Occupations are classified as either general or trade occupations. Full skills assessment includes qualifications and employment assessments against the suitability for the nominated occupation. A positive assessment of both qualifications and employment is required for a successful skills assessment for migration purposes.
Requirements for general occupations will be explored first and in more details, followed by discussion of key points for trade occupations.
Qualification assessment, firstly, involves verifying an educational level comparability with the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) and ,secondly, determining the relevance of qualifications for the nominated occupation. In order to determine whether a qualification is in a highly relevant field of study to the nominated occupation, a number of factors are considered including:
- a major field of study which is identified as being suitable for the occupation in Australia
- the depth and breadth of study in the major field
- the employment outcomes of the qualification in the country of issue
- course requirements including any thesis work or major projects as prerequisites to the award of qualification
VETASSESS issues skills assessments on the basis of qualifications at the required AQF level and a period of post-qualification work experience before considering an applicant to be suitably skilled for the purpose of employment points. As part of the assessment process, VETASSESS will determine the date an applicant met the entry level requirements for the nominated occupation based on closely related employment within the last ten years. Employment that is required to meet suitability criteria is not eligible for points test purposes. Only skilled employment after the Date Deemed Skilled will be used for points calculations.
Employment assessment determines whether work experience is at an appropriate skill level and is relevant to the nominated occupation.
For employment to be considered at a ‘skilled’ level, it must meet two requirements:
- it is undertaken after meeting the entry level requirements for the nominated occupation
- it involves primary duties being performed at the level of depth and complexity for the nominated occupation
In addition, only full time (at least 20 hours per week) and paid employment can be considered for skills assessment purposes.
About 30 trade occupations are assessed by VETASSESS. The assessment determines if the applicant has the skills and knowledge required to work in the nominated occupation in Australia.
The assessment process depends on whether an applicant has (Pathway 2) or doesn’t have (Pathway 1) an accepted Australian qualification or current Australian occupational licence.
Each pathway consists of 2 stages:
- Evidence Review
- Practical Assessment and/or Technical Interview
The approximate time for a full skills assessment is 12-14 weeks provided that VETASSESS does not request further documents or evidence. Qualifications assessment for Temporary Graduate visa takes about 4 to 5 weeks. Skills assessment outcome Reviews and Appeals usually take a lot longer, from 14 to 16 weeks. Review applications must be submitted within 90 days of the assessment decision and Appeal applications need to be submitted within 28 days of the review outcome decision.