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Significant changes to VETASSESS skills assessment requirements

The contents of this article are correct as at 8 December 2009

VETASSESS is an assessing body that conducts assessments for people applying to migrate to Australia under the Australian Government’s points tested General Skilled Migration Program (“GSM”) and Employer Nomination Scheme (“ENS”).

At the present time, in order to receive a positive skills assessment from VETASSESS, an applicant needs to show that they have completed the equivalent of an Australian Diploma or Australian Bachelor degree (depending on their nominated skilled occupation). This can include overseas qualifications and there is no requirement to show work experience.

This will change from 1 January 2010, with VETASSESS requiring applicants under ENS and GSM to show acceptable academic qualifications and work experience.

If you intend to apply under GSM or ENS, and you require an assessment from VETASSESS, we strongly recommend that consider applying to VETASSESS for skills assessment urgently before the end of the year.

 

Summary of changes from 1 January 2010

In order to receive a positive assessment for GSM or ENS purposes, applicants will need to:

  • Hold a qualification which is assessed at the required educational level in a highly relevant field of study to the nominated occupation; AND
  • Have at least one year of relevant employment for all occupations. For some occupations, if the qualification is considered as having a shortfall in content relevance, either one or two additional years of employment will be required.

 

Employment experience necessary for skills assessment

Skilled occupations (assessed by VETASSESS) will be divided into four groups according to the level of education and length of relevant employment experience required: A, B, C and D.

Group

Level of education and length of relecant employment experience required

Examples of occupations in this group

A

A qualification assessed:

  • at the level of an Australian Bachelor degree;
  • in the same field as the nominated occupation.

One year of relevant work experience required.

  • Actuary
  • Agriculture Scientist
  • Biochemist
  • Life Scientist
  • Urban and Regional Planner

 

B

A qualification assessed:

  • at the level of an Australian Bachelor degree;
  • in a relevant field.

One year of relevant work experience required, unless there is a qualifications content shortfall (see below).

  • Advertising Specialist
  • Environmental Health Officer
  • Marketing Specialist
  • Medical Administrator
  • Personnel Consultant

C

A qualification assessed:

  • as comparable to the educational level of an Australian diploma;
  • in a relevant field.

One year of relevant work experience required, unless there is a qualifications content shortfall (see below).

  • Architectural Associate
  • Financial Investment Advisor
  • Insurance Broker
  • Office Manager
  • Project Administrator

D

A qualification assessed:

  • as comparable to the educational level of an Australian Certificate IV;
  • in a relevant field.

One year of relevant work experience required, unless there is a qualifications content shortfall (see below).

  • Building Associate Professionals
  • Civil Engineering Technician
  • Metallurgical and Metals Technician

 

Groups B, C and D will usually require one year of relevant employment experience, except where qualifications are identified as having a shortfall in content relevant, in which case an additional one or two years of relevant employment will be required.

Work experience will need to be completed within the 5 years before date of application for skills assessment.

Subclass 485, Skilled – Graduate (Temporary) visa

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (“DIAC”) takes the view that recent graduates with a Bachelor degree or above level qualifications may not have sufficient relevant employment at the required level for a complete Skills Assessment from VETASSESS under these new changes. For this reason, VETASSESS will now offer a two-stage process for applicants who will be applying for this visa.

The first stage of the process will lead to a Skills Assessment that may only be used to support an application for a 485 visa. It will require the applicant to:

  • Have recently completed Australian studies (within the previous six months).
  • Be applying for a 485 visa.
  • Nominate an occupation from Group A or Group B.
  • Hold a qualification which is assessed as being at an Australian Bachelor degree level (or higher), in a relevant field of study to the applicant’s nominated application.

The second stage of the process can be commenced after the applicant has obtained at least 12 months of relevant employment experience. This stage will assess the applicant’s employment, and will lead to a Skills Assessment that may be used to support an application for permanent residency under GSM or ENS.

 

Changes to VETASSESS assessment requirements to apply to all recent Australian graduates

We have communicated with VETASSESS Qualifications Assessment Unit, to enquire whether these changes will apply to Australian graduates who complete the following qualifications which are closely related to the skilled occupation they nominate under GSM and ENS:

  • Australian PhD; or
  • Australian Bachelor degree and an Australian Masters degree; or
  • Australian Bachelor degree with at least upper second class honours.

In our view, an applicant who has completed one of the above qualifications should not be required to show relevant work experience, as they would have achieved significant skills through their education in Australia, and should be considered “employment ready”.

VETASSESS indicated that the above had not been considered by VETASSESS in its discussions with DIAC and that she would be referring our enquiries for further analysis.

If you have any questions concerning your skills assessment options please click here to contact us.