Now anyone who pays a hefty $1200 to have an assessment completed of our skills and experience would expect to receive a reply outlining why we were successful or if unsuccessful in a significant amount of detail explaining why we were not. Nobody would be happy with a brief sentence making an accusation which is unsubstantiated in the response, let alone untrue. Nobody would also except being penalised to the point your whole migration future to Australia is at stake by being banned from applying again without some form of explanation. Nobody would also appreciate being threatened to be dobbed in, to a government department for some allegation not substantiated.
It really is unheard of and that is why we have been supporting Pooja and her family by covering her story. Today we can reveal that Pooja was not really refused in her application because of what she wrote in her application to Engineers Australia, it was because of what she wrote in her Bachelor of Engineering Project reports submitted to the university in India nearly a decade ago.
Mind you it took a great deal of complaining even to find that out due to Engineers Australia Policy of Silence we discussed in our previous newsletter.
Today Pooja shares how she feels after spending thousands of dollars and resulting in two one year bans from Engineers Australia.
We discovered in the review process that her application was mainly refused due EA critic of her undergraduate degree projects she submitted nearly 10 years ago to her university in India. These projects were part of the subjects she completed in her degree and were assessed by her university as acceptable for her to graduate.
EA asked Pooja for a copy of her old Bachelor Degree projects for her second skill assessment application. It was the second time EA had asked for her copies to be provided for they had done the same in her first skill assessment application, which they also refused and banned her for 12 months. In the first application Pooja no idea why she was refused so in the second application when EA asked for them again, she did not think twice to hand them over.
EA criticized Pooja’s old projects stating they were full of errors and plagiarism and thus refused her second application and banned her again. Our office raised the issue of what right did EA have to grade her old projects in such a manner and if they expected undergraduate students to be perfect in their projects without error. We also asked them what right did they have to apply their standards to these projects when the project citing other sources requirements in India as part of her degree may have been completely different.
We received no reply to these questions.
In Engineers Australia’s MSA Booklet published in 2019 it states;
Career Episodes must be based on work conducted personally by you and must be written entirely in your own words. Presenting work conducted by others as your own and/or using other people’s words (templates, Career Episodes, online sources, etc.) is considered as plagiarism and is a violation of Engineers Australia’s Code of Ethics. This carries significant penalties including the rejection of the application, imposition of a 12, 24 or 36-month ban and/or reporting of your details to the Department of Home Affairs for further investigation and action.”
In the end, then it has turned out Pooja’s old Bachelor degree projects are the reason Engineers Australia accused her of plagiarism and making false statements and the reason why they banned her for another 12 months. This was of course after they had asked her for her old projects before in her first application when they banned her the first time. The Career Episodes themselves had no significant evidence of plagiarism using the modern software available to detect such occurrences. EA picked her old university reports to pieces however even though they were not required documents for the Competency Demonstration Process. The only two old academic documents required, according to the EA MSA Guidelines are;
“Academic degree certificate (a letter of completion will only be accepted as a substitute before graduation and only for Australian qualifications)
Complete and official academic transcript (including any recognition of prior learning and course syllabus where applicable)”
There is no mention anywhere that copies of old project reports are a required document for the skill assessment process. However, EA asked Pooja for them and turned around and used them against her to ban her.
There are two major issues of concern about how EA conducts their skill assessment process and how they treat non-Australians. Firstly they conceal they deliberately conceal reason why they refuse applications, except to make sweeping accusations with no detail provided to support to know what they are refereeing to. Secondly, they use old undergraduates students projects completed nearly a decade ago and accuse them of plagiarism in those projects and technical errors.
Before deciding to use these old Bachelor degree projects to refuse and ban Pooja they gave her no opportunity to explain the project report writing guidelines used by the Indian university Pooja graduated from. EA made no attempt to educate themselves of these project guidelines were before deciding to impose their own standards. They also did not inform Pooja that they were aware of the problems in these reports for they had already asked for them in the first application. They did not inform Pooja that the contents of these reports were going to be used to ban her again for the second time.
Engineers Australia then purposefully hid from Pooja the reasons for refusing her application claiming they have a policy of not informing applicants due to some fictional war with professional CDR writers. We say fictional for EA did not provide any evidence that such a battle actually exists.
If EA had bothered to explain to Pooja what the real issue was, she would have realized there is no chance to lodge an appeal for she cannot win and not waste further hundreds of dollars. In fact, Pooja would have not bothered to lodge a second skill assessment using the same information wasting thousands of dollars and result in being banned again.
With my background in the military, the police force and last 22 years as a Migration agent, I’ve experienced many negative aspects of humanity and many positives as well. Not many things really surprise me about how people and organizations can behave. Still, Pooja’s experience with Engineers Australia shocked me. It felt so alien to me that as an Australian, to think people could be treated in such a fashion by an organization that boasts on its web site;
“Engineers Australia promotes a guarantee of excellence for our migration services. We are trusted by the Department of Home Affairs, utilised by engineers around the world and associated with prestigious international accords and organisations.
Migrating to a new country takes a lot of work. We’re here to help.”
I don’t think I even need to ask Pooja what she would say about that.