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 easier and more affordable for many of these licensed or registered people to work in other states and territories with a single licence.

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Key information

  • ​​​​The Automatic Mutual Recognition (AMR) scheme was introduced in NSW on 1 July 2021 for some occupations.
  • More occupations have now been added to the scheme enabling a wide range of occupations to work in NSW under AMR.
  • Most interstate licensees will be required to notify the regulator of their intention to work in NSW, before they start work.
  • Workers from Queensland cannot work in NSW under AMR and vice versa, as Queensland is not currently participating in the AMR scheme.

 


How AMR works

Under AMR, there is no need to obtain 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.

The Automatic Mutual Recognition scheme in NSW

More occupations than ever before are now part of the Automatic Mutual Recognition scheme. It means your licence or registration may be recognised in other places around...


What AMR means for licence holders

Working in NSW

You can check if your occupation is included in the AMR scheme, and if necessary, how to meet notification requirements. 

Find out if your occupation is included in AMR

You can also use the link above to check if your occupation is excluded or temporarily exempt from the AMR scheme.

Some occupations have been excluded from the AMR scheme because the Minister of a state has determined that it presents a significant risk to consumer protection, the environment, animal welfare, or the health or safety of workers or the public.

Some occupations are temporarily exempt and may be included in the AMR scheme at a later date. For exempted occupations, individuals may still be able to apply to work in NSW under the mutual recognition scheme.

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 is available for your occupation in that state or territory. You will also need to check that you are eligible for AMR.

The AMR scheme has commenced 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.


Requirements when working in NSW

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 before working in NSW. You may need to:

  • notify the regulator in NSW of your intent 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.

If you are still unsure about whether you are eligible to work in NSW under AMR, contact Service NSW on 13 77 88.

Some occupations are required to notify the regulator of their intention to work in NSW under AMR. There is no fee to submit an AMR notification.

Visit the occupations page where you can find details on the occupation/s you want to carry out in NSW including a link to the notification platform.

The notification will require you to provide documentation such as a copy of your home state licence and proof of address such as your driver’s licence.

The notification process starts by creating a Service NSW account, which will require proof of identity. You will then be guided through the steps required to notify the regulator relevant to your occupation.

You can save your notification and return within 60 days to complete it.

Once you submit the notification you are entitled to begin working in NSW. You can submit notifications for more than one occupation if you hold a licence for each of these occupations in your home state.

The regulator will contact you should it require further details or there is an issue with you working under AMR in NSW.

You will not be issued with a registration, licence or certificate to work in NSW. In some cases, you may be provided with identification for the purposes of carrying out work in NSW.

Once you notify the regulator of your intent to work in NSW, some of the details provided will appear on a public register, if a register exists in NSW for that occupation.

If you fail to notify prior to carrying out an activity in NSW where required to, you will not be authorised to carry out that activity and penalties will apply.

After you have completed your notification, you must inform the regulator in the future if your home state changes, or you renew your home state licence or registration. You can do this by updating your notification.

When working, you’ll need to have evidence of your licence or registration in your home state. Your home state licence or 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 licence or registration.

However, NSW laws may restrict the type of activities you can perform under your home state licence or registration. 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.

More information on complying with NSW laws can be found on our occupations page and at the websites of regulators:

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 NSW 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.

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

If you change your home state or territory to NSW, and you mainly work in NSW, you must apply through the existing mutual recognition arrangements for a new substantive registration or licence in NSW and pay any applicable fees.

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


Information sharing by regulators

Regulators in NSW will share information with other regulators to better target and manage compliance and enforcement activities in relation to workers operating under AMR:

  • when requested by an interstate regulator, information on a licensee’s registration or licence, the activities they are authorised to carry out and any civil, criminal, or disciplinary action taken against them

  • when receiving a notification in NSW, regulators may check the information provided by a licensee with each jurisdiction participating in AMR

  • notifying all state and territory regulators of disciplinary action being taken against a licensee operating under AMR, where the licensee has been notified or is otherwise aware of the action being taken

  • recording and publishing (if required by state or territory laws) civil, criminal, or disciplinary action taken against a person.

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).

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. 

Service NSW acts as a shopfront for us and your MyServiceNSW Account is used to initiate this application and verify your identity. For more information about how Service NSW handles your personal information, please visit the Service NSW privacy statement.

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 Regulator; SafeWork NSW; the Commissioner for Fair Trading; NSW Architects Registration Board; Department of Planning and Environment; Department of Enterprise; Investment and Trade; WaterNSW 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:


Information for consumers

Consumers of services covered under the AMR scheme are encouraged to check public registers to verify the status of licence holders before engaging their services.

Consumers wanting to contract work from an interstate worker in NSW working under AMR, will need to verify their licence with their home state register or contact that regulator. Details of those working in NSW under AMR will appear on relevant NSW public registers from February 2023.

Before your builder or contractor starts any kind of residential building work valued at $20,000 or more (or receives any payment under the building contract for that work, including a deposit), they must provide you with evidence of cover under the home building compensation (HBC) scheme (for example, icare HBCF issues Certificates of Insurance) specifically for your property. 

Providing HBC cover to homeowners for residential projects valued at $20,000 or more, (unless exempted under the Home Building Act 1989), is compulsory for all licensed builders and contractors.

Licence holders under AMR in NSW are not eligible to apply for home building insurance for projects of $20,000 or more. They must work with a company that has the required insurance or they can apply under existing mutual recognition arrangements to work here and obtain a NSW licence.

The State Insurance Regulatory Authority has an online check where you can verify whether your home building tradesperson has the required insurance to undertake projects of $20,000 or more in NSW. 

You can also check the publicly available certificates register, containing all certificates issued by icare HBCF and other providers.  


Further information

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

Find more information about the AMR scheme on the Australian Government Department of Employment and Workplace Relations website.

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