Recognition of trade skills

Important notice

Please be aware that new applications for a Certificate of Proficiency have now closed and will re-open on 30 January 2023.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

A Certificate of Proficiency from the Commissioner for Vocational Training recognises your skills and any current and/or prior experience gained on the job.

COVID-19 update

Important information for applicants for Certificate of Proficiency. How to lodge your application.

A female worker taking stock in a brewery. A female worker taking stock in a brewery.

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 can 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.

Who can apply?

To be eligible, you must:

  • be living in NSW or living in Australia, intending to work in NSW
  • have completed an Australian qualification (certificate & transcript)
  • provide evidence of the years you have worked in the trade including work orders, examples of on-the-job training, references from certified tradesperson
  • provide details of the duration of your trade training eg. e-profiling, skills tracker
  • provide samples of work, projects, practical experience demonstrated in employment
  • provide copies of supporting documentation (these must be verified as true and correct copies of original documents by a Justice of the Peace)
  • provide evidence demonstrating your skills, training, practical experience and employment associated with a trade vocation; and
  • demonstrate that you are adequately trained to work in a trade vocation.

What is the assessment process?

The Commissioner will consider:

  • your relevant Australian trade qualifications
  • the duration of the training you have received
  • the time you have worked in the trade
  • the type of instruction and training you have received.

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 (references must be on employer's letterhead signed and dated)
  • 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 that has been verified by a past employer or qualified supervisor.

Employees in the Electrical (Electrician) trade select, install, set up, test, fault find, repair and maintain electrical systems and equipment in industrial, commercial and domestic settings.

They dismantle, assemble and fabricate electrotechnology components, lay wiring, terminate accessories, install writing and accessories for low voltage circuits, verify compliance and functionality of general electrical installations, disconnect and reconnect fixed wired electrical equipment connected to low voltage supply and develop and connect control circuits.

They solve problems in extra-low voltage single path circuits, in multiple path direct current circuits, electromagnetic circuits and in single and three phase low voltage circuits.

They may also perform the following tasks:

  • install low voltage electrical apparatus and associated equipment
  • find and repair faults in electrical apparatus and circuits
  • select and arrange equipment for general electrical installations
  • use drawings, diagrams, schedules and manuals
  • make quotations for installation or service jobs.

Start here: application guidelines and forms

Read the Certificate of Proficiency guidelines [PDF 316KB] and follow the step-by-step instructions.

The guidelines provide essential information on:

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

Complete and submit an Application for a Certificate of Proficiency as per the instructions on the form*.

*Learn how lodgement applications have changed due to COVID-19.

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.


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


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