What is a skills assessment?

Obtaining a positive skills assessment is the critical first step in your journey towards all independent skilled visas, some permanent employer-sponsored visas and the graduate work stream of the temporary graduate visa.

A skills assessment is an assessment by an assessing authority for your occupation on whether you have the required skills and experience to be eligible for a visa in that occupation.

Each assessing authority has its own assessment procedures, timeframes and charges.

The criterion that an assessing authority uses will depend on the occupation and the relevant professional standards.

For some occupations, skills assessments are based on your qualifications and experience. Other occupations, such as trade, involve a practical assessment of your skills. Some assessing bodies will also require that you demonstrate a level of English that is higher than what the Department of Home Affairs requires for the visa. For example, registered nurses must achieve a 7 in IELTS (or equivalent) in order to get a positive skills assessment.

You require a skills assessment for the following visa subclasses:

  • Direct Entry stream of the Employer Nominated Scheme (subclass 186) visa;
  • Direct Entry stream of the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (subclass 187) visa; and
  • Graduate Work stream of the Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa.
  • Skilled—Independent (subclass 189) visa;
  • Skilled—Nominated (subclass 190) visa; and
  • Skilled Regional (Provisional) (subclass 489) visa.

The most common skills assessing authorities are:

  • Trades Recognition Australia (TRA)
  • Australian Institute of Management (AIM)
  • Australian Nursing & Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC)
  • Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA)
  • Engineers Australia
  • Australian Computer Society (ACS)
  • Certified Practicing Accountant (CPA)