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Explore the essential requirements for ACS skills assessment, and Australia's post-study work stream including RPL for ICT professionals.

Master the ACS Skills Assessment Guidelines

Explore the essential requirements for ACS skills assessment, and Australia's post-study work stream including RPL for ICT professionals.

The Australian Computer Society (ACS) Skills Assessment evaluates an applicant’s educational qualifications and professional experience against the standards established by the ACS for ICT professionals. The purpose of the ACS Skills Assessment is to determine if an individual has the necessary skills and qualifications that match the demands of the Australian ICT industry. Successful applicants receive a formal recognition that their skills are suitable for the Australian workforce, significantly aiding in their migration and employment prospects within the country.

To ensure a successful application process for Australian migration under the skilled migration category, applicants must adhere to the Australian Computer Society (ACS) Skills Assessment Guidelines. The assessment is pivotal for IT professionals aiming to establish their careers in Australia. Below is an outline of the key components involved in the ACS Skills Assessment process:

Explore the essential requirements for ACS skills assessment, and Australia's post-study work stream including RPL for ICT professionals.
Master the ACS Skills Assessment Guidelines 1

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for an ACS Skills Assessment, applicants must meet specific eligibility criteria, which include educational qualifications and work experience relevant to the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector.

  • Firstly, applicants should possess a degree or higher qualification in ICT from a recognized institution. If the qualification is not ICT-related, applicants must demonstrate substantial professional experience in the ICT field to compensate for the educational discrepancy.
  • Additionally, applicants must have a minimum of two years work experience in a relevant ICT occupation within the last ten years. This experience should be closely related to the nominated occupation for the skilled migration application.

It is imperative for applicants to comprehensively document their educational background and professional experience to substantiate their eligibility for the ACS Skills Assessment.

Some of the occupations that require an ACS skill assessment include:

ACS Skill OccupationANZSCO Code
ICT Business Analyst261111
Systems Analyst261112
Analyst Programmer261311
Developer Programmer261312
Software Engineer261313
Software Tester261314
Database Administrator262111
ICT Security Specialist262112
Systems Administrator262113
Computer Network and Systems Engineer263111
Network Administrator263112
Network Analyst263113
ICT Quality Assurance Engineer263211
ICT Support Engineer263212
ICT Systems Test Engineer263213
ICT Support and Test Engineers nec263299
ICT Customer Support Officer313112
Web Administrator313113
ICT Trainer223211
ICT Customer Support Officer313112

Payment of ACS Skills Assessment Fee

Once the application form is completed and the necessary documents are uploaded, applicants must proceed to the payment of the ACS Skills Assessment Fee. The fee structure is determined by the Australian Computer Society and is subject to change; therefore, applicants should verify the current rates on the ACS website prior to making a payment. Payments can be made online through the ACS application system, which supports a variety of payment methods including credit cards and PayPal.

Assessment PathwayAssessed onApplication Fee
Temporary Graduate 485Qualification-only assessment$600
Post Australian StudyQualification and experience and/or ACS Professional Year required$1,100
General SkillsQualification and experience require$1,450
Recognition of Prior LearningWork experience and completed RPL form required$605
Level 1 Appeal$500
Level 2 Appeal$600
Global Talent Visa Suitability Assessment$960
Updated ACS Skills Assessment Fee (updated on 15th of April 2024)

It is important to note that the ACS Skills Assessment Fee is non-refundable, regardless of the outcome of the application. After the payment is processed, applicants will receive a confirmation email, marking the completion of the submission phase of the ACS Skills Assessment process. This email serves as an official acknowledgement of the receipt of the application and signifies that the assessment phase will commence. Applicants are advised to keep a record of the payment confirmation for their personal records and future reference.

Document Requirements

Personal Identification Documents

Passport Bio-Page

A current copy of the passport bio-page is required. It must show your full name, date of birth, and photo, matching your application details. It’s a key ID for the ACS Skills Assessment process. Make sure the copy is high quality, with clear text and images to prevent delays.

Birth Certificate

If you can’t present a passport or need extra verification, submit a certified copy of your birth certificate. It must list your name, birth date, and place, matching your application. Ensure the copy is certified by an authorized person. Unclear or uncertified copies can slow down the assessment.

Name Change Documentation

If your name has changed legally, provide official proof, such as marriage certificates, court orders, or government IDs that show the change. These documents must be legible and certified, ensuring your ACS Skills Assessment process is consistent and accurate. Failure to submit proper documents can cause application discrepancies and delays.

Detailed Resume or Curriculum Vitae Submission

Applicants must submit a detailed resume or CV for their ACS Skills Assessment application, highlighting their professional history, education, and any additional qualifications in the ICT sector. The resume should clearly outline the applicant’s career progression, including:

  • Personal Information: Full name, contact details, and essential communication information.
  • Educational Background: List educational institutions, degrees or certifications earned, and attendance or graduation dates, with a focus on ICT-related courses.
  • Professional Experience: Describe all jobs, starting with the most recent. Include the company name, employment dates, job title, and a description of duties, responsibilities, and technologies used, showing how each role contributed to ICT skill development.
  • Skills Summary: List ICT skills gained through work and education, highlighting specialized expertise or certifications related to the nominated ANZSCO occupation.
  • Professional Development: Mention ongoing learning or development activities, like workshops, seminars, certifications, or courses relevant to the ICT sector.
  • Referees: Provide contact details for referees who can confirm the resume details, preferably direct supervisors.

The resume or CV must be professionally presented, clear, and organized for ACS assessors. Ensure all information is accurate and current, reflecting the applicant’s ICT sector qualifications and experiences. Any inconsistencies may adversely affect the assessment.

Educational Qualifications

Degree Certificates or Diplomas

Applicants should submit copies of all degree certificates or diplomas to confirm their education. This includes documents from undergraduate, postgraduate, or vocational programs. Each certificate or diploma needs to show the applicant’s name, degree title, completion date, and issuing institution’s name.

Academic Transcripts

Academic transcripts must detail the applicant’s education, listing subjects and grades. These need to be issued directly by the institution where the studies were completed. Transcripts should include the applicant’s name, course titles, grades awarded, and the covered academic period.

Employment References, Job Descriptions, and Proof of Employment Duration

In addition to academic qualifications, applicants must furnish detailed employment references and proof of the duration of their employments as part of their ACS Skills Assessment application. These documents are indispensable, serving as a testament to the applicant’s practical experience in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector. The employment documentation should meticulously outline the nature of work, responsibilities, and the technologies employed, precisely linking them to the ICT skills and competencies being assessed.

Employment References

Employment references are vital for the ACS Skills Assessment, requiring detailed information about the applicant’s relevant work experience.

  • References should be on official company letterhead, detailing the job position, specific duties, responsibilities, and employment period, including start and end dates. They must also show how these duties align with the ICT skills for the nominated ANZSCO code.
  • The document must include the company’s contact details, such as address, phone, and email, to verify authenticity and allow ACS assessors to potentially verify the references.
  • Each reference letter should be signed by the applicant’s supervisor or a company authorized representative, ensuring the information’s accuracy.
  • For applicants with multiple positions, a separate reference for each role is needed. References from past employers can also be included for a full view of the applicant’s work history.

Employment Contracts

Applicants are encouraged to submit employment contract copies to supplement work history evidence. These documents help verify employment references and provide insights into employment terms, enhancing the assessment process. Though not mandatory, they offer valuable information and can positively impact the outcome if certified as true copies by an authorized entity.

Payment Evidence

Applicants must submit pay slips, tax documents, or officially issued income statements to verify employment details from references. These documents should include the applicant’s and employer’s names, employment period, and must be official to ensure authenticity.

Evidence of English Language Proficiency

The ACS Skills Assessment requires proof of English proficiency for non-native speakers, with valid test results from IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic, or CAE, not older than two years, meeting ACS’s minimum scores. This demonstrates the applicant’s ability to communicate in professional contexts, essential for the nominated occupation. Applicants must include these scores in their ACS application documentation.

  • Valid English Language Test Results: Include IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic, or CAE test scores, not older than two years.
  • IELTS: A minimum score of 6.0 in each of the four components (listening, reading, writing, and speaking).
  • TOEFL iBT: A minimum total score of 79, with a minimum of 18 in reading, 17 in listening, 20 in speaking, and 17 in writing.
  • PTE Academic: A minimum overall score of 50, with no individual score less than 36 in each of the four modules.
  • CAE (Cambridge English: Advanced): A minimum overall score of 169, with no individual score less than 162 in each of the four skills.

Australian Computer Society Skills Assessment Categories

Temporary Graduate – 485 Visa

Applicants for the Temporary Graduate – 485 visa must follow specific prerequisites designed to assess their eligibility. This visa allows international graduates to stay in Australia temporarily to live, study, and work. For the ACS skills assessment, applicants need to show that their Australian education is relevant to their nominated ICT occupation, matching the ANZSCO requirements.

Requirements for Assessment:

  • Completion of an Australian degree that is closely related to the nominated ICT occupation within the last six months.
  • A detailed curriculum vitae that outlines the applicant’s educational background and any practical experience acquired, especially those relevant to the ICT domain.
  • Evidence of completion of a CRICOS-registered course of at least two academic years in length onshore in Australia.
  • Submission of all academic transcripts and certificates as per ACS requirements.

Post-Australian Study Work Stream

The Post-Australian Study Work Stream provides an avenue for international graduates who have successfully completed their higher education in Australia, granting them the opportunity to remain in Australia to gain practical work experience in their field of study. This stream is distinct from the Temporary Graduate – 485 visa and is designed to support the professional development of graduates as they transition from education to full-time employment within the Australian workforce.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • The applicant must have completed an eligible qualification from an Australian institution, which took at least two academic years (92 weeks) of study onshore in Australia.
  • The qualification must be relevant to an occupation on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL).
  • Applicants are required to hold or have held a valid Student Visa within the six months preceding their application for the Post-Australian Study Work Stream.
  • Evidence of proficiency in English to the standard set by the Department of Home Affairs.
  • Submit a detailed resume or curriculum vitae, highlighting any practical experience gained, particularly within the Australian context.

Skills (General Application)

For individuals seeking to establish or further develop their career in ICT within Australia, demonstrating a comprehensive set of both technical and soft skills is paramount. The general application process for skills assessment by the ACS emphasizes not just the academic and professional qualifications but also the practical aptitude and competencies essential for thriving in the dynamic ICT sector.

  • Technical Skills: Applicants must exhibit a strong foundation in the core technical competencies related to their specific ICT occupation. This includes, but is not limited to, programming languages, system analysis, network security, and database management. Up-to-date knowledge of emerging technologies and methodologies is also crucial, given the rapid pace of technological advancement.
  • Soft Skills: Equally important are the soft skills that enable professionals to seamlessly integrate into the workplace and contribute effectively to their teams and projects. These encompass communication skills, problem-solving abilities, adaptability, and teamwork. Demonstrating a capability for leadership and project management may further enhance an applicant’s profile.
  • Professional Experience: Documented evidence of relevant work experience is a critical component of the skills assessment. Applicants should provide detailed accounts of their roles, responsibilities, and achievements in previous positions, illustrating how they have applied their technical and soft skills in a professional setting.

The ACS evaluates the totality of an applicant’s skills and experience, considering both the breadth and depth of their expertise. It is, therefore, imperative for applicants to present a well-rounded portfolio that showcases their technical proficiencies, soft skills, and professional experience. This holistic approach to skills assessment ensures that the ACS accurately assesses an individual’s readiness and suitability for contributing to Australia’s ICT workforce.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

The Australian Computer Society (ACS) offers the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) process to assess individuals with significant non-formal ICT experience or self-taught skills, ensuring they’re not at a disadvantage. RPL allows these professionals to have their knowledge and competencies recognized as equivalent to formal education. It validates practical and theoretical ICT knowledge gained outside traditional educational pathways, embracing skills from work projects, research, and other learning forms. This process aims to include more diverse and unconventional talents in Australia’s ICT workforce. Candidates must document their experiential learning to prove their ICT skills and contributions, aligning with ACS standards to support Australia’s technological growth.

Criteria for RPL Application:

  • Applicants must have a minimum of six years of relevant work experience in the ICT field if they do not possess tertiary ICT qualifications. For those with tertiary qualifications unrelated to ICT, at least two years of relevant work experience (in addition to the six years) in a field closely related to the nominated occupation are required.
  • Submission of two project reports is mandatory, detailing significant career accomplishments and demonstrating a practical understanding of ICT principles and applications. One of the reports must pertain to a project conducted within the last three years of the applicant’s work history.

Preparing the RPL Application:

  • Candidates must thoroughly document their work experience, emphasizing the development and application of ICT skills in a real-world context. This includes detailed descriptions of problem-solving approaches, technology implementations, and the impact of these efforts on business outcomes.
  • Submission Requirement: An RPL Report is required for applicants with non-ICT degrees.
  • Content of RPL Report: Must include two project reports that showcase the applicant’s ICT skills through non-ICT qualifications and professional experience.
  • Project Report Criteria: Reports should detail projects from the last three and five years, highlighting problem-solving, technology utilization, and the applicant’s contribution.

Assessment Outcomes

Assessment outcomes for applicants undergoing the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) or general skills assessment through the Australian Computer Society (ACS) are categorized based on the degree to which they meet the standards for skilled employment in the ICT sector.

Suitable (Meeting the Criteria for Skilled Employment)

A “Suitable” outcome means the applicant meets the criteria for skilled employment in their chosen occupation, verified by evaluating evidence of their ICT skills, knowledge, and experience against Australian standards.

Getting a “Suitable” assessment is vital for validating qualifications and experience for migration and eligibility for various visas under the General Skilled Migration (GSM) program. Applicants with a “Suitable” outcome are advised to continue their migration process, showing they’re ready to join Australia’s ICT workforce.

Not Yet Suitable (Requiring More Experience or Education)

A “Not Yet Suitable” outcome means the applicant hasn’t met the criteria for skilled employment in their chosen occupation in the Australian ICT sector. This result can occur if the evidence doesn’t show the necessary ICT skills, knowledge, or professional experience to meet Australian standards.

Those with a “Not Yet Suitable” result should consider further professional development, like gaining more relevant ICT work experience or additional education in ICT. This will not only improve their ICT understanding but also increase their chances of a successful reassessment through the RPL process or similar routes. Applicants must heed the ACS feedback to better meet the skilled employment criteria in Australia’s ICT workforce.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Assessment Result

After completing the RPL assessment process, each applicant receives a detailed report summarizing their assessment results. This report acts as official proof of the applicant’s eligibility for skilled employment in the Australian Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector, based on their previous learning and professional experience. Applicants should carefully review this report for valuable insights into how their skills and knowledge match up with Australian standards.

The outcome, marked as “Suitable” or “Not Yet Suitable”, is decided by the ACS’s strict evaluation criteria, focusing on the candidate’s ICT competencies. Those receiving a “Suitable” outcome meet or exceed the standards for professional practice in their chosen occupation, qualifying them for the General Skilled Migration (GSM) program.

For a “Not Yet Suitable” result, the report offers feedback and recommendations on areas to improve, which might include gaining more professional experience or further education. Candidates are encouraged to use this feedback to better align with the professional standards needed for a successful reassessment and entry into the Australian ICT sector.

How to Apply for an ACS Skills Assessment

Prepare Your Documents

To advance your application, gather all necessary documents including educational qualifications, employment references, and ID documents, ensuring they meet Australian Computer Society (ACS) standards for clarity, accuracy, and authenticity. Non-compliance may cause delays or rejection. Review ACS guidelines carefully for successful submission.

Once you have diligently compiled all necessary documentation, the subsequent step involves navigating to the official Australian Computer Society (ACS) website to create your personal account. To initiate this process, locate the “Register” or “Sign Up” option on the ACS homepage.

You will be prompted to fill your basic personal information, including but not limited to your full name, contact number, and email address. Upon submission of this information, a verification link will be dispatched to the provided email address.

Choose Your Assessment Type

Selecting the accurate skills assessment pathway is a pivotal aspect of your application. The Australian Computer Society (ACS) provides an array of assessment types tailored to different professional backgrounds and career aspirations. These include the Temporary Graduate, Post Australian Study, Skills, or Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), each designed to evaluate your qualifications and work experience against the standards demanded by the Australian labor market.

It is imperative to thoroughly analyze your professional history and future objectives to choose the pathway that not only aligns with your visa requirements but also supports your long-term career goals.

Fill Out the Application Form

After choosing the right assessment pathway, the next key step is to carefully complete the online application form on the Australian Computer Society (ACS) website. This form requires detailed and accurate information about your education and work history. It’s crucial to accurately present this information, showing how your qualifications and experience match the selected assessment pathway.

  • Start with your highest educational achievement, listing the institution, course title, study dates, and award date for each qualification. Make sure this information aligns with your prepared documents.
  • After detailing your education, move on to your employment history, beginning with your latest job and going backwards. For each position, list the employer, your role, employment dates, and a detailed account of your duties and tasks. Emphasize skills or experiences that meet the ACS criteria for your assessment pathway.

Upload Your Documents

After filling out the online application form with great attention to detail, the next key step in your ACS skills assessment is to digitally upload all your documents. This requires that each file is properly named and formatted following the Australian Computer Society (ACS) guidelines.

  • Start by converting each document to PDF format, as required by the ACS. Name each file clearly with your full name and the document type for easy identification (e.g., “John_Doe_Passport.pdf”, “John_Doe_Degree_Certificate.pdf”).
  • Ensure the file size of each document doesn’t exceed the ACS’s maximum limit. If a document is too large, use a file compression tool to reduce its size without losing clarity.
  • After preparing your documents as described, upload them through the ACS application portal’s document upload section. Carefully check that each document is uploaded correctly and matches the correct category in the application.

Pay the ACS Skills Assessment Fee

Upon successful upload of the necessary documentation to your ACS application, the subsequent stage involves submitting the requisite fee aligned with your assessment type. This financial transaction is facilitated through the Australian Computer Society (ACS) online platform, which securely accepts payment via credit or debit card.

  • Navigate to the payment section of the ACS application platform and select the assessment type for which you are applying to view the corresponding fee.
  • Enter your payment details, including card number, expiration date, and CVV code, ensuring the information provided is accurate to prevent any transactional errors.
  • Review your payment details thoroughly before confirming the transaction to ensure that the correct fee amount is processed for your specific assessment type.

Upon confirmation of payment, you will receive an acknowledgement receipt via email, signifying the successful submission of your application fee. Ensure you retain this receipt for future reference, as it serves as proof of payment for the services rendered by the Australian Computer Society (ACS).

Final Review and Submission

Before the final step of your Australian Computer Society (ACS) skills assessment application, ensure you thoroughly review your application. Check for accuracy and completeness in all details, and confirm the proper upload and formatting of required documents. This careful review helps prevent issues that could delay the assessment.

  • Carefully check each part of your application, comparing the information with your official documents for accuracy, including your educational qualifications, employment history, and the documents uploaded.
  • Give extra attention to the personal details section to ensure your contact information is correct and current. This is vital for receiving updates and notices from the ACS about your application.

After ensuring your application meets the ACS’s standards, you’re ready to submit it for assessment.

  • To submit, follow the instructions on the ACS application portal. After submitting, you’ll receive an acknowledgement email from ACS, confirming your application’s receipt and giving you important details about the assessment process and timeline.

Keep the acknowledgment email safe as it marks the start of your skills assessment process and might be needed later.

Track Your Application

After submitting your Australian Computer Society (ACS) skills assessment application, you can track its progress and status through your ACS account. It’s important to regularly monitor your application to stay updated and know if any further action is needed from you.

  • Regularly log into your ACS account for real-time updates on your application’s assessment process.
  • Application processing times vary due to submission volumes and assessment complexity. Check the ACS website for up-to-date processing time information to set realistic expectations for the wait.

Staying patient is key, and ensuring all your information is accurate helps the assessment go smoothly. The ACS aims to conduct thorough and fair evaluations, requiring time to ensure accuracy and fairness.

Receive Your Assessment Outcome

Once the Australian Computer Society (ACS) has thoroughly evaluated your skills assessment, you’ll be informed of the outcome via email. It’s crucial to check your email regularly, including the spam folder, to not miss this important communication. If successful, ACS will issue an official letter, serving as essential evidence for migration or employment in Australia.

  • Carefully review the ACS outcome letter to understand your assessment result. It will show if your skills and qualifications meet Australia’s stringent standards for the ICT profession.

If your application is successful, this letter is crucial for your future in Australia, whether for migration or employment. Keep it in a safe place as it’s vital for your migration or job application process.

Review/Appeal Process

In the pursuit of fairness and transparency, the Australian Computer Society (ACS) provides a structured Review/Appeal Process for applicants seeking reassessment of their Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) or skilled employment assessment outcomes. This process is integral for applicants who believe that the initial evaluation did not accurately reflect their qualifications or experiences.

Initiating a Review

Applicants desiring a review of their assessment outcome must formally request this within a specified period following the receipt of their results. This request should be accompanied by a detailed justification, highlighting specific areas of disagreement with the assessment findings and, when applicable, providing additional evidence that supports their claim.

Appeal Process

If the applicant is still dissatisfied after the review, they can escalate their case to the Appeal Process. This involves a deeper re-evaluation of their submission by a separate panel within the ACS, made up of professionals not involved in the initial assessment, to ensure an unbiased review.

During both review and appeal phases, applicants must follow the ACS’s guidelines and deadlines. Successfully navigating the Review/Appeal Process requires a clear understanding of the ACS assessment criteria and presenting additional evidence or arguments to support re-evaluation eligibility.

The Review/Appeal Process aims to ensure each applicant receives a fair and thorough assessment, maintaining the evaluation system’s integrity and upholding the ACS’s commitment to high standards in the Australian ICT workforce.


Understanding each step of the ACS Skills Assessment Guidelines is crucial for IT professionals seeking migration to Australia under the skilled migration program. It is advised to carefully prepare and check all required documents and information prior to submission to ensure a smooth and successful assessment process.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an ACS skills assessment?

Explore the essential requirements for ACS skills assessment, and Australia's post-study work stream including RPL for ICT professionals.

An ACS skills assessment is a process conducted by the Australian Computer Society to evaluate the skills and qualifications of individuals working in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector who wish to migrate to Australia. It assesses if an applicant’s educational background and professional experience align with the standards required by the Australian ICT industry.

Who needs to undergo an ACS skills assessment?

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Anyone aiming to apply for a skilled migration visa to Australia in the field of ICT, including those applying under the General Skilled Migration (GSM) program, needs to undergo an ACS skills assessment.

How long does the ACS skills assessment process take?

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The assessment time can vary, but typically, the Australian Computer Society (ACS) aims to complete the skills assessment within 8 to 10 weeks from the date they receive all required documentation.

What happens if I fail the ACS skills assessment?

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If you do not pass the ACS skills assessment, you will receive a detailed report explaining the reasons for the decision. You can choose to apply for a reassessment if you believe you have additional information that was not previously considered or if you gain more relevant experience.

Can I apply for ACS skills assessment with work experience but no formal ICT qualification?

Explore the essential requirements for ACS skills assessment, and Australia's post-study work stream including RPL for ICT professionals.

Yes, individuals without formal ICT qualifications but with relevant work experience in the ICT field can apply through the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) process. This process assesses non-formal learning to determine if an individual has acquired an equivalent level of knowledge and skills.

Is there a validity period for the ACS skills assessment?

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Yes, ACS skills assessments are valid for 24 months from the date of issue. It’s important to apply for migration or visa processes within this timeframe.

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