Making it easier for registered workers to work interstate
Currently, about 20% of Australian workers need a licence or registration. The JobPass scheme, an Australian Government initiative, introduces the concept of automatic mutual recognition (AMR) and allows a range of tradespeople and registered professionals to be able to work in other states with a single licence.
- The AMR scheme was introduced for some occupations in NSW on 1 July 2021.
- Some NSW licences are recognised in Victoria, the ACT and Northern Territory, South Australia and Tasmania and vice versa.
- The NSW Government will add more occupations to the AMR scheme from 1 July 2022. More information will be provided in the coming months.
AMR makes it easier for licensed or registered workers to temporarily work interstate without needing to apply for a second licence or pay 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 is expected to join the scheme on 1 July 2022.
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 AMR work?
Under the AMR scheme, there is no need to get a local licence in a second jurisdiction (state or territory) or pay any fees.
Licence holders working interstate:
- must hold a current licence for their home state/territory
- are subject to all relevant laws in the host state/territory and their home state licence is considered a local licence there
- may appear on the host state licence register - this depends on the state/territory.
The host state cannot impose specific conditions on an interstate licence holder.
From 1 July 2022, the AMR scheme will expand to include more occupations.
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 NSW occupations were excluded from the AMR scheme until 1 July 2022.
As more occupations come into the scheme, updates will be posted on this website.
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:
To be eligible, you must hold a current licence or registration in your home state or territory that covers the activity 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 relevant authority of your intent to practice
- meet and maintain financial public protection requirements (such as insurance, fidelity funds, trust accounts, minimum financial requirements), and
- satisfy and maintain a working with vulnerable people character test.
There are some circumstances that may prevent you from taking part in the scheme. See the frequently asked questions section below for more detailed information on eligibility criteria.
Working in New South Wales 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.
You must comply with state laws when working in NSW.
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.
Moving permanently to New South Wales
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.
What happens with other states that haven't joined AMR by 1 July 2022?
Queensland has not adopted the AMR scheme, while WA is working on joining soon. All other states and territories are in the AMR scheme.
Workers who want to work in Queensland or WA under AMR will be unable to do so until those states enter the scheme.
Workers in Queensland and WA are also unable to work in another state or territory until their state enters the scheme. These workers can continue using existing mutual recognition arrangements.
Does the scheme apply to individual and business licences?
The AMR scheme only applies to individual occupational licences and registrations.
Does the scheme apply to all occupational licences and registrations?
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 Victoria, the ACT and NT, South Australia and Tasmania.
If you are unsure, contact the regulator for your category of licence.
Why have some occupational licences and registrations been exempted from the scheme?
NSW has decided to delay some occupations from the start of the AMR scheme to allow for due diligence to be completed. This ensures high standards of consumer and environmental protection, animal welfare, and worker and public health and safety can be maintained.
This does not mean the occupation won't be added to the scheme later. Updates will be posted on this website.
Can a person from interstate come to NSW under the scheme if NSW has exempted their occupation?
No, if the occupation is exempt from the scheme, AMR does not apply.
For exempted occupations, individuals may still be able to apply under the existing mutual recognition scheme.
Are licensed or registered persons required to notify their home state or territory, or the state or territory they intend to work in?
Notifications may be required by the host state or territory.
Currently, notifications are required for correctional officers and community corrections officers entering NSW. Please contact NSW Communities and Justice to find out more.
As more licences come into the scheme, notifications may be required. Information will be updated on this website.
What happens if I have been the subject of criminal, civil or disciplinary action?
You can't take part in this scheme if:
- you are subject to criminal, civil or disciplinary proceedings in any state or territory
- your registration in any state or territory is cancelled or currently suspended as a result of disciplinary action
- you are prohibited from an occupation, or subject to any conditions because of civil, criminal or other disciplinary proceedings in any state or territory
- you have been refused registration for a relevant occupation in any state or territory.
What happens if I fail to meet the requirements of the host state?
You also can't take part if you fail to:
- meet any public protection requirement or satisfy a vulnerable person character test required by the law of a state or territory you are planning to work in, or if you fail to provide evidence of this
- meet a requirement to notify a local regulatory agency before working
- notify the local regulatory agency if your home state or territory changes
- provide information requested by a local regulatory agency - this includes information to confirm your home state or territory, or information required by a law of a state or territory you are visiting.
What is a Public Protection Requirement (PPR)?
A PPR includes paying a contribution into a compensation fund, holding specific insurance, meeting minimal financial requirements or holding a trust account.
Workers are encouraged to contact the relevant local regulator to confirm whether PPR applies to them.
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 AMR scheme.
Glen lives in Queensland and wants to work in NSW. Glen cannot work in NSW under the new AMR scheme as Queensland 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 AMR 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 AMR scheme.
Liz may be required to notify the other states where she intends to work.
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.
For more information on the AMR scheme, visit the Commonwealth Government website - Improving occupational mobility.
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