You need to read this if you are an Engineer moving to Australia

Everyone applying for a visa within the General Skilled Migration Program needs to obtain a positive Skills Assessment. The skills assessment authority varies from occupation to occupation.

For example, if you are a doctor you have to go through an assessment with the Medical Board. If you are an IT professional your assessment is with the Australian Computer Society, while if you are an Engineer you have to go through Engineers Australia.

Some countries have agreements (called Accords) with Engineers Australia and Engineering Degrees from such countries are considered equivalent to Australian degrees, making the Skills Assessment process a straight-forward one. Many other countries however, are not part of any reciprocal agreement with Australia and applicants from those places have to go through a more detailed assessment of their qualifications and knowledge of Engineering. This means in practice that they need to present what is called a “Competency Demonstration Report” and an important part of that is to present Career Episodes.

These episodes are like mini-essays where the applicant has to demonstrate how they applied their learned knowledge of engineering in a practical career episode.

We have been working with Engineers Australia for many years, and have assisted hundreds of overseas Engineers obtain positive Skills Assessment and accreditation with the organization, leading to a further permanent visa. Our service aims to explain Engineers Australia’s requirements and documents, as well as to guide clients when preparing their Career Episodes, through consultation and review.

Engineers Australia performs Skills Assessments for Migration Purposes, but it is also the professional body for Engineers registration in Australia and offers membership to Engineers. As such, they set high standards for conduct and ethics.

Recently we have been contacted by a number of companies, mainly outside of Australia, offering to write CDRs on behalf of Engineers for a fee. One even went on to say they have “a team of Engineering Graduates performing the CDR writing activities”.

This is a problem because if the Engineer is not the one writing the episode, Engineers Australia cannot know if the applicant is an Engineer in Australian standards. Plus, the requirement in the Skills Assessment is that the Engineer submits work that is theirs, not that has been outsourced or written by anyone else.

Engineers Australia’s assessing members are really frustrated but they cannot do anything to stop people and companies writing career episodes on behalf of Engineers (because technically, this is not illegal), but they assured us they will always make an effort to find out if this happened and penalize the applicant. We have been told by them that they are using software’s like Turnitin to help them find if applicants have used copied material or are claiming other people’s work as their own.

They believe Engineers should have “reliability, good written communication and ethics” as attributes and by choosing to employ a “ghost-writer” to write their Career Episodes, they are going against those skills and values. From our part, we will not participate in this: many years ago I created a service for Engineers to apply for Skills Assessment where our experience and knowledge would assist the Engineer in prepare their own Career Episodes and we will continue to assist our clients in such a manner and advise them about their ethical responsibility, as I have promised Engineers Australia to do.