ACS Australia Migration Skill Assessment
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ACS Australia Migration Skill Assessment

ACS or Australian Computer Society is an association that represents the ICT (information and Communication Technology) sector of Australia. With an aim to enhance the information and communication technology resources in Australia and promote professional development of information technology, ACS conducts the Skill Assessment Process for migrants. Hence, the ICT professionals who want to settle in Australia on a permanent basis are required to get their qualifications and competencies assessed from the ACS to enable their chances of securing a visa.

The Australian Computer Society Skills Assessment Process

Before you start with the assessment process, you must understand the visa requirements as provided by the Department of Home Affairs Australia and the ACS assessment guidelines. Depending upon their occupation, the applicants have to nominate an ICT occupation provided in the list of Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills (MLTSS) or Combined List of Eligible Skilled Occupations as provided by ANZSCO (Australia New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations). ANZSCO is a classification model that represents the ICT occupations.

The ACS skill assessment process encompasses three major steps:

  1. Firstly, they assess if the qualifications of the applicant are comparable as per the AQF (Australian Qualifications Framework) standards
  2. After establishing the AQF comparability, the qualifications are assessed as per the professional ICT standards and it is determined if the qualification of the applicant should be regarded as ICT Major, ICT minor or ICT insufficient.
  3. Then, the percentage of closely related ICT units with the qualification that the applicant has nominated is determined. With this, the applicant is provided with information about the amount of relevant experience they must provide in order to achieve the suitability criteria of the ACS.

Types of Applications in ACS migration assessment

There are 4 types of Applications that are present for migration purposes to Australia namely:

Temporary Graduate – 485 Skills Assessment

Applicants who have obtained a bachelor’s degree or higher from Australia and want to obtain 485 Visa can opt for this skills assessment.

Post Australian Study Skills Assessment

Applicants who have obtained a bachelor’s degree or higher from Australia and want to get a skill assessment for general migration purposes can pot for this skills assessment.

Skills Assessment

This skill assessment is conducted on a general basis for assessing ICT employment and tertiary ICT qualifications.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Applicants that do not have a tertiary qualification or have obtained insufficient ICT have to submit an RPL application.

Applicants with non-ICT or insufficient ICT qualification should have at least 6 years of experience in the ICT field. For those who hold no qualification should have a work experience of 8 years.

With their RPL application, the applicants have to submit two project reports demonstrating their work in the ICT field. The applicant must prepare the RPL report by themselves and should reference the paraphrased materials mentioned in the report. Through this report, the applicants get a chance to showcase their knowledge gained in the ICT field in the course of their employment.

Qualifications Requirements in the ACS assessment Process

For the Temporary Graduate – 485 Skills Assessment and Post Australian Study Skills Assessment the applicants must have an Australian qualification.

For General and RPL application assessment, applicant’s overseas and Australian applications both are assessed.

Based on this assessment the qualifications of the applicants are assigned, ICT Major or ICT Minor. Any qualification less that ICT Minor criterion is termed as a Non-ICT qualification. Consider the ACS skill assessment requirement given below:

ICT Major

Qualification Requirements for ICT Major
Diploma/ Advanced Diploma/ Associate Degree at least 50%, otherwise it is a Non-ICT qualification
Bachelor’s Degree 3 years course 33%
Bachelor’s Degree 4 years course 25%
Bachelor’s Degree 5 years course 20%
Australian Post Graduate Qualification without ICT Major in Bachelors 3 semesters/ 1.5 years, Minimum of 12 Units or Subjects
Post Graduate Qualification without ICT Major in Bachelors 2 semesters / 1 years, Minimum of 12 Units or Subjects
Graduate Diploma or master’s 2 years course 50%
Graduate Diploma or master’s 3 years course 33%
Post Graduate Qualification with ICT Major in Bachelors 33% (all at postgraduate level)

ICT Minor

If the ICT content of a qualification contains a minimum of two-thirds of the requirements of the ICT Major, then it is regarded as ICT Minor.

Insufficient ICT Qualification

Qualifications that contain less than the requirements of the ICT Minor criteria is regarded as Non-ICT Qualification or Insufficient ICT Qualification.

ANZSCO Content Requirements

The ANZSCO code information includes the list of closely related ICT units with each ICT occupation. The applicants must make sure that their qualification’s ICT content must match with 65% of the ICT content mentioned by ANZSCO.

Vendor Certificates and Employment References

The applicants may submit suitable vendor certifications in place of ICT Major Qualification in the ACS immigration process. Here is the list of certifications accepted by ACS:

Microsoft Certifications

  1. Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert Certifications
  2. Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer Certifications

However, ACS does not accept Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) & Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) certifications.

CISCO Certifications

  1. Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP)
  2. Cisco Certified Design Professional (CCDP)
  3. Cisco Certified Internetworking Expert (CCIE)
  4. Cisco Certified Design Expert (CCDE)
  5. Cisco Architect
  6. Cisco Certified Architect

However, ACS does not accept the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA).

The work experience that the applicant has provided to meet the suitability criteria is NOT counted as Skilled Employment. This means it cannot be used to calculate the migration points. Once, the applicant meets the suitability criteria, the employment after that is considered as a Skilled Employment and is used to calculate the migration points.

The ACS assesses the work experience of an applicant based on their employment reference. It has to be provided by the employer and should include precise information about the applicants. The employment references provide with the job duties of the applicant and the skills that that job role requires. Otherwise, ACS may term it as unsuitable due to deficient information. There must be clear information about the dates of joining and duration of work along with working hours. All the references must be produced on the company’s letterhead and should be certified. You may find ACS skill assessment sample reference letter in the ACS skill assessment guidelines booklet.

Suitability Criteria for ACS skill Assessment

Below a brief explanation of the ACS skill assessment work experience requirements for different qualification types that will enable the applicant to meet the ACS Suitability Criteria.

Qualification or Assessment Type How to meet the ACS Suitability Criteria
Temporary Graduate – 485 Skills Assessment Occupations in the MLTSS (Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills) List, Must have completed bachelors or higher with an ICT Major that closely related with the nominated ANZSCO occupation
Post Australian Study Skills Assessment Must have completed bachelors or higher with an ICT Major that closely related with the nominated ANZSCO occupation, Either has a one-year work experience after completion of their degree or has completed the ACS Professional Year Program
Qualification equivalent to AQF Degree or Higher with a closely related ICT Major Either 2 years of appropriate experience in the last 10 years or 4 years of total work experience whichever is earlier
Qualification equivalent to AQF Degree or Higher with a not closely related ICT Major 4 years of total work experience
Qualification equivalent to AQF Degree or Higher with a closely related ICT Minor Either 5 years of appropriate experience in the last 10 years or 6 years of total work experience whichever is earlier
Qualification equivalent to AQF Degree or Higher with a not closely related ICT Minor 6 years of total work experience
Qualification equivalent to AQF Diploma and Vendor Certificate having closely related ICT Major Either 5 years of appropriate experience in the last 10 years or 6 years of total work experience whichever is earlier
Qualification equivalent to AQF Diploma and Vendor Certificate not having closely related ICT Major 6 years of total work experience
The Qualification that is equivalent to AQF Diploma is a NON-ICT Qualification 6 years of total work experience and an RPL application
No tertiary qualifications and only work experience 8 years of total work experience and an RPL application

ACS skill assessment document checklist

Applicants have to upload all their documents and provide correct information in the online application form of the ACS. The applicants must make sure that they are fulfilling all the requirements of the ACS. Any misleading information can lead to an unsuccessful outcome of their application. The applicants have to get the copies of their documents, get them certified, scan them and then upload them in a PDF format. Here is a list of ACS skill assessment documents requirements:

  1. The Birth Certificate or Passport which can depict the details of the applicant
  2. Degree or Award Certificate which contains details about the title of the award, the institution, date of completion.
  3. Degree or Award Transcript which contains the information about the subjects studied and marks obtained in them.
  4. Employment References
  5. ACS Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Form if submitting an RPL
  6. Curriculum Vitae or Resume

The ACS skill assessment processing time for those applicants who have submitted the application correctly and have provided all the relevant documents is around 8 to 10 weeks. The ACS provides a member login password to the applicants along with a confirmation email regarding their successful submission of the application. Hence, the applicants can check the application status anytime.