Frequently Asked Questions

The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) contain answers to commonly raised queries about mutual recognition and licensing requirements. Select the query that is similar to your issue. Alternatively you can email your query through the Contact Us page.

How have the equivalent registration decisions been made?

State and territory ministers have declared the registrations covered in this website to be equivalent, on the basis of advice from licensing authorities. The formal instrument for this is a ministerial declaration made under section 32 of the Mutual Recognition Act 1992.

How do I apply for recognition of my licence in a second state or territory?

You must apply to the relevant licensing authority in the second state or territory. Contact details for registration authorities are shown when you complete your search or can be found on the Licensing Contacts page.

Do I still have to pay a fee for a licence in a second state or territory?

Yes. All applications for mutual recognition of a licence require payment of a fee. The licensing authority in the second state or territory can inform you of the relevant fee/s.

What can I do if I am refused an equivalent licence in a second state or territory?

If a licensing authority makes a decision to refuse an application for mutual recognition of a licence or registration, you may seek a review of that decision by applying to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. Contact details for the Tribunal, and information about the review process, is available on the Tribunal’s website at http://www.aat.gov.au.

Can I apply for mutual recognition if a disciplinary condition has been applied to my licence?

Yes, as long as the licence is not cancelled or suspended. However, any disciplinary condition/s will also apply to the licence issued under mutual recognition.

I have a New Zealand licence/registration. Can I get recognition of my licence in Australia?

Yes. Under the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Arrangement New Zealand (NZ) licence holders are able to apply for recognition of their NZ licence in Australia. Please contact the licensing authority in the state or territory where you are planning to work for advice on how to proceed with a mutual recognition application. 

What is mutual recognition?

Australian states, territories and the Commonwealth have agreed that people registered to work in an occupation in one jurisdiction are entitled to have their registration (in the form of a licence, permit, certificate, etc) recognised by another jurisdiction. This system of ‘mutual recognition’ has operated since 1992.

I can’t find my occupation using the licence search. What does this mean?

This means that the occupation is not currently covered by a ministerial declaration made by state and territory ministers. Your occupation may be covered by a declaration in the future. Otherwise it means that the state or territory you have searched on does not license that occupation. Only trade and other vocationally-trained occupations are covered by this website, professional occupations are not included.

I can’t find my current licence using the licence search. What do I do?

If you can’t find your current licence on the website, the licensing authority in the state or territory in which you wish to seek recognition of your licence will make a decision on an equivalent licence when you apply for mutual recognition.

I am licensed in more than one state or territory. What do I do?

If you are licensed in more than one state or territory, you can perform a separate search for each licence. You can choose the licence on which you base your application for mutual recognition.

I hold more than one licence in my occupation in the same state or territory. What do I do?

In some cases, the search on this website allows you to select particular pre-determined combinations or bundles of licences in the one state or territory. Otherwise, you will need to perform a separate search for each licence that you hold. If you hold a licence to perform restricted electrical work on top of your primary trade licence (eg plumbing), you will need to conduct a separate search for the primary trade licence and the Restricted Electrical Licence.

I don’t require licensing to work in my home state or territory, but I would if I moved interstate. What do I do to obtain a licence in the second state or territory?

You will need to apply under normal application procedures to the appropriate licensing authority in the state or territory in which you wish to work. Mutual recognition does not apply in your circumstances.

What do I do if I gained my qualification and/or skills in a country outside Australia, and would like to obtain a licence in Australia?

Before obtaining a licence in Australia, it will be necessary to have your skills assessed and recognised.

If you wish to obtain a licence as an air-conditioning and refrigeration mechanic, electrician or plumber, you will need to have your skills assessed through Trades Recognition Australia (TRA). TRA provides two assessment services for this purpose; to find out which one is suitable for your situation, visit the TRA website www.tradesrecognitionaustralia.gov.au. The website also provides helpful information about the pathway to licensing in Australia.

For other licensed occupations, an assessment is done through the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) process. RPL is performed by Australian Training Organisations (RTOs) and can lead to the award of an Australian qualification. You can find out which RTO is registered to provide a RPL process for your occupation on the My Skills website www.myskills.gov.au.

The search result on the website shows an equivalent licence, but says ‘restricted to …’.  What does this mean?

This means that you are entitled to an equivalent licence and that licence is restricted to the scope of work indicated. For example, if you hold a plumbers licence that covers drainage only, an equivalent licence in another state or territory will be restricted to drainage work. When you apply for mutual recognition of your licence, the licensing authority in the relevant state or territory will be able to provide you with further information.

What do the ‘codes for scopes of work’ mean?

Most occupations include a range of regulated work that can be undertaken. For example, plumbing can include sanitary plumbing, roof plumbing, drainage work etc. A licence may include some or all of the scopes of work in an occupation. To identify how one licence is equivalent to another, scopes of work can be used to describe the conditions and restrictions that may be applied to a licence. Scopes of work have been given shortened codes. These codes are shown at the end of the search, to assist the user to identify any restrictions that may be placed on a licence to make it equivalent to the licence they hold.

‘No equivalent declared’ comes up when I do a search. What do I do?

If 'No equivalent declared' is indicated you should contact the licensing authority shown. In such cases, an application for mutual recognition of a licence will be assessed by the licensing authority in accordance with the other provisions of the Mutual Recognition Act 1992.

‘Not licensed in this jurisdiction’ comes up when I do a search. What does this mean?

This means that the occupation you have searched on is not licensed in the second state or territory you selected in your search. For example, the performance of air-conditioning and refrigeration mechanic work is licensed in New South Wales, but not in Western Australia. You should contact the licensing authority shown to confirm that you do not need to obtain a licence to perform work.

Can I still hold my current licence, after being issued with a licence in a second state or territory?

Yes, as long as you take steps to renew your licence when it falls due. You must also maintain correct address details with all relevant licensing authorities.

I hold a Restricted Electrical Licence in addition to the licence I hold in my primary trade. Can I get recognition of this restricted electrical licence?

You can perform a licence search to find out if the Restricted Electrical Licence you hold entitles you to an equivalent licence in a second state or territory. You should note that prior to the issue of an equivalent Restricted Electrical Licence through the mutual recognition process, the need for the issue of the equivalent licence must be established by the regulator based on the demonstrated requirement for the performance of the work in the specific job being undertaken. In some instances a Restricted Electrical Licence will only be given when the applicant holds a relevant licence in their primary trade, for example a plumbing licence or a gas-fitting licence.