Mutual recognition

To work in some occupations individuals need to be registered and/or hold a license in the state or territory where they wish to work.

In Australia, the states and territories have responsibility for deciding which occupations require a registration or license and any conditions for these. The Department of Education, Skills and Employment has no authority to register or license occupations, or alter any decisions made by a state or territory. 

The types of occupations and requirements for a registration or license may vary between states and territories. The mutual recognition of occupations allows a person who holds a registration or license in one state or territory to receive another registration or license in a different state or territory for an equivalent occupation after they have notified the local registration authority.

Applications for the mutual recognition of any registration or license needs to be made to the relevant registration authority in the state or territory where a registration or license is being sought. As the mutual recognition of a registration or license is not automatic, individuals must apply for recognition of their existing registration or license and pay any applicable fees.

For example, a person who is licensed as an electrician in Queensland and wishes to work in Western Australia will need to lodge an application with the Western Australian local registration authority to become registered in Western Australia.  The Western Australian local registration authority will consider the Queensland license and assess whether the person is eligible for an equivalent Western Australian electrician’s license. If they determine the occupations are equivalent, the person can be registered and issued an electrician’s license in Western Australia. The local registration authority may also place conditions on a license.

Similar mutual recognition arrangements for occupations also exist between Australia and New Zealand.

Latest News

The Deregulation Taskforce in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet is working with states and territories to improve occupational mobility, to make it easier for people in licensed occupations to move where their skills are needed and to enable businesses and consumers to access skilled workers more quickly. More information on the work of the Taskforce is available on the deregulation taskforce page of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet website.

Further information

Further information on the mutual recognition of occupations can be found on the frequently asked questions page or by contacting the Department of Education, Skills and Employment at mutualrecognition@dese.gov.au.

Information in relation to the mutual recognition of goods is available from the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources at TradeFacilitation@industry.gov.au.