Skilled Migration Process

Skills Assessment Authorities

Skills Assessment Authorities

Based on the number of visas granted in Skilled Streams in 2014-2015 and 2015-2016, it can be assumed that around 100,000 skills assessments are undertaken each year. Major assessing authorities (agencies) are VETASSESS, ACS, Engineers Australia, TRA (and its approved RTO’s), ANMAC and accounting bodies (CAANZ, CPAA, IPA). Skills assessment criteria are dependent on the nominated occupation and are determined by each assessing authority in accordance with relevant professional standards.
Australia Skills Assessment Authorities


There is a growing tendency towards electronic lodgement for all the agencies, but the readiness for and implementation method of e-lodgements varies from agency to agency. Currently ACS, VETASSESS, EA, CPAA and ANMAC have e-lodgement facilities in place. It is also possible to lodge applications by e-mail to TRA, CAANZ, IPA, ACWA and AIQS. However, many agencies still require hard copy lodgement.


Most skills assessing authorities will only assess when an applicant holds formal post-secondary education or qualifications (VETASSESS, TRA, AITSL etc). Some agencies require employment experience in addition to formal qualifications (ACS, VETASSESS, AIQS, TRA etc). Others may assess employment experience in lieu of formal qualifications (ACS, AIM and TRA-approved RTO’s).


Most agencies assess both the qualification and relevant work experience. This is a mandatory inclusion in ACS and VETASSESS (professional) applications and is an optional extra in several others agencies.


With exception of AACA, ACS, AIM, AMSA, TRA and VETASSESS, most skills assessment authorities require evidence of English knowledge. For the accounting bodies and most other authorities including AASW, AIQS, AITSL, APS and SPA, the English Language test (ELT) must have been taken within the two years prior to Pre-Application Skills Assessment (PASA). But ACWA, AIMS and AOAC accept a three year window for ELT.


Each assessing authority has its own rules and process. Some agencies have both onshore and offshore assessment methods. For example, TRA specifies a list of occupations and countries that must apply offshore for skills assessments for migration purposes via TRA-approved registered training organisations (RTO).
Authorities may assess using:

  • Documents
  • Licence or papers (trades)
  • Skills demonstration
  • Employment references
  • RPL – Recognition of Prior Learning
  • or a combination of the above

Skilled date

A number of authorities specify skilled or deeming dates from which the applicant is considered fully skilled or competent e.g. ACS, VETASSESS, TRA. For example, ACS takes into consideration an applicant’s qualification and required employment experience and provides a positive assessment with a deeming date. In most cases, employment experience required for qualification assessment is not counted as skilled work experience in points tests with exception of TRA.


Some assessing authorities issue a provisional assessment for recent graduates of Australian educational institutions applying for a subclass 485 visa. But other authorities do not issue provisional assessments and require a full assessment to be undertaken, e.g. ANMAC, AITSL. The primary difference is that a subclass 485 skills assessment does not require employment in the applicant’s occupation at the skilled level unlike a full or permanent skills assessment. However, a positive provisional skills assessment issued for subclass 485 is not a suitable skills assessment for a Points Tested Skilled Migration visa.

Follow the Yellow Pattern Road for a free visa assessment

Follow the Yellow Pattern Road for a free visa assessment