Making it easier for registered workers to work interstate

Automatic mutual recognition (AMR) allows a range of tradespeople and registered professionals to be able to work in other states, with a single home state licence under recent changes.

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Key information

  • From 1 July some NSW licences will be recognised in Victoria, the ACT and Northern Territory. Some Victorian, ACT and Northern Territory licences will also be recognised in New South Wales.
  • 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
  • Currently about 20 per cent of Australian workers require a licence or registration.

What’s changing

From 1 July 2021 some NSW licences will be recognised in Victoria, the ACT and Northern Territory. Some Victorian, ACT and Northern Territory licences will also be recognised in New South Wales.

Currently, a worker who wants to temporarily work in another state, or a 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, a NSW motor car dealer who wants to work across the border in Victoria, must complete a mutual recognition application and pay some fees before they can start work.

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.


How does AMR work?

Automatic mutual recognition (AMR) enables individuals licensed or registered for an occupation in one Australian state or territory to work in another state or territory using their home state licence.

Workers covered by AMR may be able to do the activities they are licensed for in their home state in other states and territories without the need to apply and pay fees for a second licence.


What licences does this affect


Working in New South Wales

The first Victorian, ACT and Northern Territory licences to be recognised in New South Wales through Automatic Mutual Recognition are:

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

Working in other states and territories

Check the state or territory’s website to find out if your NSW licence or registration is recognised.


Eligibility

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. 

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 FAQs 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 New South Wales. 

You can only undertake activities in New South Wales 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 New South Wales allows licensed or registered workers to perform a wider range of activities.

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 or territory to New South Wales, you must apply through the existing mutual recognition arrangements for a new substantive registration or licence in New South Wales. You are still entitled to work in New South Wales under AMR while your application for a substantive registration is being progressed.


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. 

Details of temporary exemptions in New South Wales and other states and territories can found on the state or territory website or the Federal Register of Legislation.


Related information

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Common questions

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 AMR 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 Victoria, ACT and Northern Territory.

If you are unsure, contact the regulator for your category of licence.

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. This does not mean the licence won’t be added to the scheme later. Updates will be posted on the nsw.gov.au website.

Can a person from interstate come to NSW under the scheme if NSW has 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?

Notifications are required for correctional officers and community corrections officers entering New South Wales. 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 the nsw.gov.au 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 and have been informed, or aware of it
  • 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 home 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 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 in which you are visiting.

What is a Public Protection Requirement (PPR)?

A PPR includes requirements to pay a contribution into a compensation fund, hold a specific insurance, meet a minimal financial requirement or hold a trust account. Workers are encouraged to contact the relevant 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.

Examples of how the changes might affect you

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 new automatic mutual recognition scheme.

Glen

Glen lives in Queensland 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

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

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

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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