Update to Australian skills assessment process for tradespeople - VETASSESS / TRA

There have been a number of changes made to the skills assessment process for Australian visa applicants in certain trades occupations, stemming from the announcement last week that VETASSESS have been removed as a Trade Assessing Authority.

However, while TRA (Trades Recognition Australia) remain the assessing body for tradespeople, they will be delegating assessing responsibilities to other bodies as a Registered Training Organisations (RTO) for certain occupations.

As a result, VETASSESS has since been appointed as an RTO for particular occupations in particular countries, as has Victoria University.

A full list of which occupations in which countries will be assessed by VETASSESS or Victoria University can be found here. However, see below for a quick summary of some of the most important details:

Occupations Removed from VETASSESS

The following occupations will now be assessed by TRA under the Skilled Worker Program criteria.

  • Cable Jointer
  • Motorcycle Mechanic
  • Small Engine Mechanic

Occupations Added to VETASSESS / Victoria University

The following occupations will now be assessed by either VETASSESS or Victoria University.

  • Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (Avionics)
  • Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (Mechanical)
  • Electronic Equipment Trade Worker
  • Electrician (Special Class)
  • Metal Fabricator
  • Sheetmetal Trades Worker
  • Vehicle Painter
  • Welder (First Class)

New Countries

Applicants from the following countries must now use either VETASSESS or Victoria University when completing their skills assessment, if they have an occupation featured here.

  • Ireland
  • China
  • Korea
  • Pakistan
  • Singapore
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Iran

Important Notes

  • Only VETASSESS can assess Diesel Mechanics.
  • Only Victoria University can assess Electricians (Special Class) and Aircraft Maintennace Engineers. 

What other changes do applicants need to be aware of? 

Self-assessment changes

The VETASSESS self-assessment process has been renamed TradeSET and is now accessible online here, with the new requirement that all applicants will be asked to print off their completed self-assessment and submit it as part of their application.

On first appearances, it doesn't appear to be too different to the current self-assessment process. However, there are still a few issues with it; for example, a number of occupations are missing (such as Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (Mechanical) and Sheetmetal Trades Worker).

New processes / fees

At the moment, there's some confusion as to what the process will be for when applicants come to complete a practical assessment. The FAQ on this page states that there will be the option of either completing a technical interview (at a cost of AU$1,400) or an interview and practical demonstration (at a cost of AU$1,500).  However, it's still not clear whether UK applicants will be able to choose between which assessment method they proceed under or whether the country of residence will dictate the process.

- Lauren Mennie is Casework Department Manager for the Australian Visa Bureau.