Mutual recognition of occupational licences
Council of Australian Governments (COAG) decision
meeting of 10 February 2006 the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed
to new measures to enable people with trade qualifications to move more freely
without undergoing additional testing and registration processes. COAG requested the implementation of full and
effective mutual recognition of occupational licences for six priority
occupations (electricians, plumbers, carpenters and joiners, bricklayers,
refrigeration and air-conditioning mechanics, and motor mechanics) by 30 June
2007, and for all other vocationally trained occupations by 31 December 2008.
full and effective mutual recognition
existing mutual recognition arrangements, a person registered in one state or
territory is entitled to registration in another jurisdiction where the
registered occupation is substantially the same. More information on how mutual
recognition works can be found on the COAG website at http://www.coag.gov.au/mutual_recognition.
result of the COAG decision, all jurisdictions agreed to improved arrangements
that would enhance labour mobility across the country. The Mutual
Recognition Act 1992 (section 32) enables ministers from two or more states
or territories to jointly declare that specified occupations are equivalent,
and also to declare any conditions necessary to achieve equivalence.
Jurisdictions have worked together to agree on equivalent occupational licences
so that joint declarations by ministers could be made.
the new arrangements
declarations made in February 2007, August 2007, and June 2008 reflect the joint agreement
of states and territories on what licences will be recognised in each
jurisdiction for a number of occupations:
- -auto-gas installers
- -carpenters and joiners, bricklayers, and builders
- -electrical contractors
- -electrical fitters, lineworkers, and cable jointers
- -motor vehicle repairers
- -plumbers and gas-fitters
- -refrigeration and air-conditioning mechanics
- -restricted electrical licence holders
December 2008, the new arrangements will be extended to cover other
vocationally-trained occupations. It should be noted that not all occupations
are regulated in all jurisdictions.
mutual recognition of licences not included in the first and in future
declarations, including licences held by New Zealand applicants, will
continue to be a matter for decision by the relevant registration authority.
There is no change to current practice in relation to such licences.
of the new arrangements
arrangements provide certainty for workers considering moving between
jurisdictions. Information on equivalent licences is publicly available on this
website, which is cross-linked with the websites of state and territory
registering authorities. People considering working in another jurisdiction
will be able to find out the licence for which they are eligible, before they
make a decision to move. Previously, applicants could not easily access this
information until after they had applied for registration in another state, and
the registering authority had assessed their application.
authorities also benefit from the new arrangements. Previously, applications
for mutual recognition were determined on a case-by-case basis. Under the
improved arrangements equivalent licences are set out clearly. The tables of
equivalent licences on which this website is based have been developed in close
consultation with all relevant registration authorities. The website and the
equivalency tables will be an easily accessible and definitive guide for
regulators when assessing mutual recognition applications.
employers with mobile workforces will also benefit from the transparency
provided by the new arrangements and the greater ease with which registration
authorities will be able to assess mutual recognition applications.
made by registration authorities
In some instances,
registration authorities will still need to make decisions on the equivalence
of occupational licences in the same way they that they had before a
ministerial declaration was in place. Where, for various reasons, an equivalent
licence has not been identified in the ministerial declaration, the statement
‘No equivalent declared’ is indicated. In these cases, a decision on licence
recognition will be made by the relevant registration authority in accordance
with the other provisions of the Mutual
Recognition Act 1992.
registration authority makes a decision to refuse an application for mutual
recognition of a licence, the applicant may seek a review of that decision by
applying to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. Contact details for the
Tribunal and information about the review process are available on its website
at http://www.aat.gov.au/ .
and review process
established protocols to ensure that declarations remain current and to ensure
that any future amendment or development of occupational regulation seeks to
maximise national consistency. Ministerial declarations will be kept up to date
through an annual update process to be managed cooperatively by the states,
territories and the Commonwealth. The new arrangements will be evaluated as
part of the regular review process for the mutual recognition scheme.
Recognition of overseas qualifications
Recognition Australia (TRA) is a skills assessment service which specialises in
assessments in the trade occupations for the purpose of migration.
Offshore Skills Assessment Program is for skilled applicants seeking
permanent migration who are from nominated countries applying in nominated
nominated countries are:
United Arab Emirates
The nominated occupations include:
Overseas workers seeking a skills assessment in a licenced trade will be
required to be assessed by a TRA approved Registered Training Organisation and,
if successful, be issued with an Offshore Technical Skills Record (OTSR). An
OTSR allows the workers to apply for a provisional licence immediately upon
arrival in Australia. The provisional licence then enables the overseas
workers to work under supervision in their trade while they complete gap
training and work towards obtaining a full qualification
Further information is available at
Regulator confidence in national training
COAG agreed to address regulator confidence in vocational training system outcomes
so that regulators will recognise vocational education and training qualifications
as meeting all skill related requirements for an occupational licence. This is being
achieved through regulator engagement with:
COAG agreed to the development of national training packages by
the relevant industry skills council; and
Development of regulator engagement with the Australian Quality
Training Framework (AQTF), a separate, but linked, COAG process. Additional information on AQTF is
available at www.training.com.au/aqtf2007.