occupation assessed by the accounting bodies has different essential core subjects which must be covered for a positive assessment. For example, Business Finance is optional for general accountants, but essential for finance managers.
If an applicant is applying for a Skilled – Temporary Graduate, Graduate Work stream, subclass 485 visa, then they can obtain a provisional skills assessment, provided they have completed the relevant 9 out of the 12 core accounting subjects and have evidence of an Academic or General IELTS test score with a minimum of 6 on each component of the test.
Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (see www.aitsl.edu.au) assesses a number of teaching occupations. The main requirements for a positive assessment are:
- completion of a minimum of four years, full time higher education level study of which, one of those years involved completion of an initial teacher education qualification. This could include, for example, a three-year Bachelor of Arts degree and a one year Post Graduate Diploma in Education. An initial teacher education qualification (which must be of at least one year full time duration) is the qualification required to teach in an early childhood (pre-primary school), primary or secondary school classroom;
- compulsory supervised teaching practice during the qualification. The teaching practice must be under the supervision of a qualified teacher and university education staff and must be formally assessed. A minimum of 45 days of supervised teaching practice with the age range of the students relevant to the nominated occupation is required; and
- seven or more for each of the four bands of the Academic IELTS which must be no more than 12 months old. A waiver is available for certain native English speakers and some holders of qualifications taught in English.
View AITSL Assessment for Migration updates and ANZSCO occupation list for Teachers here:
Translators and interpreters:
The applicant must be accredited at professional level (formally level 3) or higher by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI: see www.naati.com.au) as a translator or interpreter for the purposes of skills assessment in these occupations. This requirement is higher than the requirement for allocation of points for designated language under Schedule 6D to the Regulations which requires that the applicant be accredited at paraprofessional level (formally level 2) by NAATI.
There are two main pathways for skills assessment as a translator or interpreter:
- Recognised qualifications: which require a specialised bachelor degree in translating or interpreting. A degree in literature or linguistics is not sufficient for this purpose.
- Examination: to be eligible for testing, the applicant must hold a diploma or higher qualification in any discipline. NAATI publishes a testing schedule, but it is also possible to request an ‘on demand’ test. Applicants can choose the direction of the test, either from English to their preferred language or vice versa. Examinations are not available for all languages.
Doctors, nurses and allied health:
These professionals have very demanding and time consuming skills assessment requirements. Skills assessment can be a complex process and can include a number of requirements, including:
- obtaining registration in the occupation in Australia;
- passing an English test (either IELTS, often 7 minimum in Academic IELTS, or the Occupational English Test (OET));
- paper-based assessment of qualifications and work experience;
- written testing;
- practical or oral examinations; and
- supervised practice in Australia.
In addition, most health professionals are now regulated by a national board, the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. This has resulted in detailed changes to the registration requirements for such professionals, most significantly in English language ability.
Visa Common Application Forms the process of Registration here: