Skills and Licence Recognition

For: 

Both businesses and individuals benefit when an individual’s prior skills, experience, knowledge, qualifications or licence are formally acknowledged.

Recognition can include:

  • recognition of prior learning
  • recognition of current competency
  • credit transfer (including national recognition)
  • trade recognition overseas qualification assessment
  • mutual recognition of occupational licences.

The Australian Government is actively supporting skills recognition and mobility, including through the following programmes and initiatives.

Trades Recognition Australia

Trades Recognition Australia is a skills assessment service provider specialising in assessments for people with trade skills gained overseas or in Australia, for the purpose of migration and skills recognition. Visit the Trades Recognition Australia website for more information.

The service offers a number of different skills assessment programs based on your occupation, country of passport, where you studied and the type of visa you are seeking.

Mutual recognition of licensed occupations

Mutual recognition reduces inefficiencies and regulatory barriers, allowing people licensed or registered to practise an occupation in one jurisdiction to practise the equivalent occupation in another jurisdiction.

A licensed person seeking to work in another state or territory can practise the equivalent occupation in the new state or territory without undergoing further testing. However, they must first apply for recognition of their existing licence and pay any relevant fee. In Australia, each state and territory administers its own occupational licences.

The Licence Recognition website assists tradespeople with this process and provides further information.

The Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Arrangement, a non-treaty arrangement between Australian governments and the Government of New Zealand, operates under similar principles where New Zealand licence holders are able to apply for recognition of their existing licence in Australia. The arrangement also enables Australian licence holders to have their licence recognised for regulated work in New Zealand.

Governance of mutual recognition

The Department of Education and Training has responsibility for administering the legislation governing mutual recognition: the Mutual Recognition Act 1992 and the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act 1997.

Find out more about mutual recognition and its governance arrangements.

International skills engagement

The Australian Government is sharing and exchanging expertise and experiences in VET at the international level, particularly in our region through international skills engagement work. A particular focus of this work is progressing core occupational standards within the region based on industry demands, in order to support the development and mobility of industry-relevant skills.