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Guidelines for returning applicants with expired skills assessments

This page contains information relevant for applicants holding an expired (within the last 2 years) or expiring 'suitable' skills assessment certificate. As a result of Department of Immigration and Border Protection policy changes, these applicants will need to obtain a new assessment via an abbreviated pathway (called Category C) if they wish to obtain a valid skills assessment certificate.

Category C – Returning applicants wishing to obtain a new skills assessment

Assessment Criteria
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.

Category C assessment criteria are:

  1. Holding 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 work experience or professional development activities

Currency can be demonstrated through one or more of the below options:

  • Option 1 - More than 3 months work experience (at least 20 hours per week) in a current role at the required skill level
  • Option 2 - 6 months or more of work experience (at least 20 hours per week) at the required skill level within the last 2 years
  • Option 3 - A minimum of 20 hours of participation in professional development activities within the last 12 months

Definition of relevant work experience
Relevant professional experience (at the relevant skill level) is defined as work which involves the provision of direct service to clients at an individual, group, family or community level as well as influencing welfare structures and systems on a societal level. Relevant professional experience can be paid or voluntary, but volunteer work experience must be supervised by a suitably qualified professional.

Relevant work experience skill level
Relevant work experience skill level refers to a role with responsibilities that require at a minimum, a relevant tertiary qualification. This means if you are claiming relevant work experience you must be able to demonstrate that the position/s you have held requires a relevant tertiary qualification or sufficient experience in a welfare related field.

Certain jobs like personal care and support work may not be suitable as they may not require a tertiary qualified worker and may only require the worker to perform activities like accompanying clients, 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. However we can only determine that a certain work experience is relevant after we assess it as per the guidelines.

A welfare worker practicing at the required skill level will be regularly and systematically performing a number of key relevant job functions in the course of their work, including:

  • Intake assessment
  • Crisis intervention
  • Counselling and casework
  • Case management
  • Client services – including assessment, referral, counselling and support
  • Program planning and development
  • Family welfare work
  • Advocacy
  • Community development work
  • Reflecting and improving upon professional practice
  • High level interpersonal communication
  • Group facilitation
  • Develop and implement intervention strategies
  • Address human rights and social advocacy
  • Influence public policy and legislation
  • Undertake research and conduct social analysis

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:

  • Work effectively with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients and families
  • Client Notes and Record Keeping
  • Recognising and Working with Complex Trauma
  • Mental Health Social Support

Please note these are examples only. There are a range of quality programs relevant to welfare workers.

Documents to be supplied with application

Option 1
More than 3 months work experience (at least 20 hours per week) in a current role at the required skill level

  • Copy of expired or expiring skills assessment certificate
  • Certified copy of qualification
  • Certified copy of transcript of results
  • Current resume including 2 referees, one of which must have been a workplace supervisor
  • Position description for the current relevant work experience
  • Letter from the current employer showing details of the position including title, type, whether part-time or full time, and start and end dates
  • Certified copy of biography page of passport
  • If application is submitted via an agent, a signed authorisation form
  • If applicable, certified copy of evidence of name change

Option 2
6 months or more of work experience (at least 20 hours per week) at the required skill level within the last 2 year

  • Copy of expired or expiring skills assessment certificate
  • Certified copy of qualification
  • Certified copy of transcript of results
  • Current CV / resume including 2 referees, one of which must have been a workplace supervisor
  • Position description for the most recent and relevant work experience
  • Letter from most recent and relevant employer showing details of the position including title, type, whether part-time or full time, and start and end dates
  • Certified copy of biography page of passport
  • If application is submitted via an agent, a signed authorisation form
  • If applicable, certified copy of evidence of name change

Option 3
A minimum of 20 hours of participation in professional development activities within the last 12 months, for example attendance at workshops and conferences

  • Copy of expired or expiring skills assessment certificate
  • Certified copy of qualification
  • Certified copy of transcript of results
  • Current CV / resume including 2 referees, one of which must have been a workplace supervisor
  • Evidence of a minimum of 20 hours of professional development attendance and activity details eg. Certificates, letter from provider with details of activity subjects and total hours
  • Certified copy of biography page of passport
  • If application is submitted via an agent, a signed authorisation form
  • If applicable, certified copy of evidence of name change

If you are unsure about document certification you can find an explanation here.

Application process

If you believe that you meet the eligibility requirements please submit your application for a skills assessment via the application form which you can find here. Please read the guidelines very carefully before submitting an application so that you know what information and documents you need to provide.

Note the following:
  • You will need to email the completed form and supporting documentation to assessments@acwa.org.au. 
  • Use the subject line: Skills assessment application - applicant's name. For example: Skills assessment application - John Smith.
  • All attachments should be either PDF files, Word documents or PNG or JPEG images. If you have a large number of files you are encouraged to compress them in a zip folder.
  • Payment needs to be made at the time of submission and is non-refundable.
  • Once we have received your completed application it will take approximately 6-8 weeks to be processed however, if more information is required it may take longer to process.
  • Assessment outcomes will not be given by phone or email.

ACWA deals directly with applicants. ACWA will not discuss your application with other people (third parties) unless specifically authorised by you to do so. If you want someone such as a family member or other agent to deal with ACWA on your behalf, you will need to attach a letter signed by you, authorising this person (by name) to act as your agent. Regardless of whether or not an agent is appointed, the address used for correspondence will be that as nominated by the applicant form.

Application fee

Skills assessment (Category C - Returning applicants) = $700

Fast-tracking assessments
If you would like to apply for your full skills assessment to be fast-tracked please contact the assessment team on (03) 9654 8287 after you have submitted your email application. This service is only available to applicants on a case by case basis and incurs a fee of $165 (GST inclusive) if paying within Australia or $150 if paying from overseas.

Appeal policy and procedure
If you are assessed as being ‘not suitable’ for the nominated occupation and would like to appeal the decision please refer to the ACWA appeal policy and procedure.


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