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Key information

  • Currently about 20 per cent of workers require a licence or registration
  • NSW recognises many interstate  licences but many of our licences are not recognised in other jurisdictions 
  • From 1 July many NSW licences will be recognised in Victoria, the ACT and Northern Territory
  • More licences and jurisdictions will be added soon
  • This will make it easier for tradespeople and registered professionals to work across borders under a single licence.

Image of man serving alcohol responsibly

What’s changing

From 1 July 2021 many NSW licences will be recognised in Victoria, the ACT and Northern Territory.

Currently, many interstate licences are recognised in NSW but NSW licences are often not recognised in other jurisdictions. 

This means a NSW worker who wants to temporarily work in another state, or a NSW business that wants to send workers to a job in another state, may have to spend time and money getting a separate licence.

For example, someone with a NSW Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) card who wants to work across the border in the ACT must complete an application, have a criminal history check and pay a fee before they can start work.

We have been working with other states and territories to change this.

What licences does this affect

The first NSW licences to be recognised through Automatic Mutual Recognition (in Victoria, the ACT and Northern Territory are):

  • scrap metal dealers
  • wool, hide and skin dealers
  • correctional officers
  • community corrections officers, and
  • responsible service of alcohol (RSA) competency card.


To be eligible, you must hold a licence or registration in your home state or territory that covers the activity you intend to do in the second state or territory.

When working, all you need to do is have evidence of your registration in your home state.

Temporary exemptions

Temporary exemptions for occupational registrations have been granted for 12 months to enable NSW regulators and stakeholders to transition into AMR. These temporary exemptions allow time for implementation issues to be resolved, such as improving information sharing arrangements between states and territories.

Automatic Mutual Recognition scheme

From 1 July 2021, NSW, Victoria, the ACT and Northern Territory will take part in the Automatic Mutual Recognition scheme (AMR).

It is expected that the other states will join the scheme soon, once legislation is passed in each state.

Under the scheme, workers who need to be licensed or registered for their job in their home state can apply for and accept work opportunities in another state or territory more easily.

Related information

What happens with the other states that aren’t starting on 1 July 2021?

Workers in states that have not adopted the scheme yet (Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania) or workers who want to work in those states do not have access to the new automatic mutual recognition scheme.

These workers can continue to rely on existing mutual recognition under Part 3 of the Mutual Recognition Act 1992 (Cth).

Does the scheme apply to individual and business licences?

Automatic mutual recognition only applies to individual occupational licences.

Does the scheme apply to all licences and authorisations?

Generally, yes. If the licence is for an occupation and can be given to an individual. For now, only the licences listed above are available for those seeking to work in NSW from Vic, ACT and NT.

If you are unsure, contact the Regulator.

Why have other categories of licences been exempt from the scheme?

Licences have been exempted from the scheme to allow for due diligence to be completed so that high standards of consumer and environmental protection, animal welfare, and worker and public health and safety can be maintained.

Can a person from interstate come to NSW under the scheme if we have exempted the category of licence they are relying on?

No, if the category of licence is exempt from the scheme, automatic mutual recognition does not apply.

Individuals may apply under the existing mutual recognition scheme.

Are licensed or authorised persons required to notify their current state or territory, or the state or territory they intend to work in?

No notifications are required at the moment for those entering NSW.

What is a Public Protection Requirement (PPR)?

A PPR is a requirement to pay a contribution into a compensation fund, hold a specific insurance, meet a minimal financial requirement or hold a trust account.

How can I check if someone is licensed in another state or territory?

Most regulators have public registers. If a register does not exist, individuals can contact the regulator using the usual enquiry process on the regulator’s website.


John lives in the ACT and holds an RSA competency card. He wants to work in NSW but does not want to move to NSW. John can work in NSW under the new automatic mutual recognition scheme.


Daisy resides in NSW and holds an RSA competency card. She wants to work in ACT but does not want to move to ACT. Daisy cannot work in ACT under the new automatic mutual recognition scheme as the ACT does not recognise RSA as part of the scheme.

Daisy needs to make an application under the existing mutual recognition scheme to the ACT.


Glen lives in Qld and wants to work in NSW. Glen cannot work in NSW under the new automatic mutual recognition scheme as Qld has not adopted the scheme yet.

Glen needs to apply under the existing mutual recognition scheme.


Mohammad lives in NSW and wants to work in Victoria. Both states have exempted Mohammad’s licence category from the scheme. Mohammad cannot work in Victoria under the new automatic mutual recognition scheme.

Mohammad needs to apply under the existing mutual recognition scheme, paying a fee and meeting any other requirements of Victoria.


Liz lives in NSW and holds a licence that is recognised in two other states. Liz can work in both states under the automatic mutual recognition scheme. Liz may be required to list all the states and territories that she has substantive registration, interim registration or automatic deemed registration.


Sean lives in the Northern Territory and has been working in NSW under automatic mutual recognition. Sean decides to move to NSW where he has been working. He needs to apply under existing mutual recognition when relocating to the second State (NSW).

Sean will maintain access to Automatic Deemed Registration (ADR) and can continue to work both in the new home state and interstate while his substantive registration in his new home state is being progressed.


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