Skilled Migration

Australia needs a more skilled energy sector to deliver on an ambitious infrastructure agenda and more broadly as we transition to a green economy. Each year hundreds of skilled migrants wish to have their skills recognised so they can work in Australia.

Whilst the knowledge and skills of many overseas workers is very high, there are differences in the manner in which this technical expertise needs to be applied, a difference that represents a gap. Electrical Regulators are especially concerned that the gap be addressed in regulated trade vocations such as electrical, refrigeration and air conditioning, electricity linework and cable jointing, where the work context may differ markedly in overseas countries and where such differences could endanger lives, infrastructure or systems.

Differences between Australian and overseas occupational practices often arise as a result of the use of different standards, regulations and/or industry codes/guidelines in the worker’s place of origin. For instance, in Australia and New Zealand, there are particular standards and practices that are not seen or applied in any other country, others in only a few other countries.

Course Overview

The Electrotechnology Electrician and Refrigeration and Air-conditioning accredited courses provides newly arrived migrants access to the gap training program from a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) with scope to deliver the relevant Australian trade qualification.

What is Energy Skills Australia involvement?

We believe ensuring all operatives in the Electrotechnology sector are adequately trained and possess the knowledge and skills required is critical to ensuring Australia has a safe and productive skilled workforce.

This is why Energy Skills Australia worked with the Australian Government to produce two benchmark resources outlining the ‘Minimum Australian Context Gap (MACG)’ for the competencies from the qualifications listed below:

  • Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician (UEE30811)
  • Certificate III in Refrigeration and Air-conditioning (UEE32211)

I’m an RTO and want to deliver this course.

Both of the courses are delivered through Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) being licenced by Energy Skills Australia. Training and assessment resources are provided through two platforms called Energy Space and eProfiling who provide comprehensive reporting. If you are an RTO and want to put this course on scope, fill out and submit the Expression Of Interest (EOI) and the team will get back to you.

Electrician – Australian Minimum Context Gap Course

Expression of Interest (EOI)

Refrigeration and Air Conditioning – Australian Minimum Context Gap

Expression of Interest (EOI)

Who can undertake the course?

Anyone who holds Offshore Technical Skills Records (OTSR) holders or equivalent. Energy Skills Australia has developed a candidate information kit for both the electrician and refrigeration course.

Candidate information kit – electrical

Candidate information kit – refrigeration and air conditioning

Energy Skills Australia works in partnership with Trades Recognition Australia, for more information on skilled migration pathways please head to their website.

Who delivers this course?

Below is a list of RTOs approved to deliver the Electrician – Minimum Australian Context Gap Course and the Refrigeration and Air Conditioning – Minimum Australian Context Gap.

Electrician – Minimum Australian Context Gap Course – (Course Code: 10809NAT)

Refrigeration and Air Conditioning – Minimum Australian Context Gap – (Course Code: 10878NAT):

Step 1

Present OTSR/ATCS to Regulator to receive ‘Provisional/Restricted Licence’.

Step 2

Find Employer and register with Exemplar Profiling (formerly eProfiling).

Step 3

Enrol at an RTO.

Step 4

Successfully complete the gap training course.

Step 5

Workplace evidence

Meeting the full qualification and licence requirements


Whilst the knowledge and skills of many overseas workers can be very high, there are differences in the manner in which technical expertise needs to be applied in Australia.

Australia has different standards, regulations and/or industry codes/guidelines and work practices that are not seen or applied in any other country (except New Zealand).

In regulated trade vocations (electrical and refrigeration and air conditioning) where the work context may differ markedly, if this gap is not addressed it could endanger lives and have a detrimental impact on electricity infrastructure and/or systems.

Yes – Australian regulators and industry have insisted this be the case.
The gap training is a nationally recognised accredited course that can only be offered by licensed registered training organisations (RTOs).

Entrants to the 10809NAT Course in Electrician – Minimum Australian Context Gap and 10878NAT Course in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Minimum Australian Context Gap is restricted to candidates who hold the following: 

  • Offshore Technical Skills Record (OTSR) or Australian Technical Competencies Statement (ATCS).
  • hold a provisional/restricted licence issued by the regulatory authority responsible for regulating electrical work and licensing of workers in the jurisdiction where the training will take place
  • be engaged (employed) as an electrical worker or have access to a workplace environment that replicates workplace conditions
  • hold a certificate of currency for resuscitation (CPR) within the last twelve months and can provide a certificate of currency

Yes – an OTSR is a nationally recognised document. All state and territory regulatory bodies have agreed that Electrical OTSR holders are eligible to apply for a provisional licence to allow the holder to perform work in the licenced occupation under supervision while completing the gap training.

Licensing and registration is a state/territory responsibility in Australia and there are different titles for provisional licenses used in different states/territories.

Yes – ARC recognises the OTSR. Refrigeration and Air Conditioning OTSR holders are eligible to apply for a refrigeration and air conditioning ‘trainee licence’. The trainee licence allows the holder to handle a refrigerant under supervision while completing the gap training.

Some state/territories Electrical Regulators may also require the Refrigeration and Air Conditioning OTSR Holder to hold a relevant restricted electrical licence for that jurisdiction.

Practical experience is a mixture of both time and workplace exposure, which is captured by ‘eProfiling’ to the satisfaction of both the RTO issuing the qualification and the Regulator, which is nominally 12 months.

Exemplar Profiling (formerly eProfiling) records your on-the-job work experience. This system has been developed by industry and is an important component of the gap training course. 


Exemplar Profiling (and eProfiling) gathers, on a weekly basis, the different tasks undertaken and tracks over time exposure to the various elements of the gap training course. This information is verified by your supervisor and used as work performance evidence by the gap training RTO.

Please make contact with another licensed RTO. As part of their licence agreements, they are required to and expected to offer flexible delivery arrangements and options to allow candidates to access the course from other states/territories.

The industry endorsed skilled migration pathway and process for Skilled Migrants (excluding New Zealand qualified Electricians and Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Mechanics) under OSAP and TSS is Trades Recognition Australia (TRA) Pathway 1.

Specifically, this pathway involves candidates:

  1. Successfully undertake a OTSR skills assessment by a TRA approved RTO;
  2. The successful completion of the nationally accredited GAP training course (including supervised workplace experience captured by Exemplar Profiling or eProfiling) in Australia by an Energy Skills Australia licenced GAP training RTO;
  3. Then issuance of the full Certificate III qualification which allows an occupational licence to be issued by the relevant State or Territory regulator.

Skilled Migrants should be extremely cautious about undertaking any pathway or process outside of the industry approved process. Any migration pathway resulting in the issuance of an Australian Qualification or occupational licence that does not involve steps 1-3 above, is most likely against regulatory requirements and training package rules. Australian qualification in the Electrotechnology sector must be delivered in Australia, under appropriate electrical licensing and sufficient on the job exposure gathered in Australia.