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Skills Assessment Guidelines - Welfare Worker ANZSCO 272613

Before reading these guidelines please make sure you have read the pre-assessment information.

A welfare worker is a person who 'Assists individuals, families and groups with social, emotional or financial difficulties to improve quality of life, by educating and supporting them and working towards change in their social environment.' (ABS, ANZSCO 272613)

Minimum requirements

There are three different pathways for applicants seeking assessment as a welfare worker. However, all new applicants must, at a minimum:
  • Have an ACWA accredited diploma (AQF level 5), or a relevant bachelor degree qualification (AQF level 7)
  • Be proficient in English (refer to the English language requirement)
  • Be current in the industry
Assessment pathways

Category A (ACWA accredited or recognised overseas qualification): This pathway is for applicants who have completed a diploma or higher ACWA accredited course, or a course completed overseas that is recognised by ACWA.

Category B (Relevant bachelor degree qualification): This pathway is for applicants who have completed a relevant bachelor degree or higher and have a minimum of two years industry experience.

Category C (Previously ‘suitable’ skills assessment holders): This pathway is for applicants whose skills assessment has expired within the last two years. Returning applicants whose assessment expired more than two years ago will need to apply for a new assessment under Category A or B.

Definitions

Relevant qualification
A course of study in community services, human services, human welfare (or similar), and qualifies an applicant to practice at the required skill level.

A relevant qualification should cover the following:
  • Sociology (including individual and family roles)
  • Community, social and political structure and function 
  • Individual human function, including psychological, physical and social aspects 
  • General and specialised welfare services and welfare systems 
  • Work with individuals, families, groups and communities 
  • Communication and basic counselling skills
Examples of relevant subjects within a qualification: Child development, counselling skills, human services, social justice, child protection, mental health, case management, group theory, drug and alcohol issues, crisis intervention, psychology, youth work, working with children and families, sociology, community development, juvenile justice.

ACWA accredited course
An applicant is deemed to have graduated from an ACWA accredited course if the course and campus was accredited by ACWA for the entire duration of the applicant’s study. If the course gained ACWA accreditation during the applicant’s study period, applications will be assessed on a case by case basis under this category. All ACWA accredited courses are listed on our course finder and include mandatory fieldwork placements.

Recognised overseas qualifications
Recognised courses are deemed to be of equivalent standard to an ACWA accredited course at a minimum of a diploma level. All overseas recognised courses are listed here.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
In instances where an applicant has used recognition of prior learning (RPL) to gain credit towards completing their qualification, ACWA will accept up to a maximum of 40% RPL.

Industry experience and skill level
Relevant professional experience involves the provision of direct service to clients at an individual, group, family or community level. This direct service can include intake assessment, crisis intervention, counselling, case work, case management and/or group facilitation.

It is paid work, post-qualification and must be at an appropriate skill level (this means the position must require the relevant minimum qualification in order to perform the duties and responsibilities). Full time work is considered to be employment at a minimum of 20 hours per week.

Certain jobs, for example, personal care and support work are rarely deemed suitable as they do not require a tertiary qualification to be appropriately undertaken. These roles typically involve tasks and activities such as activities accompanying clients to appointments, cooking, bathing, washing, providing recreational support etc. Examples of occupational titles that have previously been found to not meet the requirements are disability support worker, recreation assistant, activity assistant, community support worker.

Common occupational titles associated with community and human services work include:

Intake and Assessment Officer                        
Housing Officer/Worker
Counsellor (AOD, family, grief etc)
Juvenile Justice Officer/Worker
Case Manager/ Case Worker
Multicultural Support Officer/Worker
Child Protection Worker
Outreach Worker
Community Corrections Worker
Parole Officer
Community Worker           
Residential Care Coordinator
Crisis Intervention Worker
Social Worker
Disability Services Officer
Youth Worker (including outreach)

PLEASE NOTE: having your occupational title listed does not necessarily mean your work experience is relevant for skills assessment/migration points advice. Refer to all relevant information.

Welfare Worker Category A – ACWA accredited or overseas recognised qualification

ACWA accredited and overseas recognised qualifications are those which are most compatible. Subjects offered in these qualifications are highly relevant and each of them includes a mandatory fieldwork placement component. The fieldwork placement component ensures a basic level of experience in working with clients.

PLEASE NOTE: Where an applicant is unable to provide evidence of fieldwork placements the application will be assessed under Category B.

Assessment criteria

Category A assessment criteria are:
  1. Completion of an ACWA accredited diploma course or higher, or a course completed overseas that is recognised by ACWA and equivalent to an AQF level 5 diploma qualification or higher.
  2. English language proficiency
  3. Industry currency
Industry currency

Where the relevant qualification is more than 5 years old industry currency can be demonstrated through:
  1. More than three months of industry experience (at least 20 hours per week) in a current role at the required skill level
  2. Six months or more of industry experience (at least 20 hours per week) at the required skill level within the last two years
  3. A minimum of 20 hours of participation in professional development activities per year for the last three years.
Category B – Relevant bachelor qualification and two years of industry experience

While not as compatible as the accredited and recognised qualifications, these qualifications are relevant to the welfare work occupation.

Assessment criteria

Applicants with relevant qualifications may be assessed under this category. The industry requirement for these applicants is in place to ensure an applicant is able to demonstrate practice at the required skill level. For example, an applicant who holds a Master in Sociology may not have covered counselling and casework in their qualification. However, the applicant may demonstrate the achievement of such competencies through industry experience.

Category B assessment criteria are:
  1. Completion of a relevant bachelor degree comparable to AQF level 7 or higher.
  2. Minimum of two years of relevant full-time (or part-time equivalent) industry experience within the last 5 years.
  3. English language proficiency.
Category C – Previously 'suitable' skills assessment holders

Applicants who hold an expired (within the last 2 years) or expiring 'suitable' skills assessment certificate may use this pathway to obtain a new skills assessment.

Assessment criteria

Category C assessment criteria are:
  1. Hold an expired (within the last 2 years) or expiring ‘suitable' Welfare Worker skills assessment certificate
  2. Currency in relevant area at the required skill level as demonstrated through relevant industry experience or professional development activities
Industry currency

Where the relevant qualification is older than 5 years applicants are required to demonstrate currency in welfare work. Currency can be demonstrated through:
  1. More than three months industry experience (at least 20 hours per week) in a current role at the required skill level
  2. Six months or more of industry experience (at least 20 hours per week) at the required skill level within the last two years
  3. A minimum of 20 hours of participation in professional development activities within each of the last 3 years.
Professional development

Professional development (PD) activities are meant to extend or update practitioners skills and knowledge in their area of practice. PD activities used for demonstrating currency must be at the required welfare worker skill level. Training programs in first aid, manual handling, medication assistance etc are not considered for skills assessment purposes. Some examples of PD workshops include: Working effectively with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients and families; Client notes and record keeping; Recognising and working with complex trauma; Mental health support.

Document checklist

1) Identity (all applicants)

  • Certified copy of biography page of passport
  • If applicable, certified copy of evidence of name change
  • If applicable, a signed authorisation form for your migration agent

2) English proficiency (all applicants except Category C)

  • Evidence of English language proficiency

3) Qualifications (all applicants)

  • Certified copy of qualification (or letter of completion) showing the start date and end date the applicant was deemed to have completed the course.
  • Certified copy of transcript of results
  • If applicable (Category A only), certified copy of letter from your educational institution showing details of field placements (evidence of total 400 hours in two different placements)

4) Industry experience (Category B applicants)

  • Current CV/resume including 2 referees with current contact details, one of which must have been a workplace supervisor
  • Position descriptions for relevant work experience. Applicants must provide this evidence for all work experience claims made in the application.
  • Letter from employer showing details of the position including title, type, whether part-time or full time, and start and end dates. Applicants must provide this evidence for all work experience claims made in the application.

5) Industry currency (Category A applicants if applicable. All Category C applicants).

  • If using option 1 or 2
  1. Position description for the industry experience
  2. Letter from current employer showing details of the position including title, type, whether part-time or full-time, and start and end dates
  • If using option 3
  1. attendance and activity details eg.certificates, letter from provider with details of content and total hours.

6) Other supporting documents

  • If applicable (Category C applicants), copy of expired or expiring skills assessment certificate
  • If applicable, evidence of professional registration/membership in your country of training or a country you have worked in. Evidence can include a certified copy of registration certificate or online registration verification number.

Optional additional services

Documents to be provided by applicant for qualification comparability assessment:

  • Certified copy of skills assessment certificate from ACWA (if applying after a successful skills assessment application)
  • Certified copy of the qualification(s)
  • Certified copy of transcripts of results
  • Certified copy of biography page of passport

Documents to be provided by applicant for advice based on Australian or overseas work experience:

  • Certified copy of skills assessment certificate from ACWA (if applying after a successful skills assessment application)
  • Position descriptions with company details including name, email, address, business registration number, phone number, etc.
  • Letter from employer on company letterhead showing details of the position including position title, type. start and end dates, brief description of duties undertaken and qualification or experience needed for the position
  • Certified copy of biography page of passport
Application process and form

If you believe that you meet the requirements, download the application form here. This page also contains information about the application process such as document certification requirements, fees and time-frames so make sure you read it carefully.


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