What is mutual
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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/