TRA Pathway D (The Experience Pathway Deferred Indefinitely)



The Trades Recognition Authority has decided indefinitely to delay the review of Pathway D.


Here is what the TRA website now says (downloaded on 20 February 2009):

Update on TRA’s assessment standards and procedures TRA has decided to delay the implementation of its proposed revised assessment standards and procedures- the Migration Assessment Policy (MAP) – indefinitely. This means that all applications will continue to be assessed against the current Uniform Assessment Criteria (UAC). Please note that, as TRA’s assessment policy is linked with Australia’s migration and economic policy, any changes in migration and economic policy may subsequently require changes to TRA’s assessment policy and processes at short notice. You are encouraged to check the website frequently as a means of ensuring your application to TRA complies with TRA’s current assessment policy and processes. 

Trades Recognition Australia’s Uniform Assessment Criteria used to say prior to September 2007:

Skill Pathway D (work experience)Employment:  The applicant must have completed a period of employment of not less than 6 years (or 7 years in the case of electrical trades) that is both relevant and directly related to the trade or occupation and involves a verifiable skill level transition process under the supervision and direction of a fully qualified tradesperson.  A verifiable skill level transition process is one which articulates the applicant’s acquisition of the full range of trade-level skills, commencing with a period of supervised semi-skilled work; progressing to supervised trade skilled work; and finally progressing to unsupervised trade skilled work.  In addition, the employment must have resulted in the applicant having been formally recognised as a skilled tradesperson and remunerated by an employer as a skilled tradesperson or licensed as a skilled tradesperson by an authorised governing body whose standards can be independently verified by TRA (eg. government, military or recognised industrial party). 

In September 2007, Pathway D was deleted from the Uniform Assessment Criteria abruptly and without notice.

In December 2008, the TRA agreed to provide written answers to specific questions from the MIA (SA).  Here is what the TRA said:

Question – 2.5 Can an applicant who has been working 10 years in his occupation and has learned the trade “on-the-job” (and would otherwise have qualified for Skill Pathway D) satisfy the training requirement by obtaining relevant training at a later stage in his career? Given the work experience of this applicant, he might be granted credits and therefore have not actually followed a minimum of 900 hours of training (although the nominal number of training hours is 900+). Is that acceptable or does the applicant have to follow at least 900 actual training hours to satisfy this requirement?  ANSWER – This would not lead to a positive skills assessment under Pathways A, B or C of the UAC. It may be considered under Pathway E of the UAC if the training or a workplace assessment was conducted by an Australian RTO [Registered Training Organisation] resulting in the awarding of the relevant AQF Certificate.

So this is the pathway, if the person is in Australia then the applicant should attempt to obtain a positive workplace assessment for that trade from an Australian based RTO and then apply for skill assessment via Pathway E.  Here is what the Uniform Assessment Criteria currently says about Pathway E.

12. Skill Pathway E (Australian Qualification holders) 12.1. Work experience: Applicants citing Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) qualifications awarded on the basis of acceptable formal training (see clauses 12.4 & 12.5) must also provide evidence of relevant and directly related work experience equalling not less than 900 hours. 12.2. Applicants citing AQF qualifications awarded on the basis of an acceptable workplace assessment (see clause 12.7) must also provide evidence of relevant and directly related work experience equalling not less than 4 years. 12.3. Such work experience must be verifiable work experience under the supervision and direction of a suitably-qualified person (ordinarily a fully-qualified person in the relevant occupation). 12.4. Formal Training: Acceptable formal training must be bona fide formal vocational training (see clause 12.5) which: 12.4.1. results in the award of an appropriate qualification, under the AQF, for a relevant skilled occupation listed in the ASCO;12.4.2. meets the competency standards contained in the training package for the relevant qualification; 12.4.3. is delivered by a Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) provider in accordance with the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act; and 12.4.4. is a CRICOS registered, full time course. 12.5. As of 1.7.06,[DIAC] requires that all AQF applicants undertake CRICOS registered training and present AQF certificates issued by registered CRICOS training providers. 12.6. Credit Transfer (CT)/Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL): Applications citing AQF qualifications awarded on the basis of acceptable formal training (see clauses 12.4 & 12.5) which include competencies recognised by CT/RPL, must include evidence of how the competencies recognised by CT/RPL were achieved. Such evidence may include transcripts provided by alternative CRICOS providers or evidence of acceptable work experience (see sub-clauses 12.1,12.2 & 12.3). 12.7. Workplace Assessments: Acceptable workplace assessments must be conducted: 12.7.1. by an Australian Registered Training Organisation; 12.7.2. by a qualified workplace assessor (AQF IV or above); 12.7.3. in the presence of an Australian trained and qualified subject matter expert;12.7.4. across any and all compulsory core competencies as defined by the relevant training package; and 12.7.5. consistent with the requirements of the relevant training package.

One therefore would use 12.2 and 12.7 as the basis to meet the Pathway E requirements.

National Training Information Service (see has a list of all RTO’s.   If your client holds one of these passports then your client will be eligible for one these new subclass 651 (eVisitor) visas: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden & the UK. Then the traditional business Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) visa could be used for those holding Hong Kong (SAR), Malaysian, Singaporean, South Korean, Taiwan and UK – British National (Overseas) & USA passports. That subclass 651 (eVisitor) visa and the business ETA could be used to get your client to Australia to undertake the RTO assessment.  Otherwise if you can get your client to Australia on a tourist visa (especially visiting friends and relatives) then that could create the opportunity to undertake the RTO assessment.

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Barbara Davidson