Skills and trade recognition

Formal qualifications can open doors to employment and opportunities for advancement. In some occupations they are essential.

Perhaps you have extensive skills and experience but no formal qualifications or some that are not accepted in Australia. There are ways you can have your skills assessed and formally recognised.

Trade recognition

If you have trade skills and experience but have never completed an apprenticeship or gained a formal certificate, you can apply to have your skills assessed and be formally recognised as a tradesperson in NSW.

Trade Licences

Trade licences are not issued by the Vocational Training Review Panel. For information about licencing for trades in:

Building and Construction
Motor Vehicle
Plumbing, Gasfitting and Draining
Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning

you should contact:-

NSW Fair Trading
60 Station Street
Parramatta NSW 2150
Phone: 13 32 20

For the trades of:

Aircraft Maintenance Engineering (Avionics)
Aircraft Maintenance Engineering (Mechanical)


you should contact:-

Aircraft Maintenance Engineering
Licensing Section
Civil Aviation Safety Authority
PO Box 2005
Canberra City ACT 2601
Phone: 13 17 57


Overseas qualifications and experience

If you move from overseas and now live in Australia, or intend to move to Australia in the near future, you might be able to get recognition for your skills or qualifications.  The following services are available to you:

Skills Recognition of prior learning for a full or part qualification

Is this you?

  • I worked in my father’s car repair business for years during school holidays and at weekends. I learned a lot - will any of it count towards a qualification?
  • I have worked in a nursing home in one capacity or another for years. I want to apply for a promotion.  So I want formal recognition of what I can do.
  • I started a course a couple of years ago but only finished one year. Can that year count towards a similar qualification in the same industry?

Recognition of prior learning (RPL) is a process that assesses whether the skills and knowledge you already have count towards a nationally recognised qualification or statement of attainment.  You may be able to shorten the length of time for further studies. In some cases, you may get 100 per cent recognition of your qualification, meaning you would not have to study at all.

To have your skills recognised you need to get a formal assessment.  You will need to contact a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) for that assessment. Go to for more information.


Guide to Employment for Migrants

The Guide to Employment for Migrants has been designed to assist people from overseas to find work in Australia in their chosen profession. Read more

Page last updated: 11 April 2016