Skills Assessment with VETASSESS for General Professional Occupations
Skills assessments determine if an applicant has the appropriate skill set and can perform at the required skill level for their nominated occupation. Why is this important? Occupation lists are created based on the workforce needs of Australia or the State, and it is a necessary that an applicant for a skilled visa is able to meet these needs.
An applicant’s ability to meet the required skill level for their nominated occupation is assessed through their qualifications and work experience. Because not all qualifications and employment is the same, when a person meets the required skill level becomes a factor.
Date deemed skilled
VETASSESS explains date deemed skilled as “the date you met the entry level requirements for the nominated occupation based on closely related employment within the last ten years”. Other assessment bodies may use terms such as “skill met date” but they mean the same thing.
Date deemed skilled is especially important for visa applicants who want their work experience accepted by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) for various migration requirements. In general work experience is only counted after an applicant is deemed to be skilled, hence the deeming date.
VETASSESS considers the following work and employment factors when determining when an applicant is deemed skilled:
- Highly relevant field of study
- Study at the required educational level
- Closely related employment
- Employment at the required skill level
- Post qualification employment
If qualifications are not up to VETASSESS standards, then an applicant might need more experience to be deemed skilled. This would change their date deemed skilled. In the same way, any time spent in employment that is not closely related or at the required skill level cannot be counted and will affect when the applicant is deemed skilled.
Relevant field of study
The applicant’s field of study must be highly relevant to his nominated occupation. As different educational institutes may structure their courses or title award qualifications differently, academic transcripts are part of the requisite documents when applying for a skills assessment. You may also provide the university handbook for your study years to give VETASSESS a break down of what your subject actually was all about for often titles do not provide much insight.
VETASSESS considers the following in assessing if the study is relevant:
- Whether you hold a specialised qualification or whether your qualification has a major or whether your qualification has a major field of study which VETASSESS has identified as being suitable for the occupation in Australia
- The depth (progression) and breadth of study in the major
- The employment outcomes of the qualification in the country concerned
- Course requirements – thesis, major projects, internships/work placements
Required educational level
Where an applicant’s qualifications are not obtained from an Australian education provider, the applicant’s qualifications must also be assessed to meet Australian standards. This means that whilst an applicant’s award qualification may be titled Bachelor degree, it may be that VETASSESS assesses your qualification to not meet the Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) standard.
VETASSESS considers the following in assessing the educational level:
- The education system of the country where qualifications were obtained
- The accreditation of the awarding institution and the qualification
- The level, structure, length and content of the program of study undertaken
- Quality indicators for the country concerned – education system, awarding institution and program of study
VETASSESS will not assess the Australian Graduate Diploma or comparable overseas postgraduate diploma in combination with underpinning sub-degree qualifications for comparability to the educational level of an Australian Bachelor degree. The Postgraduate Diploma may, however, be considered for assessment against the requirements of occupations which require a qualification at Australian Qualifications Framework Diploma or Advanced Diploma level.
“Only paid employment which is highly relevant to the nominated occupation and at an appropriate skill level for the nominated occupation will be considered for assessment. This means that the major tasks undertaken in your everyday work should closely match major tasks usually undertaken in that occupation in Australia. The employment also must be paid and at the same skill level as your nominated occupation.” (VETASSESS )
Only skilled employment can count towards meeting the work experience requirements. Skilled employment is employment in an occupation which has the similar tasks and is at a skill level similar to that of the ANZSCO description for that nominated occupation, or in an occupation within the same ANZSCO occupation group.
An applicant nominating Marketing Specialist as their occupation would not be considered to have skilled employment if all their work experience has been in interior design, as the tasks are not closely related to that in the ANZSCO description for a Marketing Specialist. Work also needs to be at the appropriate skill level and an applicant who is nominating Marketing Specialist as their occupation, but only has work experience in marketing administration, will not have performed duties at the required skill level. and cannot be considered to have been in skilled employment.
Employment must be at least 20 hours per week. Irregular periods that average out to 20 hours per week over a year will not be considered. Employment needs to have been paid at the award or market rate for that nominated occupation, as pay is indicative of the skill level required in the applicant’s employment. Time spent doing volunteer work or work towards gaining professional skills is not considered.
Each occupation assessed by VETASSESS has its own unique combination of required qualifications and/or work experience. The requirements for each occupation can be found through a search portal on the VETASSESS website.
Claiming work experience
Assuming you meet VETASSESS requirements for your nominated occupation and receive a suitable skills assessment, what work experience can you claim?
Here, as an example, are the VETASSESS entry level requirements for a Marketing Specialist:
This is a sample suitable skills assessment letter for the nominated occupation of Marketing Specialist:
The applicant has a Bachelor of Commerce with a Major in Marketing from the University of Western Australia. The applicant returned home and has worked upon graduation from January 2012 to January 2016 before applying for a skills assessment. The applicant worked as a Marketing intern between January 2012 and April 2012. The applicant then worked marketing administration and was promoted in July 2012 at which point the applicant’s duties met the required skill level.
Work experience can only be claimed after a he has deemed skilled. A Marketing Specialist is required to have 1 year of skilled employment to meet VETASSESS requirements. Because of this, the applicant in this example was only deemed skilled in June 2013. The work experience that applicant can claim for is from July 2013 to January 2016 (2.6 years).
The applicant had wanted to claim work experience points for overseas work experience having worked for 4 years, however because the applicant is deemed to only have been in skilled employment for 2.6 years and cannot claim any points.