Trade Skills Recognition in NSW

Tradie working on roof If you have trade skills and experience but have never completed an apprenticeship or obtained formal qualifications in Australia, you can apply to the NSW Vocational Training Review Panel (VTRP) to have your trade skills assessed. You can do this whether you have gained your trade skills through formal training or on-the-job exprience either in Australia or overseas where you can satisfy all eligibiity criteria.

If you application is successful you will be formally recognised as a tradesperson and issued with a trade certificate.

Who can apply?

Anyone who can demonstrate that they are adequately trained in a trade vocation can apply to the Vocational Training Review Panel (VTRP) to have their trade skills assessed. You can do this whether you have gained your trade skills in Australia or overseas.

To be eligible, you must be:

  1. Living in NSW or living in Australia intending to work in NSW;
  2. Able to provide evidence demonstrating your skills, training, practical experience and employment associated with a trade vocation; and
  3. Able to demonstrate that you are adequately trained to work in a trade vocation.

If your trade skills are recognised by the VTRP, you will be issued with a trade certificate. If you have gained trade level skills through on-the-job training you will be issued with a Craft Certificate. If you have also completed a trade qualification through a registered training organisation you will be issued with a Certificate of Proficiency.

What is the assessment process?

The Vocational Training Review Panel (VTRP) considers applications for trade skills recognition in accordance with the provisions of the Apprenticeship and Traineeship Act 2001. The VTRP consists of representatives from industry (both employer and employee), registered training oranigations and the Commissioner for Vocational Training. The VTRP will assess your application on the basis of your application and relevant supporting documentation. The process involves comparing your training and work experience with the requirements for the relevant trade in Australia.

The VTRP will consider:

  • the time you have worked in the trade
  • the type of instruction and training you have received
  • the duration of the training you have received
  • relevant qualifications you have in the trade

The VTRP relies on relevant documentary evidence to assess your application and the quality of evidence demonstrating your trade skills, practical experience and employment in the trade.

What evidence do I need to provide?

To have your trade skills assessed and recognised, you must provide relevant documentary evidence demonstating the nature and duration of your employment. Examples of relevant documents may include:

  • work-related references from employers detailing the nature of trade work and the duration of employment, procedures applied and tools and equipment used which are consistent with your trade (references must be on employer's letterhead signed and dated)
  • log books or job cards illustrating the nature of trade work you have performed
  • records of formal training completed
  • any other evidence that demonstrates that you are competent or trained to work in your trade that has been verified by a past employer or qualified supervisor

What trade do I apply for?

The Vocational Training Review Panel (VTRP) publishes information guides for trade vocations. These summarise typical work for most trades and tye type of evidence that you should submit to support your application.

Electrical (electrician) summary of typical trade workIdentify the trade in which you are applying for, check its currency and correct name from the list of trades for recognition purposes before completing the application form. You need to know the competencies against which you will be assessed. Refer to Trades list below.

Trades list

The list of trade information guides are listed here.

If the trade you are interested in is not in this list, email Training Services NSW or phone (02) 9266 8450.

How do I apply?

Read Trade Recognition Skills in NSW guidelines and follow the step-by-step instructions.

  1. The guidelines provide essential information on:
    • the application process
    • acceptable documentary evidence to support your application
    • fees
    • licensing authorities
    • translation services
    • contacts for assistance and advice.
  2. Complete and submit an Application as per the instructions on the form.

What Trade Certificates are issued?

To work in some trades in NSW, you must be licenced. The VTRP does not issue licences or qualifications. The VTRP issues either a Craft Certificate or a Certificate of Proficiency in the trade vocation concerned to applicants who have successfully applied for trade skills recognition. The following explains NSW tradesperson's certificates:

Certificate of Proficiency

This trade certificate is awarded to persons who have demonstrated they are adequately trained to work in the trade, through evidence of past employment and experience in the trade and successful completion of a relevant Australian qualification.

Craft Certificate

This trade certificate is granted to persons who have demonstrated they are adequately trained to work in the trade, through evidence of past employment and experience but have not completed a relevant Australian qualification.

Further information regarding trade licenses in NSW is provided in the Trade Recognition - other information here.

Scheduled Vocational Training Review Panel Meetings - 2017

February March April
May June July
August September October
November December February to December

Assistance for people from non english speaking countries

The following brochures contain a summary of trade recognition issues. They are not a replacement for the detail contained in the Get your Trade Skills Recognised [pdf] brochure.

Arabic Bengali Bosnian
Chinese (simplified) Chinese (traditional) Croatian
Filipino Hindi Korean
Serbian Vietnamese

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For advice and information contact the Vocational Training Review Panel of Training Services NSW on:


Phone: 02 9266 8450

Or to be directed to your local Training Services NSW office, phone 13 28 11.

Page last updated: 22 July 2016