What Is A Skill Assessment In Australia

June 28, 2024
Myer Lipschitz

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If you’re immigrating to Australia on a skilled work visa, chances are you’ll need to pass a robust skills assessment. A skills assessment functions as a critical evaluation to verify that an individual’s qualifications and experience align with Australian job requirements, thus facilitating a smoother migration process.

Several authoritative bodies handle skills assessments, including VETASSESS, Trades Recognition Australia (TRA), the Australian Computer Society (ACS), and Engineers Australia. Each authority specialises in different professions, from trades and engineering to IT and data science, providing tailored assessments to fit various occupational categories. This process is essential for securing a certain skilled visas, as it substantiates the applicant’s expertise and readiness to contribute to the Australian workforce.

Applicants need to choose the appropriate assessment body based on their occupation and qualifications. Understanding which authority to apply through and the specific requirements they impose can significantly enhance the chances of a successful visa application.

Skills Assessment Authorities in Australia

Skills Assessment Authorities in Australia
Profession Skills Assessment Authority
Trades (e.g., Electrician, Plumber) Trades Recognition Australia (TRA)
Engineering (e.g., Civil Engineer, Mechanical Engineer) Engineers Australia
Information Technology (e.g., Software Developer, Data Scientist) Australian Computer Society (ACS)
General Professional Occupations (e.g., Marketing Specialist, Human Resources Advisor) VETASSESS
Healthcare (e.g., Nurse, Physiotherapist) AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency)
Accounting (e.g., Accountant, Auditor) CPA Australia, CA ANZ (Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand), IPA (Institute of Public Accountants)
Teaching (e.g., School Teacher, University Lecturer) AITSL (Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership)
Architecture (e.g., Architect, Landscape Architect) AACA (Architects Accreditation Council of Australia)
Legal (e.g., Solicitor, Barrister) State Legal Admissions Boards

Australian Visas Requiring Skills Assessment

Australian Visas Requiring Skills Assessment
Visa Type Description Skills Assessment Required
Subclass 189 (Skilled Independent Visa) Permanent visa for skilled workers who are not sponsored by an employer, state, or family member. Yes
Subclass 190 (Skilled Nominated Visa) Permanent visa for skilled workers who are nominated by an Australian state or territory government. Yes
Subclass 491 (Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa) Provisional visa for skilled workers nominated by a state or territory government to live and work in regional Australia. Yes
Subclass 482 (Temporary Skill Shortage Visa) Temporary visa that allows employers to address labor shortages by bringing in skilled workers. Yes, depending on occupation
Subclass 186 (Employer Nomination Scheme Visa) Permanent visa for skilled workers nominated by their employer. Yes, depending on stream
Subclass 187 (Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme Visa) Permanent visa for skilled workers nominated by their employer in regional Australia. Yes, depending on stream
Subclass 494 (Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Visa) Provisional visa for skilled workers nominated by their employer to work in regional Australia. Yes
Subclass 485 (Temporary Graduate Visa) Temporary visa for international students who have recently graduated from an Australian educational institution. Yes, for the Graduate Work stream
Subclass 887 (Skilled Regional Visa) Permanent visa for people who have lived and worked in specified areas of regional Australia on a previous, eligible visa. Yes, if applying from a provisional visa that required skills assessment

Migrate to Australia

Our immigration lawyers and registered migration agents in Melbourne will be able to find you the best visa for your unique situation. You’ll be in good hands.

Qualifications and Experience Requirements

Applicants must demonstrate that their qualifications and work experience align with Australian standards for their specified occupation. Qualifications should be either equivalent to Australian qualifications or recognised by the relevant assessing authorities. Experience is critical, as many authorities require specific years of relevant work experience to ensure competency.

Evaluating these aspects accurately ensures that the applicant’s skills meet the criteria set out by bodies like Trades Recognition Australia or the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.

List of Occupations

Australia’s skilled migration program defines eligible occupations through a combined list under four occupation lists:

  • Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)
  • Short-Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL)
  • Regional Occupation List (ROL)
  • Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL)

Each list serves specific visa categories and regions, ensuring applicants target occupations in demand. ANZSCO codes provide a detailed description of each occupation, indicating skill level, qualifications, and responsibilities associated with the role.

what is a skill assessment in australia

Skills Assessment Pathways

Skills assessments are conducted by different assessing authorities, each with its own procedures. These authorities review qualifications and experience to verify they match the standards required for the occupation in Australia.

Three common pathways include:

  1. General Skilled Migration (GSM): Evaluates skills for professions listed on the MLTSSL or STSOL.
  2. Offshore Skills Assessment Program (OSAP): For candidates whose trade qualifications are obtained outside Australia.
  3. Certification Assessments: Specific occupations, like mariners, require certifications to be validated by bodies such as the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.

Understanding the correct pathway and adhering to the specific requirements of the assessing authority is crucial for a successful application.

The Assessment Process

Understanding the assessment process is crucial for anyone seeking to have their skills recognised in Australia. This section outlines the key application steps, evidence requirements, and processing times to provide clarity for applicants.

Application Guide

Applying for a skills assessment starts with identifying the appropriate assessing authority for your occupation. Each occupation has a designated authority responsible for evaluating qualifications and experience.

Applicants must complete an online application form and pay the relevant fees. It’s critical to follow the guidelines provided by the assessing authority to ensure all required details are included. Failure to do so can result in delays or denials.

Applicants may also need to undergo English language testing and provide results alongside their qualifications and employment history.

Evidence Submission and Document Requirements

When submitting evidence for a skills assessment, precise documentation is paramount. The documents required generally include:

  • Academic qualifications (degrees, diplomas, certificates)
  • Employment references or contracts
  • Proof of identity (passport, birth certificate)
  • English language proficiency test results

These documents should be certified copies and translated into English if necessary. Most assessing authorities will have specific requirements, so it’s important to adhere to their submission guidelines to avoid processing delays.

Processing Times and Outcome

Processing times for skills assessments can vary significantly depending on the assessing authority and the applicant’s occupation. Generally, processing can take anywhere from several weeks to a several months.

Applicants will receive a notification outlining the outcome of their assessment. If successful, the authority will issue a formal assessment letter, validating that the applicant’s skills meet the Australian standards for the specified occupation.

In cases where additional information is needed, the assessing authority may request further evidence, which could extend the processing time. Complying with requests promptly can help in achieving a favourable and timely outcome.

Costs and Fees

When applying for a skills assessment, applicants should be aware of the associated costs and fees. Fees may vary depending on the assessing authority and the specific occupation. An assessment fee often ranges between AUD 500 to AUD 1,500.

Additional costs may arise if further documentation is required or if reassessment is needed. It’s important to budget for these potential expenses to avoid delays.

skill assessment for visa

Migration Skills Assessment Specifics

The Migration Skills Assessment process is crucial for those seeking to obtain a skilled migration visa in Australia. This section outlines the key requirements and criteria that applicants must meet.

Eligibility for Skilled Migration

Applicants must first identify if their occupation is on the combined list of eligible skilled occupations. Only those in relevant occupations can apply. Each occupation is assessed by a dedicated skills assessing authority, which ensures that an applicant’s skills meet Australian standards.

Additionally, most applicants need to demonstrate relevant work experience and possess qualifications that align with the predetermined assessment standards. Engineers Australia, for example, may require specific documentation and a detailed work history.

Sector-Specific Assessments

Skills assessment in Australia varies depending on the sector involved. Each sector employs different standards and processes to evaluate the skills and qualifications of applicants, ensuring they meet the necessary criteria.

Trade Skills Evaluation

Trade skills evaluation is paramount for occupations such as electricians, plumbers, and carpenters. Assessors conduct detailed evaluations to verify that tradespeople possess the technical skills and practical experience required.

Candidates undergo assessments in both simulated and real workplace settings. These tests focus on practical tasks and adherence to Australian safety standards. Review of previous work experience and any relevant qualifications forms part of the overall assessment.

Professional Employment Verification

For professional roles, verifying previous employment is a critical part of the assessment process. This ensures that individuals have the appropriate work experience and credentials for their nominated occupation.

Professional employment verifications involve the collection of references from past employers and the examination of job duties and responsibilities. Assessors check these references against Australian regulatory and industry standards to confirm validity.

Educational Qualification Recognition

Australian authorities place significant emphasis on recognising educational qualifications. They compare overseas qualifications with Australian standards to ensure equivalency.

Assessment authorities use established frameworks to evaluate the level and relevance of qualifications. They may require additional certifications or bridging courses if discrepancies arise. This ensures that applicants meet the educational requirements of their nominated occupation.

skill assessment australia

After Submission: What’s Next?

After submitting a skills assessment application in Australia, applicants will primarily face review processes, including potential appeals and the next steps involving the Expression of Interest (EOI) and visa applications. It is crucial to remain informed about whom to contact and where to seek support during this period.

Review and Appeals Process

Once the application is submitted, it undergoes a review by the assessing authority. The authority ensures that all documents and details meet the required standards for the designated occupation.

If an applicant disagrees with the outcome, they may have the option to lodge an appeal. It is important to check the specific guidelines of the assessment body for details on the appeals process.

Applicants should keep their email address updated to receive notifications regarding the outcome and any necessary follow-up actions. It is advisable to consult with a migration agent if there’s any confusion or need for assistance.

How our Migration Agents Can Help

Many applicants choose to use our migration agents to navigate the complex assessment process. Our agents provide expertise to ensure that all eligibility requirements are met, helping you avoid common pitfalls.

We offer additional services such as document preparation, submission assistance, and follow-up services. While using our agents involves an extra fee, their specialized knowledge can be invaluable.

Migrate to Australia

Our immigration lawyers and registered migration agents in Melbourne will be able to find you the best visa for your unique situation. You’ll be in good hands.

myer lipschitz


Myer Lipschitz

Myer Lipschitz was born in Johannesburg and is a graduate of the University of the Witwatersrand. In 1985 he was conferred the degree Bachelor of Laws. Myer completed his Articles of Clerkship with Ivor Trackman, Attorneys and was admitted as an Attorney to the Supreme Court of South Africa in 1988. Myer immigrated to New Zealand in 1989 and was admitted to practice law in New Zealand as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand...

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