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Licence Recognition
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Frequently Asked Questions
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Frequently Asked Questions


 

What is mutual recognition?

By agreement between Australian states, territories and the Commonwealth, people registered to work in an occupation in one jurisdiction are entitled to have their registration (in the form of a licence, permit, etc) recognised by another jurisdiction. This system of ‘mutual recognition’ has operated since 1992.

How have the equivalent licence decisions been made?

State and territory ministers have declared the licences covered in this website to be equivalent, on the basis of advice from licensing authorities. The formal mechanism for this is a ministerial declaration made under section 32 of the Mutual Recognition Act 1992.

I can’t find my occupation in the website search. What does this mean?

This means that the occupation is not currently covered by a ministerial declaration made by state and territory ministers. Your occupation may be covered by a declaration in the future. Alternatively it means that the jurisdiction you have searched on does not regulate that occupation. Professional occupations are not covered by this website, only trade and other vocationally-trained occupations.

I can’t find my current licence in the website search. What do I do?

If you can’t find your current licence on the website, the licensing authority in the state or territory in which you wish to seek recognition of your licence will make a decision on an equivalent licence when you apply for mutual recognition.

I am licensed in more than one jurisdiction. What do I do?

If you are licensed in more than one jurisdiction, you can perform a separate search for each licence. You can choose the licence on which you base your application for mutual recognition.

I hold more than one licence in my occupation in the same jurisdiction. What do I do?

In some cases the search on this website allows you to select particular pre-determined combinations or bundles of licences in the one jurisdiction. Otherwise, you will need to perform a separate search for each licence that you hold. If you hold a licence to perform restricted electrical work on top of your primary trade licence (eg plumbing), you will need to conduct a separate search for the primary trade licence and the restricted electrical licence.

I don’t require a licence to work in my home state/territory, but I would if I moved interstate. What do I do to obtain a licence in the second jurisdiction?

You will need to apply under normal licence application procedures to the appropriate authority in the jurisdiction in which you wish to work. Mutual recognition does not apply in your circumstances.

What do I do if I gained my qualification and/or skills in a country outside Australia, and would like to obtain a licence in Australia?

Before obtaining a licence in Australia, it is necessary to have your skills assessed and recognised. The best place to get this information is from the Australian Skills Recognition Information website at http://www.immi.gov.au/asri/index.htm. This site will help you find out how to get an assessment of occupational qualifications, skills or experience that you have gained overseas. You can also find state-specific licensing and registration requirements to practice your occupation in Australia.

If you wish to have your skills assessed for the purpose of migration you should also visit the trades Recognition Australia website at http://www.deewr.gov.au/skills/programs/skillsassess/TRA/asri/index.htm.

The search result on the website shows an equivalent licence, but says ‘restricted to …’. What does this mean?

This means that you are entitled to an equivalent licence that it is restricted to the scope of work indicated. For example, if you hold a plumbers licence that covers drainage only, an equivalent licence in another jurisdiction will be restricted to drainage work. When you apply for mutual recognition of your licence, the licensing authority in the relevant jurisdiction will be able to provide you with further information.

What do the ‘codes for scopes of work’ mean?

Most occupations include a range of work that can be undertaken. For example, plumbing can include sanitary plumbing, roof plumbing, drainage work etc. A licence may include some or all of the scopes of work in an occupation. To identify how one licence is equivalent to another, scopes of work can be used to describe the conditions and restrictions that may be applied to a licence. Scopes of work have been given shortened codes. These codes are shown at the end of the search, to assist the user to identify any restrictions that may be placed on a licence to make it equivalent to the licence they hold.

‘No equivalent declared’ comes up when I do a search. What do I do?

If 'No equivalent declared' is indicated you should contact the licensing authority shown. In such cases, an application for mutual recognition of a licence will be assessed by the licensing authority in accordance with the other provisions of the Mutual Recognition Act 1992.

‘Not licensed in this jurisdiction’ comes up when I do a search. What does this mean?

This means that the occupation you have searched on is not regulated in the second jurisdiction you selected in your search. For example, the performance of air-conditioning and refrigeration mechanic work is regulated in New South Wales, but not in Western Australia. You should contact the regulator shown to confirm that you do not need to obtain a licence to perform work.

How do I apply for recognition of my licence in a second state or territory?

You must apply to the relevant regulator in the second jurisdiction. Contact details for regulators are shown when you conclude your search.

Do I still have to pay a fee for a licence in a second state or territory?

Yes. All applications for mutual recognition of a licence require payment of a fee.

Can I still hold my current licence, after being issued with a licence in a second state or territory?

Yes, as long as you take steps to renew your licence when it falls due. You must also maintain correct address details with all relevant licensing authorities.

I hold a Restricted Electrical Licence in addition to the licence I hold in my primary trade. Can I get recognition of this restricted licence?

You can search this website to find out if the restricted electrical licence you hold entitles you to an equivalent licence in a second jurisdiction. You should note that prior to the issue of an equivalent restricted electrical licence through the mutual recognition process, the need for the issue of the equivalent licence must be established by the regulator based on the demonstrated requirement for the performance of the work in the specific job being undertaken. In some instances a Restricted Electrical Licence will only be given when the applicant holds a relevant licence in their primary trade, for example a plumbing licence or a gas-fitting licence. 

What can I do if I am refused recognition of my licence in a second state or territory?

If a licensing 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 is available on the AAT website at http://www.aat.gov.au/

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