Migration Skills Assessment: A Comprehensive Guide

migration skills assessment

Imagine getting a recognition for the skills and talent you have honed throughout your life in a country like Australia. Yes, it is possible if you follow an important step called Migration Skills Assessment. It is like a test taken by the Migration authorities to see if your skills match what the country needs. In this comprehensive, we’ll explain everything you need about Migration Skills Assessment, the application process, its importance, and how to succeed in showcasing your capabilities.

What is a Migration Skills Assessment?

Migration Skills Assessment is a very important process for the individuals who hope to find better opportunities and a brighter future in Australia. Consider it as a test that checks if you have the skills and qualities that the country needs. This assessment helps to understand if you have the knowledge, a professional experience and qualification that further benefits in maintaining the quality and development of the working environment in the country.

There are different government bodies in Australia who take this skills assessment depending on the occupation you choose. For instance, Engineers Australia (EA) is an authority who takes Migration Skills Assessment for Engineers only, Australian Computer Society (ACS) is an authority who takes skills assessment for IT professionals, and so on.

Main Purpose of Migration Skills Assessment

The main purpose of Migration Skills Assessment is to evaluate the skills, knowledge, experience and professional achievement of an individual. It serves as a gatekeeper making sure that your capabilities and competencies align with the requirements of the country you chose to work. All the applicants must undergo this skills assessment to apply for Skilled Migration Visas or hoping for getting employment in Australia.

Some other purpose of Migration Skills Assessment and why it’s so important are:

  • For Matching the Skills with Needs of Australian working industry
  • For Ensuring the Quality and Safety of the Workers
  • For Protecting the Job market
  • For Boosting Confidence and Creating more Opportunities
  • For Smoothing Immigration Process for overseas workers

How to Apply for Migration Skills Assessment?

The Migration Skills Assessment involves several steps and procedures that every applicant needs to understand. Firstly, it begins with the submission of important documents, then academic certificates, employment history, and language proficiency certificate. These are the basic processes upon which the assessment will be conducted. However, in case of Australia, the process to Apply for Migration Skills Assessment are:

1. Search & Select Your Occupation

Begin by conducting a thorough research about the specific requirements needed for your chosen occupation in Australia. Your first step should always be ensuring that your profession is on the Skilled Occupation list and you meet the criterias asked.

2. Choosing the Right Skills Assessment Authority

Australia has different skills assessment authorities such as Engineers Australia for Engineers, ACS for IT professionals, AIM for Management roles and CPA for Accountants. So, choose the assessing authority that corresponds to your occupation.

3. Gathering Necessary Documents

Collect all the important documents such as your qualification certificates, work experience certificate, and language proficiency. Documents like transcripts, reference letters, CV, and IELTS score are further needed to submit applications.

4. Online Application

Apply through the official web portal. Go to the website of the assessing authority you have chosen and submit your application online. However, you first need to create an account, fill out the required sections, and upload all of your documents mentioned above. Also, you need to pay the mentioned application fee.

5. Verification and Assessment Outcome

After submitting the application, the assessing authority will review & verify your documents. They ensure that all the information about the qualification & experience you mentioned are relevant to the profession and match the Australian standards. This procedure takes quite a time- 2 to 5 weeks (avg). If anything is missing or needs clarification, the authority then contacts you for further process.

6. Assessment Result

You will receive an email- it could be positive or negative. If it comes positive then you have passed the assessment test and are suitable for migration to Australia. Moreover, you will receive a migration skills assessment outcome letter which can be used for the migration process.

Eligibility Criteria for Migration Skills Assessment

It is necessary to understand the eligibility criteria and necessary qualifications for successful Migration Skills Assessment for Australia. They are:

1. Your Chosen Profession Should be on Skilled Occupation List

First and foremost eligibility criteria for skill assessment is your profession must be on the skilled occupation list of Australia. In the occupation list, you can find the different occupations that are in high demand and indicate that your occupation is needed in the Australian Job market.

2. Relevant Qualifications Based on Chosen Occupation

You need to possess relevant qualifications that match the criteria of your chosen occupation. The assessing authority asks for the educational background, and practical knowledge that aligns with the occupation you wish to practise in Australia.

3. Work Experience in the Chosen Occupation

Skill Assessment authorities require a minimum duration of work experience in the chosen occupation. This helps them to understand that you have practical knowledge & skills in your field.

4. Understanding the MSA Guidelines

Understanding the Migration Skill Assessment (MSA) Applicant Guidelines is a must necessary before you start your application process. There are separate ways and procedures mentioned for each occupation.

Approved by the Australian Home Affairs, there are several Skills Assessment Authorities responsible for assessing different skilled occupations. Let’s learn about them all:

1. Engineers Australia Migration Skills Assessment

For Engineering in Australia, the assessing authority responsible for migration skill assessment of professional Engineering Candidates is Engineers Australia (EA). The EA’s evaluating process determines if the applicant’s qualifications, experience, and skills meet the standards of the country's engineering standards, making it a crucial step for those seeking opportunities in the field of Engineering in Australia.

Engineers Australia Skills Assessment is widely known by most engineers who want to migrate to Australia.

1.1 Engineering Australia Skill Assessment Pathways

There are two Pathways introduced by Engineering Australia. They are:

A. Accredited Qualification Pathway
B. Non-Accredited Qualification Pathway

A. Accredited Qualification Pathways

Accredited Qualification are for those engineers who has taken education or courses from any of the followings accreditation authorities:

  • Australian Qualifications
  • Washington Accord
  • Sydney Accord
  • Dublin Accord Qualification
B. Non-Accredited Qualification Pathways

Non-Accredited Qualifications are for those engineers who do not have any accredited certificates from above-mentioned authorities. Therefore, they have to prepare:

  • Competency Demonstration Report (CDR): A CDR Report is a document that engineers and other technical professionals are required to prove their competency, skills and technical capabilities. Competency Demonstration Report is for non-accredited qualified professionals but gives equal importance to that of Accredited Qualified candidates.

1.2 Engineers Australia Skills Assessment Requirements

  • An Applicant must have completed at least a Bachelor’s Degree in any Engineering Field
  • An Applicant must have at least three years of work experience in the chosen field
  • An Applicant must have a Skilled Working Ability on a professional level
  • An Applicant must have a work experience in their nominated occupation

1.3 Engineers Australia Skill Assessment Process

  • Create an Account and Apply Online through the official portal
  • Include the important documents like academic transcripts, employment certificate, and a CV for documentary evidence.
  • Attach Proof of English Language Proficiency ( IELTS)
  • Pay the Skill Assessment Application fee to Engineers Australia

1.4 Necessary Documents for Skills Assessment by Engineers Australia

  • Academic Qualification Documents
  • Proof of work or employment
  • An updated Resume/CV
  • English Language Proficiency Score (IELTS)
  • Authorised Identification Proof

2. ACS Migration Skills Assessment

Australian Computer Society (ACS) is another authority who assesses the qualification, skills, and work experience of information and communication technology (ICT) professionals. They conduct a Migration Skills Assessment process in which ACS evaluates the professionals who are seeking migration to Australia under skilled migration visas, based on their capabilities in Information Technology. ACS Skills Assessment is a crucial step for ICT professionals looking to migrate to Australia and establish their careers in this field.

2.1 ACS Skills Assessment Requirements

  • An Applicant must have completed at least a Bachelor’s Degree in any Engineering Field
  • An Applicant must have at least two years of work experience in the last ten years
  • An Applicant must have a Skilled Working Ability on a professional level
  • An Applicant must have a work experience in their nominated occupation

2.2 ACS Skill Assessment Process

  • Create an Account and Apply Online through the official ACS web portal
  • Include the documentary evidence like academic transcripts, employment certificate, and a CV.
  • Attach Proof of English Language Proficiency ( IELTS)
  • Pay the Skill Assessment Application fee to ACS

2.3 Necessary Documents for ACS Skill Assessment

  • Academic Qualification Documents
  • Proof of work or employment
  • An updated Resume/CV
  • English Language Proficiency Score (IELTS)
  • Authorised Identification Proof

3. VETASSESS Migration Skills Assessment

Vocational Education and Training Assessment Service (VETASSESS) is an Australian skill assessment authority for engineers who have taken vocational education or training. It gives freedom to choose from all of the engineering occupations across different industries. Similar to the other two evaluations above, VETASSESS evaluates an engineer’s profile based on their education, work experience, technical skills, interpersonal skills and other relevant skills required in the Australian Engineering Industry.

3.1 VETASSESS Skills Assessment Requirements

  • An Applicant must have completed post-secondary education in any Engineering Field
  • An Applicant must have at least three years of work experience in chosen field
  • An Applicant must have a Skilled Working Ability on a professional level
  • An Applicant must have a work experience in their nominated occupation

3.2 VETASSESS Skill Assessment Process

  • Create an Account and Apply Online through the official VETASSESS web portal
  • Include the documentary evidence like academic transcripts, employment certificate, and a CV.
  • Attach Proof of English Language Proficiency ( IELTS)
  • Pay the Skill Assessment Application fee to VETASSESS

3.3 Necessary Documents for VETASSESS Skill Assessment

  • Academic Qualification Documents
  • Proof of work or employment
  • An updated Resume/CV
  • English Language Proficiency Score (IELTS)
  • Authorised Identification Proof

Skills Assessment Authorities Other Than EA, ACS & VETASSESS

EA, ACS & VETASSESS holds the top three most popular Skill Assessment Authorities for Engineers & IT professionals. But what if your occupation is not an engineer or IT specialist? Well, there are government authorities for other Skilled professionals too. Let’s learn about them:

1. TRA Migration Skills Assessment

Trades Recognition Australia (TRA) is a popular skills assessment authority who is responsible for the evaluation of a candidate's trade capabilities. Anyone as long as possess trade skills overseas and wants a professional recognition in Australia can apply for TRA Migration Skill Assessment.

To be eligible for TRA skill assessment, applicants must provide documentary evidence such as their trade qualifications, certificates, and educational transcripts. Furthermore, it is also required to submit work experience letters such as contracts, reference letters, job description.

2. AIM Migration Skills Assessment

The Australian Institute of Management Skill Assessment is an authorised organisation who focuses on providing professional development, training, and education services to individuals & organisations in Australia. AIM conducts a skills assessment for senior level managerial occupations. Those with exceptional talents in Management roles having relevant education, skills and experience in domains like leadership, project management, human resources, and marketing can apply for AIM Migration Skills Assessment.

3. CPA Migration Skills Assessment

Certified Practising Accountants (CPA) is an Australian authority who conducts a skills assessment process to evaluate the qualifications and skills of individuals seeking migration to Australia and work in accounting or related fields. CPA is responsible for assessing the skills of overseas-trained professional accountants to evaluate whether they are capable or not for Skilled Migration Visas in Australia.

4. CAA NZ Migration Skills Assessment

Previously known as Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia (ICAA), it merged to form a newly formed institute as “Chartered Accountants and New Zealand (CAA NZ)”. This newly formed organisation operates under Royal Charter and the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants. CAA NZ conducts migration skill assessment for the applicants who wish to be labelled as Chartered Accountants and want access to a wide range of opportunities in Australia.

5. AACA Migration Skills Assessment

Going by the full name Architects Accreditation Council of Australia, ACCA is responsible to assess the skills and competency of overseas architects. The evaluation process is based on the skills, academic qualifications, and architectural field experience.

List of Occupations And Their Skills Assessment Bodies

Occupation Skill Assessment Body
Engineers Engineers Australia
Information Technology Australian Computer Society (ACS)
Nurses and Midwives Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC)
Accountants Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ)
Business Professionals Institute of Managers and Leaders (IML)
Pharmacists Australian Pharmacy Council (APC)
Teachers Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL)
Social Workers Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW)
Medical Practitioners Australian Medical Council (AMC)
Physiotherapists Australian Physiotherapy Council (APC)
Occupational Therapists Occupational Therapy Council of Australia (OTC)
Electricians Trade Recognition Australia (TRA) Approved Registered Training Organisation (RTO)
Chefs Trade Recognition Australia (TRA)
Welders Trade Recognition Australia (TRA) Approved Registered Training Organisations (RTOs)
Hairdressers Trade Recognition Australia (TRA)
Automotive Mechanics Trade Recognition Australia (TRA)
Carpentry and Joinery Trade Recognition Australia (TRA)
Plumber Trade Recognition Australia TRA-approved registered training organisation (RTO)
Electrician Trade Recognition Australia (TRA)-approved registered training organisation (RTO)
Bricklayer Trade Recognition Australia (TRA)-approved registered training organisation (RTO)

Things to Consider Before Applying for Migration Skills Assessment

1. A Verification Check with the Australian Department of Home Affairs

Always remember to do a verification check with the official Department of Home Affairs to confirm whether you need a Skills Assessment for your chosen Visa application. Based on the occupation, there are different Visa subclasses with their own requirements. Thus, it is important to confirm beforehand if a skills assessment is of your chosen visa category or not.

2. Choose the Assessing Authority Based on Your Occupation

Choosing the right authority that relates to your occupation is important. As there are different assessing authorities for each professional field, choosing & confirming the one that is right fit for your field is essential.

What are the Migration Skill Assessment Fees?

Different Migration Skills Assessors have set their own assessment fees. However, on an average, a complete Migration Skills Assessment costs $AUD 795, whereas, a Migration Skills Assessment Review costs $AUD 610.

Common Challenges You Might Face During Skills Assessment

Immigration skills assessment for Australia can be a complex and complex process, especially for individuals who wish to immigrate to Australia based on their skills and qualifications. Here are some common challenges applicants face when conducting a migration skills assessment:

Document verification and authenticity: It is important to provide authentic and verifiable documents. Ensuring that all your educational and employment documents are accurate and accurately represent your qualifications and experience can be a challenge, especially if you have studied or worked in multiple countries.

Recognized skills: Your skills may not always align perfectly with the professional categories recognized by the Australian Bureau of Standards. Matching your skills and the specific job that best suits your situation can be challenging.

Changes in the job listings: Australia’s qualified workforce roster could be fluid owing to labour market demands and policy shifts. A job that used to be one that you may relocate may not qualify anymore, thus affecting your immigration plans.

Different inspection procedures: Different inspection authorities have their own procedure and guideline. Knowledge of these requirements can make it difficult to ensure conformity with the standards required by your particular reviewing officer.

Experience check: At times, senior reviewers require a specific work experience in your chosen field. Accounting for this experience accurately and knowledgeably can prove difficult given past working patterns or country of work assignment.

English proficiency: Most skilled immigration routes require demonstration of English proficiency through language tests such as IELTS or PTE. The scoring requirements can be challenging for some applicants, especially if English is not their first language.

Recognition of qualifications: Your qualifications may not be recognized directly by a reviewing authority, requiring further assessment, testing, or bridging courses to meet Australian standards

Immigration Law changes: Immigration policies and laws may change, affecting skills assessment requirements. Staying abreast of these changes and adjusting your application accordingly can be challenging.

Financial Costs: The process of assessing skills may include financial requirements and other costs associated with migration. This can be a challenge, especially for aspiring entrepreneurs on tight budgets.

Time constraints: The skills assessment process can be time-consuming, potentially delaying your entire immigration process. Meeting deadlines, gathering important documents, and preparing surveys within a specific time frame can be challenging.

Lack of guidance: Understanding the complexities of the skills assessment process can be difficult, and some industries may have few official guidelines in place Applicants may need to rely on online forums, communities , or professional immigration counsel to assist.

Appeals and investigations: If the outcome of your competency assessment is not as expected, navigating the appeals and investigation process can be difficult, requiring legal or professional assistance.

Visa Categories to Apply for Migration Skills Assessment

Based on the occupation, there are different Visa Categories for Migration Skills Assessment:

  • General Skilled Migration (GSM):
    Common Visa for Skilled Immigrants who want to migrate to Australia as skilled professionals.
  • Visas sponsored by employers (Sponsorship Visa):
    A type of visa in which an employer invite an overseas professional to get employment in the Australia
  • The Temporary Skill Shortage visa (TSS):
    A visa that allows skilled workers from all over the world to work in his/her nominated occupation for up to four years.
  • The Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485):
    A type of Visa that lets you live, work and study in Australia temporarily.

Tips to Choose the Right Skills Assessment Authority

Well done! For coming this far on the Comprehensive Guide to Migration Skills Assessment. Now that you may already understand about the What the Migration Skills Assessments are, How to apply them, their eligibility criteria along with the top assessing authorities based on the occupation. Let’s us give you some best tips to choose the Right Skills Assessment Authority:

1. Check Your Occupation

Different Skills Assessment authorities assess different occupations. So, make sure the authority you choose is responsible for assessing your chosen occupation.

2. Accreditation & Official Approval

Always check the official website of an authority to confirm whether they are authorised by the Australian Government. This ensures that the procedures and assessment they suggest are abided by the official rules.

3. Assessment Processing Time

Skill Assessment processing time varies according to the assessment authority. As a result, it is advisable to check the estimated processing time at the official website of an authority before applying through them.

4. Assessment Guidelines & Criteria

It is advised to review the assessment eligibility criteria & guidelines provided by your chosen Skill Assessment Authority. Ensure that you can meet & follow all the guidelines that are necessarily required to support your application.

5. Pathway to Permanent Residency

Last but not the least, always consider your long-term plans while choosing the assessment authority. If your goal is to get a permanent residency (PR) working as a Skilled Professional in Australia, make sure the chosen Assessment authority is aligned with that of your migration goal.


To wrap it up, getting a skill assessment is really important if you want to migrate to Australia as a skilled worker. For that, different assessment authorities like Australian Computer Society, Engineers Australia, and VETASSESS, have their own guidelines and rules to check your proficiency level. Thus, picking the right one is a key to a successful assessment of your occupation.

Here at CDR Report Writer, we will guide you step-by-step in your Migration Skill Assessment to Australia. Our top experts will help you create a strong competency Demonstration Report (CDR) along with skills and qualifications you need. We are your partners in making your dream of migration to Australia as a Skilled professional a reality. Let’s help you get there!

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions


MSA (Migration Skills Assessment) is an evaluation process conducted by different skill assessment authorities to evaluate one’s skills and competency for immigration to Australia. There are different Migration Skills Assessment Authorities for different occupations such as: Engineers Australia for Engineers, ACS for ICT professionals, and ACCA for Architects.

Professional workers such as engineers, IT professionals, chartered accountants and business specialists who have both skills and experience in their field can apply for a MSA. There are types of Visa for different occupations, those visas are: General Skilled Migration (GSM) visas, Employer Sponsored Visa, Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa, and Temporary Graduate Visa.

It takes around 120 days from the date of submission to finalised TRA Migration Skills Assessment. However, the processing time may vary depending upon the volume of applications received and complexity of verification process required.

In case your General Skills Assessment gets rejected, this means there is something wrong with your skills assessment application form. The assessment authority may then ask you to submit the application again with following the proper guidelines that meet the required skills assessment standards.