Skills assessments, registration and licensing Applicants entering Australia on the 457 visa do not have to undertake and successfully pass a skills assessment before being eligible for migration. However if required, the applicant must demonstrate that they have the necessary skills to be eligible for registration or licensing with an Australian State authority if it is necessary to undertake the nominated position for which they are being sponsored. The 457 visa rules state that the applicant must be “eligible for any relevant licences or registration required for the nominated position”.
However, there is no one single regulatory regime in Australia governing the engineering profession and no national legislative restrictions on the use of the title “professional engineer”. Engineers do not need to be a member of a professional association in Australia in order to offer engineering services to the public and on the whole do not need to be registered or licensed before working as an engineer in Australia.
In all States and Territories of Australia the principal regulatory instruments governing the practice of engineering include:
- self-regulation by Engineers Australia,
- self and co-regulation by the National Professional Engineers Register operated by the National Engineering Registration Board www.nerb.org.au ; and
- government regulation in the State of Queensland by the Board of Professional Engineers, under the Professional Engineers Act 2002 www.bpeq.qld.gov.au.
Other than in Queensland, the engineering profession operates under a self regulatory system with two voluntary registration schemes – membership of Engineers Australia as a Chartered Professional Engineer (CPEng), or registration on the National Professional Engineers Register (NPER). Engineers can be registered on NPER without being members of Engineers Australia.
Engineers who enter Australia on the 457 visa (unlike many other professionals) are not having their qualifications assessed by de-facto arrangements based on State administration of registration or licensing schemes. Other than in Queensland, skills assessment through registration is voluntary. As a result many of the “engineers” entering via the 457 visa system