ACS Skills Assessment

ACS's role is to assess the skills and qualifications of ICT professionals who are considering migration to Australia to work in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector.

Australian Computer Society Skills Assessment

ACS conduct skills assessment on behalf of the Department of Home Affairs as part of the overall visa application process. ACS determine if an applicant has the required ICT qualifications and experience needed for employment in Australia.

English Language Requirement for Skills Assessment

ACS does not require any English language tests for skills assessments.

ACS Skills Assessment Application Processing Time

Applications are processed as soon as possible and any delays are dependent on the quality of the documentation and information provided. For applications that do not require any requests for additional documentation or information, skills assessment will take usually between 8 - 10 weeks.

Priority Processing for ACS Skills Assessment Application

A priority processing of the application is a courtesy service, and is only available for Australian visa deadlines less than 12 weeks from the date of application. Applicants must allow at least 2 weeks’ notice of the deadline.

ACS Skills Assessment Application Fees

Temporary Graduate - 485 Skills Assessment: A$475, Post Australian Study Skills Assessment: A$500, Skills (General Application): A$500, Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL): A$550, Review Application: A$395, Appeal Application: A$395.

ACS accepts applicants who can provide evidence of their educational qualification and employment, along with evidence of their identity as part of the application. The following skills assessment options are available for migration purposes

ACS Skills Assessment for Temporary Graduate Visa

The Temporary Graduate pathway is for graduates that have completed an Australian Bachelor degree or higher. This is a qualification only skills assessment and can only be used to apply for a subclass 485 visa.

- Only nominated occupations which appear on the subclass 485 Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) are applicable to a Temporary Graduate pathway.

- You will be required to have completed an Australian bachelor’s degree or higher at an educational institution in Australia with a major in ICT which is closely related to the nominated occupation (ANZSCO) to meet the suitability criteria.

ACS Skills Assessment for Post Australian Study

The Post Australian Study pathway is for graduates that have completed an Australian Bachelor degree or higher and would like a skill assessment for migration purposes in general. Relevant ICT employment or completion of an ACS Professional Year program is required.

You will require an Australian Bachelor’s degree or higher with a major in ICT which is closely related to the nominated occupation (ANZSCO) plus one of the following requirements for a suitable skills assessment:

- 1 year of relevant work experience completed after the completion date of the relevant Australian degree; or
- Completion of an ACS Professional Year Program.

ACS General Skills Assessment

General skills assessment is suitable for applicants with tertiary ICT qualifications and ICT employment.

Bachelor Degree or higher with ICT Major Closely related to your nominated occupation

You will require 2 years relevant work experience completed within the past 10 years or 4 years relevant work experience completed anytime in your past work history (whichever provides the earliest skill date) to meet the suitability criteria.

Bachelor Degree or higher with ICT Major Not closely related to your nominated occupation

You will require 4 years relevant work experience completed anytime in your past work history to meet the suitability criteria.

Bachelor Degree or higher with ICT Minor Closely related to your nominated occupation

You will require 5 years relevant work experience completed in the past 10 years or 6 years relevant work experience completed anytime in your past work history (whichever provides the earliest skill date) to meet the suitability criteria.

Bachelor Degree or higher with ICT Minor Not closely related to your nominated occupation

You will require 6 years relevant work experience completed anytime in your past work history to meet the suitability criteria.

Diploma Advanced Diploma Associate Degree with ICT Major Closely related to your nominated occupation

You will require 5 years relevant work experience completed within the past 10 years or 6 years relevant work experience completed anytime in your past work history (whichever provides the earliest skill date) to meet the suitability criteria.

Diploma Advanced Diploma Associate Degree with ICT Major Not closely related to your nominated occupation

You will require 6 years relevant work experience completed anytime in your past work history to meet the suitability criteria.

ACS Recognition of Prior Learning

The RPL application pathway is for applicants who hold tertiary qualifications with insufficient or no ICT content, or applicants who do not hold any recognised tertiary qualifications.

- If your qualification is assessed as AQF Diploma or higher and with insufficient ICT content, you will require 6 years relevant work experience completed anytime in your past work history, plus a suitable Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) application to meet the suitability criteria.

- If you have no recognised tertiary educational qualification you will require 8 years relevant work experience plus a suitable Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) application to meet the suitability criteria.

You are required to demonstrate how you acquired your ICT knowledge by submitting 2 Project Reports within an RPL application. Each report must provide a detailed description of a career episode in your employment history with sufficient detail of evidence in applying the claimed ICT knowledge in a working situation.

These projects must relate to the employment being assessed and of the two reports, one must apply to a project undertaken within the last three 3 years, and the other for a project within the last five years.

Sufficient detail must be provided to demonstrate the depth and breadth of your ICT knowledge gained during your ICT employment. The Recognition of Prior Learning Project Report must be entirely your own work and not submitted by another person such as a paid writing business or editing agency.

ACS Nomination for Global Talent Independent (GTI) Program

The Global Talent Independent (GTI) program is designed to attract the best and brightest skilled migrants to Australia in a number of sectors. Candidates who meet eligibility requirements are invited by the Department of Home Affairs (Home Affairs) to apply for a Distinguished Talent visa. One of the requirements of this visa is that an Australian organisation or individual with a reputation in the same field as the applicant, attests to their record of achievement in the field. 'Home Affairs' accepts GTI nominations from the ACS and considers the ACS as an organisation with a national reputation in the following target sector groups under the GTI program:

- DigiTech: This sector includes, but is not limited to, the following specialisations: Quantum computing, Cyber sciences, Cyber security, Artificial intelligence, Blockchain, IoT, Big data, Disruptive technology, Smart cities, Machine learning, Network engineering and Cloud computing.

- FinTech (candidates with a predominantly tech focus)

- AgTech (candidates with a predominantly tech focus)

Qualifications for ACS Skills Assessment

An Applicant’s qualification needs to be appropriate within a broad definition of ICT. It is expected that a significant objective of the qualification is to educate students to be ICT professionals. The structure of a program will clearly promote a graded transition of learning experiences from a directed beginning in the first year, to a more independent learning approach in the final year. The structure will facilitate the progressive development of a student's knowledge and skills.

Vendor Certifications are no longer assessed by the ACS. However, applicants applying for RPL are encouraged to submit evidence of any vendor certificates that have been completed to show currency of knowledge in their chosen ANZSCO occupation code.

Accredited Australian ICT Qualifications

Australian qualifications that have been accredited by the ACS will generally meet the ICT Major Criteria. Please note however that this does not guarantee that the qualification will be assessed as being closely related to the nominated ANZSCO occupation.

Assessment of ICT Content in Tertiary Qualifications

Qualifications are assessed as having either an ICT Major or ICT Minor in computing. ICT content less than a minor is assessed as a Non-ICT qualification.

ICT Major Criteria

(a) Bachelor degree Level: A standard 3-year Bachelor level qualification is deemed as having a major in computing if at least 33% of the qualification is ICT. Qualifications that are longer in duration are assessed to the equivalent of a 3-year AQF Level 7 (Bachelor) award.

(b) Diploma, Advanced Diploma or Associate Degree Level: A Diploma, Advanced Diploma or Associate Degree qualification is deemed as having a major in computing if at least 50% of the qualification is ICT.

(c) Post Graduate qualification Level: A 2-year post graduate qualification (such as Graduate Diploma or Masters) that does not require a Bachelor with an ICT major for entry into the course is deemed as having a major in computing if at least 50% of the qualification is ICT. Qualifications are assessed to the equivalent of a 2-year AQF Level 8 and above award. An Australian postgraduate degree with only 12 subjects requires at least 67% ICT content.

Australian post graduate qualifications must contain: A minimum of 3 semesters or at least 1.5 years of full-time study; At least 2 semesters or 1 year of full-time equivalent ICT content; or A minimum of 12 units or subjects.

A post graduate qualification (Graduate Diploma, Masters or Doctoral qualification) that does require at least a Bachelor qualification with a major in ICT for entry into the course, must have ICT content of at least 33%, all of which must be at post graduate level.

ICT Minor Criteria

A Bachelor or higher qualification is assessed as a Minor when the ICT content is at least two thirds of the requirements for a major.

Insufficient ICT Content

All qualifications with ICT content less than the requirement for a Minor are assessed as Non-ICT qualifications.

Closely related ICT content Criteria

In all educational qualifications, at least 65% of the ICT content must be closely related with sufficient core content to the nominated occupation (ANZSCO) to meet the suitability criteria.

When the qualification includes a thesis or research project, an abstract of the thesis or research project is required. The abstract should be endorsed by the primary supervisor where possible. The name of the University and the date of the thesis publication or project completion should appear on the front page of the abstract and also includes the amount (%) and nature of ICT content relevant to your nominated ANZSCO.

Work Experience Assessment for ACS Skills Assessment

An Applicant’s work experience must be at a professional ICT level and relevant to the nominated occupation to be assessed as suitable for migration skills assessment. For Skills Assessment, employment is determined as follows:
- Consistently working and remunerated for a minimum of 20 hours per week
- Role to be performed at the level and depth of complexity for the nominated occupation
- Salary should reflect level of skill
- Employment completed after the age of 18 years old

Concurrent Employment

Only one period of employment can be claimed for a period of time. When multiple employment episodes with different employers for the same period of time occur, only one of these episodes can be claimed. If multiple concurrent episodes are provided in an assessment, the episode of employment that gives the best outcome will be assessed and the others will be reported as concurrent employment and not suitable.

Teaching Experience

ICT Teaching must be in a recognised qualification at the level of an AQF Diploma or higher and at a recognised institution.

Research Work

Research work that is entirely directed to a thesis for satisfying requirements for a qualification cannot be accepted as employment experience. Please provide a statement from your supervisor that identifies research work you have done other than that which is a direct input to your thesis.

Employment Reference

Applicants are required to separate periods of employment to show employment in Australia and employment outside Australia.

Australian Employment

Each period of employment in Australia must be shown separately. This includes secondment to Australia within overseas employment.

Outside Australia Employment

If you have worked in multiple countries (excluding Australia) for the same employer and in the same or closely related occupation then this should be recorded as a single period of outside Australia employment in the online application.

Each period of employment outside Australia must be recorded separately in the online application. ACS can only assess work experience that has the required information provided in the employment reference. To ensure each employment episode is suitable for assessment, please ensure all the required information is provided for each employer. Any applications where these requirements are not met, the employment episode will not be assessed.

Employment Evidence

All Employment References must be on a company letterhead and signed and dated by an authorised person from the organisation (digital signatures are acceptable [preferred] and must be verifiable) and all references must contain the following specific information from the employer: Start and Finish Dates of Employment, Position title, Description of Duties Performed, Hours worked, Country where Employment was undertaken and Contact details of signatory i.e. phone number and official email address.

Employment Payment Evidence

Australian Computer Society requires evidence to verify your paid employment and that your pay is commensurate with the skill level for your position. Payment Evidence must include at least two different types of documentary evidence and both sources of evidence need to confirm payment at commencement and end (or most recent if still employed) for each employment episode being claimed in the application.

Cash payments will not be accepted as sufficient evidence of paid employment. When providing two type of payment evidence, at least one type of evidence must be from a source other than the employer. Acceptable payment evidence includes;

- Official government tax records or documents that may include payment summaries and group certificates. Tax documents completed by the applicant are not accepted.
- Payslips citing names of the applicant and employer.
- Employment linked insurance/superannuation/provident fund documents citing the name of the applicant and employer.
- Bank statements citing names of the applicant showing salary payments from employer.

Self Employed Applicants

Self-employment is when you own or run your own business or company as an individual or in partnership. Self-employed applicants should submit a formal Self written Statutory Declaration containing:
- Commencement and completion dates of your self-employment.
- The occupation of employment and the capacity in which self-employed.
- Nature and content of the work you performed.
- Number of staff employed and their occupations (if applicable).

Please also include the following additional supporting documentation in relation to your business:
- Business registration certificates covering the period of self-employment.
- A statement on a letterhead from your accountant or legal representative certifying the name and nature of your business, your full name and role in the company and how long you have been continuously self-employed.
- Formal statements from your clients on the clients’ letter head with details of the work performed and dates. These statements should cover the entirety of the experience claimed and also mention minimum number of hours worked per week.
- Payment evidence showing regular income from self-employment, such as client invoices together with corresponding bank statements and/ or official taxation records.
- Supplementary evidence such as contracts with clients or suppliers.

Disclaimer: Information on this website does not constitute personal migration advice. For a customized migration advice based on your personal circumstances, please call and talk to one of our Immigration Consultants or register your interest with our Associates.