Skilled Migration Process

Skills Assessment TRA

Skills Assessment TRA

Trades Recognition Australia (TRA) is a skills assessment service provider specialising in assessments for people with trade skills gained overseas or in Australia. It has existed in some form or another since 1946 as an element of post-war reconstruction in Australia. TRA is responsible for nearly 100 occupations which is about one fifth of all the occupations on the combined current list of eligible occupations.
Australia Skills Assessment TRA


Applicants in certain occupations and from certain countries cannot be assessed directly by TRA and must be assessed via the Offshore Skills Assessment Program (OSAP) by a TRA-approved registered training organisations (RTO). TRA-approved RTO’s include VETASSESS, Victoria University, William Angliss Institute, Future Skills International, Australian Construction Training Services and Masters in Building Training.

The OSAP is also compulsory for applicants in the following licensed occupations regardless of their country of origin:

  • Airconditioning and Refrigeration Mechanic
  • Electrician (General)
  • Electrician (Special Class)
  • Plumber (General)
Other applicants can be assessed directly by TRA via Migration Skills Assessment (MSA) program or may choose to ‘opt in’ to the OSAP process and be assessed by a TRA-approved RTO, provided that their nominated occupation is on the OSAP list. Opting in to the OSAP process may be the only option for applicants with no formal qualifications.


For an application to be registered by TRA, it must include evidence of formal training and outcomes that can be considered comparable to the AQF qualification for a nominated occupation. Formal training generally refers to a period of study that results in a nationally recognised award or qualification, accredited and regulated by the appropriate governing body in the issuing country.
The following cannot be used as a substitute for a qualification:

  • work experience
  • occupational licences
  • trade tests not supported by comparable and verifiable formal training
  • short course certificates such as single day or single subject training


Applicants with no formal qualifications can undertake a Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) process with a relevant RTO. RTOs can provide a nationally recognised qualification based on applicant’s prior experiences, knowledge and skills. RTOs take into consideration existing skills and knowledge acquired during previous work experience, in Australia or overseas, as a means of assessing whether a person can demonstrate the required competencies associated with the relevant Australian standards.

Skilled Date

TRA provides a skilled date on the outcome letter as part of their skills assessment. Skilled date is determined through an assessment of the employment evidence and also depends on the way qualifications were obtained. If an applicant was issued qualifications internationally or gained an Australian qualification by study, the skilled date will be the date the qualification was issued. In case of qualifications obtained through RPL, the skilled date is when an applicant completed the first three years of verifiable and eligible employment in the nominated occupation. These first three years are considered as being an informal training period.


TRA requires three years of full-time paid employment in the nominated occupation at the required skill level. Generally, only employment undertaken after the issuance of formal qualifications is taken into account. Employment will only be recognised as meeting the TRA Migration Skills Assessment requirements if it is:

  • paid, full-time (or equivalent) employment, and
  • relevant to the nominated occupation, and
  • performed at the required skill level for Australian industry standards
In addition, to ensure that the skills are current, TRA requires to provide evidence of at least 12 months of paid employment in a nominated occupation in the three years immediately before Skills assessment application.


Generally most MSA assessments are completed within 90 days from registration. A typical OSAP assessment may be completed within 13 weeks from the date of submission. However, for a more accurate advice on the duration of OSAP process, applicants need to contact their respective RTO.

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