Recognition of trade skills

A female electrician working on switch box A female electrician working on switch box
Image: A Certificate of Proficiency from the Commissioner for Vocational Training recognises your skills and any current and/or prior experience gained on the job.

At a glance

If you have trade proficiency but haven’t completed an apprenticeship or formal qualification in Australia, you'll need to go to a registered training provider and undertake some gap training.

You may wish to then apply for a Certificate of Proficiency from the Commissioner for Vocational Training.

You can do this whether you have gained your trade skills through formal training or on-the-job experience, in Australia or overseas, where you can satisfy all the eligibility criteria.

If your application is successful you’ll be formally recognised as a tradesperson and issued with a Certificate of Proficiency.

Licensed Trades

A number of trade vocations require licences or registration in NSW. This is administered by the relevant licensing authority or registration body. The Certificate of Proficiency issued by the Commissioner is not a substitute for this and is not a guarantee that you will receive the required licence or registration.

Available vocations for trade skills recognition:

  • 699 - Automotive - Electrical Technology
  • 699 - Automotive - Heavy Commercial Vehicle Mechanical Technology
  • 699 - Automotive - Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology
  • 699 - Automotive - Mobile Plant Technology
  • 709 - Carpentry
  • 709 – Plumbing
  • 742 - Electricity Supply Industry - Distribution Overhead
  • 742 - Electricity Supply Industry - Distribution Underground
  • 742 - Electricity Supply Industry - Rail Traction
  • 742 - Electricity Supply Industry - Transmissions Overhead
  • 754 - Engineering - Fabrication
  • 754 - Engineering - Mechanical
  • 755 - Electrotechnology - Electrician
  • 755 - Electrotechnology - Air Conditioning and Refrigeration

Who can apply?

To be eligible, you must:

  • be living in NSW or living in Australia and intending to work in NSW
  • have completed a current Australian trade qualification relevant to this application
  • not have a currently registered, approved or pending apprenticeship training contract in NSW
  • not have a current TSR Certificate of Proficiency application in progress prior to 18 December 2023
  • not be aged under 18.

What is the assessment process?

The Commissioner will consider:

  • your relevant Australian trade qualifications
  • the duration and type of training you have received. For example Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
  • the time you have worked in the trade
  • applicable evidence of how you developed your trade skills.

The Commissioner relies on relevant documentary evidence to assess your application and the quality of evidence demonstrating your trade skills, practical experience and employment in the trade.

The Commissioner considers applications for a certificate of proficiency in accordance with the provisions of the Apprenticeship and Traineeship Act 2001.

The Commissioner may consult representatives from industry (both employer and employee). The Commissioner considers your qualification and relevant supporting documentation. The process involves comparing your training and work experience with the requirements for the relevant trade in Australia.

What evidence do I need to provide?

Examples of relevant documents may include:

  • transcripts and certificates of formal training completed
  • work-related references from employers detailing the nature of trade work and the duration of employment, procedures applied and tools and equipment used which are consistent with your trade
  • work orders, e-profiling, skills tracker, log books or job cards illustrating the nature of trade work you have performed
  • any other evidence that demonstrates that you are competent or trained to work in your trade
  • an employer statement of upcoming work in NSW or a signed contract with an employer to commence work in NSW at a specified date.

Application fee

An application fee of $200 is payable once your application has been accepted. You will be contacted directly for payment.

Start here: Preparing your application

You must read the Preparing your application for a Trade Skills Recognition (TSR) Certificate of Proficiency instructions before you start your application.

The web page provides essential information on:

  • the application process
  • acceptable documentary evidence to support your application
  • fees
  • licensing authorities
  • translation services
  • contacts for assistance and advice.

Certificate of Proficiency

This trade certificate is awarded by the Commissioner to applicants who have demonstrated they are adequately trained to work in the trade, through evidence of past employment and experience and successful completion of a relevant Australian qualification.

To work in some trades in NSW, you must be licenced. The Commissioner does not issue licences or qualifications, so you will need to contact the relevant licensing authority. See more information for licensed trades.

To apply for a Certificate of Proficiency click here.


For advice and information contact Training Services NSW's apprenticeships and traineeships unit.



  • Skills
  • VET


  • VET

Business Unit:

  • Training Services NSW
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