Recognition of qualifications and skills
If you have qualifications, skills or relevant work experience in a particular occupation, you may wish to get these formally recognised to help you gain employment in Australia. Having your knowledge and skills recognised may also support your future work prospects and career development.
If you plan to undertake study or training in Australia, you may wish to have your qualification or overseas work experience assessed and recognised, to help you meet course admission requirements, or even reduce the time needed for study.
For qualifications recognition information, go to http://internationaleducation.gov.au/services-and-resources/pages/qualifications-recognition.aspx
There are several ways to have your skills and qualifications assessed and recognised:
Recognition of prior learning
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a process for assessing and recognising the knowledge and skills that a person has gained through education, training, work and life experience. It can provide you with a full or part Australian qualification.
RPL assessments are conducted by Australian Registered Training Organisations (RTOs). RTOs include higher education providers (universities) and vocational education training institutions, which can be government-owned or private providers.
You may be eligible for RPL if you have:
an overseas qualification.
a relevant education statement.
evidence of your work skills and knowledge gained from paid or unpaid work experience, life experience or community work.
Australian qualified assessors who work for, or on behalf of, an RTO can conduct RPL assessments. The assessor may observe you doing specific tasks and have a conversation with you about your skills. They will also compare your evidence, experience and skills (including formal education and work experience) against the relevant Australian qualification. Australia has a national qualifications framework so the qualification or decision will be recognised by all RTOs.
The assessor will tell you what evidence you will need to provide – for example, copies of your qualification or training certificates, employer references, work description statements and work samples.
Once you have identified a suitable training organisation, you should contact the organisation to discuss your RPL options and any fees that may be involved in the assessment and recognition of your skills and experience. A fee will usually be charged for RPL assessments.
You can find contact details and locations of RTOs on the following websites:
MySkills - www.myskills.gov.au - to discover vocational education and training (VET) courses that can be accessed in your area.
MyFuture – www.myfuture.edu.au - for contact details of all Australian RTOs, including universities, as well as further information about RPL application processes.
Skills Assessment Authorities
Skills assessment authorities conduct assessments and tests to determine if a migrant has the skills and experience to work to Australian standards in a particular occupation or profession. While these services are generally provided for migration purposes, many authorities also offer assessments and testing for other purposes, which can help you:
gain an Australian Qualification Framework qualification.
access licensing and registration in specific occupations.
gain accreditation with a professional association.
There are currently 37 authorities in Australia with responsibility for assessing overseas gained qualifications, skills and experience in particular occupations. To find if your occupation or profession is covered by an authority, see the list of authorities at www.border.gov.au/Trav/Work/Work/Skills-assessment-and-assessing-authorities
Trades Recognition Australia – skills recognition
Trades Recognition Australia (TRA) is a business unit located in the Australian Government Department of Education and Training. It is the skills assessing authority for approximately 130 technical and tradesperson occupations specified by the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP). TRA operates a number of different skills assessment services, which vary depending on the circumstances of the applicant and their desired migration outcome.
The TRA Trades Recognition Service and the TRA Optional Skills Assessment Service undertake skills recognition for employment and licensing purposes. Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) approved by TRA deliver these services throughout Australia. After an assessment, your skills may be formally recognised with a qualification, an Offshore Technical Skills Record or statement of attainment which may require you to undertake extra training to meet Australian work standards or obtain a license.
To find out if a TRA skills assessment is right for you, go to TRA Pathfinder at www.tradesrecognitionaustralia.gov.au/PathFinder/Pages/default.aspx
You may also like to explore TradeSET, a free service to help you decide whether to undertake a formal skills assessment at www.tradeset.com.au
Tertiary qualifications recognition
Overseas Qualification Units – based in Australian states and territories – provide recognition of overseas qualifications for general purposes (i.e. not for essential study, migration, or employment requirements). OQUs provide a free service that compares your qualification with an Australian equivalent, using the Australian Qualification Framework.
The Department of Education and Training (DET) provides general information and advice on the comparison of overseas qualifications. Check with the OQU in your state or territory before contacting the DET. The OQU will refer you to DET if required.
Professionals with overseas training who need to undertake bridging study to have their qualifications recognised may be eligible for assistance with tuition fees. Contact FEE-HELP on 1800 020 108 or go to http://studyassist.gov.au/sites/StudyAssist/HELPpayingMyFees/FEE-HELP