Making it easier for registered workers to work interstate

Currently, about 20% of Australian workers need a licence or registration. The Automatic Mutual Recognition (AMR) scheme makes it is easier and more affordable for many of these licensed or registered people to work in other states and territories with a single licence.

Woman working in warehouse
On this page

Key information

  • The AMR scheme was introduced for some occupations in NSW on 1 July 2021.

  • Some NSW licences are recognised in the ACT, Northern Territory, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia, and vice versa.

  • The NSW Government will add more occupations to the AMR scheme in the second half of 2022. More information will be provided in the coming months.


What is the AMR scheme?

The AMR scheme is making it easier for licensed or registered workers to temporarily work interstate without needing to apply for a second licence or pay licensing fees before they start work.

On 1 July 2021, some NSW licences were recognised in Victoria, the ACT and NT, and vice versa. South Australia and Tasmania joined the AMR scheme in December 2021. Western Australia joined the scheme on 1 July 2022.

Queensland is not currently participating in the AMR scheme. This means that workers from Queensland cannot work in NSW under AMR and vice versa. 

Previously, workers who wanted to work temporarily in another state, or businesses that wanted to send workers to a job in another state, needed to spend time and money getting a separate licence under the mutual recognition scheme

Now, under the AMR scheme, interstate licensees can:

  • notify the second state/territory they want to work in (this will depend on the occupational activity and state), or

  • start work straight away if notification is not required.


How does the AMR scheme work?

Under the AMR scheme, there is no need to get a local licence in a second state or territory, or pay any licensing fees, as long as there is a home state licence in force.

Under AMR:

  • licensees working interstate are subject to all relevant laws in the second state or territory 

  • their home state licence is considered a local licence in the second state or territory 

  • the second state or territory cannot impose specific conditions on an interstate licensee if they are not conditions that would be imposed on a local licensee 

  • any conditions on a licensee’s home state licence still apply while working in the second state or territory 

  • licensees may appear on the second state’s public register – this depends on the state or territory. 


What licences does this affect?

Working in New South Wales

The first interstate licences to be recognised in NSW through the AMR scheme are:

  • scrap metal dealers

  • wool, hide and skin dealers

  • correctional officers

  • community corrections officers, and

  • responsible service of alcohol (RSA) competency card holders.

All other occupations have been excluded from the AMR scheme in NSW until 1 January 2023.

As more occupations come into the scheme, updates will be posted on this web page.

If your occupation is currently excluded from AMR, you may be able to apply under the existing mutual recognition scheme to work in NSW.

Working in other states and territories

If you are licensed or registered in NSW and want to work in another state or territory, you will need to check if AMR has commenced for your occupation in that state or territory. You will also need to check that you are eligible.

AMR has commenced for certain occupations in:

Does AMR apply to New Zealand licences? 

The AMR scheme does not extend to New Zealand occupational registrations and licences. The processes under the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Arrangements continue to apply. 


Eligibility

To be eligible to work in NSW under the AMR scheme, you must hold a current licence or registration in your home state or territory for the activity covered by an occupation that you intend to do in the second state or territory. 

The AMR scheme only applies to individual occupational licences, not licences held by companies.

Depending on your occupation, you may need to meet additional requirements. You may need to:

  • notify the regulator in NSW of your intention to work in NSW

  • meet public protection requirements (PPR)

  • satisfy and maintain a vulnerable person character test.

A PPR is a requirement relating to insurance, fidelity funds, trust accounts, minimum financial requirements or similar. PPRs are designed to protect the public, clients, customers, and licensees.

There are some circumstances that may prevent you from taking part in the scheme, such as:

  • you are the subject of criminal, civil, or disciplinary proceedings, or preliminary investigations or actions leading to proceedings, in relation to your occupation, and you are aware of those proceedings

  • your home state licence or registration is cancelled or currently suspended as a result of disciplinary action

  • you are prohibited from carrying on the activity or occupation that covers the activity

  • you are subject to any conditions in carrying on the activity that were imposed because of criminal, civil, or disciplinary proceedings

  • you have been refused registration for the occupation that covers the activity in any state or territory

  • you fail to give the local registration authority evidence about your place of residence and place of work, if required.

Working in NSW using AMR

When working, you’ll need to have evidence of your registration in your home state. Your home registration conditions will continue to apply unless the NSW regulator waives them. 

If you are eligible to work in NSW under AMR, you can only undertake activities in NSW that you are allowed to perform under your licence or registration in your home state or territory. This is the case even if the occupation in NSW allows licensed or registered workers to perform a wider range of activities than you can perform under your home state registration.

However, NSW laws may restrict the type of activities you can perform under your home state licence. For example, an activity that is covered by an occupation may be legal in Victoria but may not be legal in NSW.

You should familiarise yourself with all requirements of relevant regulations before undertaking activities in NSW.

While undertaking an activity in NSW under AMR, you may be subject to NSW disciplinary action, which can result in your entitlement to work in NSW under AMR being suspended or cancelled.

Suspension or cancellation of your entitlement to work in NSW under AMR will also result in your registration or licence in your home state being suspended or cancelled. This may also affect your access to the AMR scheme in the future.

Duration of work under AMR

If you are entitled to work in NSW under AMR, you can continue to work in NSW until:

  • your home state licence or registration expires

  • you become registered in the second state for that occupation

  • your licence or registration is cancelled or suspended by the local regulator or your home state regulator

  • you no longer meet the eligibility criteria.

If you are no longer entitled to work in NSW under AMR, you must stop working in NSW immediately. You do not need to notify the local regulator that you have stopped working in NSW under AMR.

Moving permanently to NSW

Your home state is where your primary place of residence or work is located. 

If you change your home state to NSW, you must apply through the existing mutual recognition arrangements for a new substantive registration or licence in NSW.

You are still entitled to work in NSW under AMR while your application for a substantive registration is being progressed.

Privacy and information management

The NSW Department of Customer Service (Department) is committed to the fair and responsible handling of personal information in accordance with the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (NSW) (PPIP Act). Service NSW acts as a shopfront for us and performs transactions for you, on our behalf and on behalf of other NSW Government agencies.

The Department hosts a platform to receive notifications from interstate licensees entering NSW to undertake activities carried out by an occupation in reliance on the automatic mutual recognition (AMR) scheme under the Mutual Recognition Act 1992 (Cth) (MR Act) on behalf of the relevant Local Registration Authority (LRA) for an occupation. This notification platform will be available as occupations are included in AMR in the second half of 2022.

As part of completing a notification under the MR Act, you are required to provide your personal information to the relevant LRA for your occupation, which may be either part of the Department or another NSW Government agency. In NSW, the Department will collect your notification and distribute it to your LRA, as well as the relevant LRA in other jurisdictions.

If you carry on an occupational activity in NSW in reliance on AMR, the Department and your LRA will collect your personal information as part of its regulation of the relevant occupation.

The Department, and your LRA will collect and hold your personal information for the purposes of:

  • processing this notification by your LRA
  • internal administrative purposes, including liaising with you in relation to your application
  • sending you information that we consider to be important, such as reminders to update information
  • publishing your personal information on a public register
  • administering the MR Act and legislation regulating the conduct of the relevant occupation in NSW, and
  • for directly related purposes.

The consequences of not providing your personal information is that your notification may not be received by the Department or your LRA, and you may not be entitled to carry out your occupational activity in NSW.

The Department and your LRA may, in administering the MR Act and the legislation regulating the conduct of the relevant occupation in NSW, need to disclose your personal information, and information pertaining to your notification, registration, and conduct, to other NSW Government agencies and interstate jurisdictions participating in the AMR scheme. In NSW these agencies include, but are not limited to, the NSW Environment Protection Authority; Transport for NSW; NSW Resources; SafeWork NSW; the Commissioner for Fair Trading; NSW Architects Registration Board; Department of Planning and Environment; Department of Enterprise; Investment and Trade; and Board of Surveying and Spatial Information of NSW.

The Department and your LRA will store and manage your personal information in accordance with the requirements of the PPIP Act. You may apply to the Department or your LRA to access your personal information held by the Department or your LRA or to amend any of your personal information held by the Department or your LRA that you believe is inaccurate, incomplete, not relevant or out of date.

For more information contact Service NSW on 13 77 88 or visit the Department’s Privacy Management Plan or Fair Trading Privacy Code of Practice.

Further information regarding the management of personal information by a relevant LRA can be found at:

Find more information about how Service NSW handles personal information on their website.


Examples of how AMR works

John

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 AMR scheme.

Glen

Glen lives in Queensland and wants to work in NSW. Glen cannot work in NSW under the AMR scheme as Queensland has not adopted the scheme yet.

Glen needs to apply under the existing mutual recognition scheme.

Mohammad

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 AMR scheme.

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

Liz

Liz lives in NSW and holds a licence that is recognised in two other states. Liz can work in both states under the AMR scheme.

Liz may be required to notify the other states where she intends to work.

Sean

Sean lives in the NT and has been working in NSW under AMR. Sean decides to move to NSW where he has been working. He needs to apply under existing mutual recognition when relocating to NSW.

Sean can maintain access to AMR and can continue to work both in the new home state and interstate while waiting for his mutual recognition licence.


Further information

For more information about how AMR works in NSW contact the relevant regulator or Service NSW on 13 77 88.

More information on the AMR scheme can be found on the Commonwealth Government website Improving Occupational Mobility.

Last updated:
Top of page