What is AMR?
AMR or automatic mutual recognition (AMR) allows individuals licensed or registered for an occupation in one Australian State or Territory to work in another State or Territory using their substantive (home State) licence.
Workers covered by AMR will be authorised to do the same activities in other States and Territories that they are licensed to do in their home State, without the need to apply and pay fees for a licence in those other States.
What is automatic deemed registration?
Automatic deemed registration (ADR) is the technical name given to your registration in a second State. If you have ADR you are deemed to be registered in the second State for the second State occupation. ADR allows individuals to undertake only those activities authorised by their home State licence in another State or Territory, providing they first notify the local registration authority (if required) and meet any public protection requirements, such as insurance and fidelity fund payments. While undertaking those activities they must also comply with local legislative requirements.
How is AMR (Automatic Mutual Recognition) different from mutual recognition?
AMR is intended to make it easier for tradespeople and professionals to travel between States for work, in response to labour demands by removing the need to apply and pay for a second licence or registration. Instead individuals are automatically deemed to be registered to undertake the same activities in another State as they are authorised to undertake in their home State.
Individuals can still have their substantive licence recognised in another State or Territory for the purpose of obtaining a local licence in that State or Territory under mutual recognition provisions. The individual would have to fill out the applicable mutual recognition registration form and pay application fees. Following verification checks, such individuals may be granted a local licence in the second State. The local licence may be subject to conditions imposed by the second State licensing authority and will be subject to any public protection requirements that apply in the second State.
Can I continue to work under AMR indefinitely?
You are eligible for AMR in a second State, provided you renew your home State licence and maintain a strong connection to your home State either as your principal place of residence, or your principal place of work.
If you change your home State, you will need to apply for a local licence.
AMR is not available if:
- you are not an individual
- your home State has not joined the AMR scheme (currently Queensland only)
- an exemption in the second State or jurisdiction excludes your home State licence from AMR in that state
- you do not hold or cease to hold a valid licence in your home State
- you move to a second State and cease to maintain a strong connection with your home State
- you want to undertake licensed activities in another state that are not authorised by your home State licence.
AMR does not extend to New Zealand occupational registrations and licences. The processes under the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Arrangements continue to apply.
Which states and territories are participating in AMR?
All Australian States and territories, with the exception of Queensland, have committed to implementing AMR from 1 July 2022 but different jurisdictions have different exemptions for specific occupational areas.
What is a home State?
Home state is the name given to the state or territory in which an individual holds a substantive licence and must be either where the person has their principal place of residence and/or their principal place of work. If the principal place of residence and principal place of work are in different states, individual’s can choose which of the two states will be their home State (i.e. choose where to apply for and maintain their substantive licence).
What is a second State?
A second State is any State or Territory in which a licensee undertakes activities under their home State licence – It is any State or Territory where the individual wants to work under AMR .
What is an activity?
An activity is authorised to be carried on under an occupation that requires registration.
Which occupations are covered?
Over 40 DMIRS licences, certificates and registrations fall within the AMR scheme.
The majority of these comprise occupations such as builders, building surveyors, painters, plumbers, gas fitters, real estate agents, settlement agents, debt collectors, land valuers, employment agents, motor vehicle dealers and sales, motor vehicle repairers. Mine safety certificates of competency also fall within AMR along with demolition and high risk work assessors.
The AMR scheme does not apply if the person is authorised to carry on an activity as a result of another mechanism. For example: licensed asbestos assessors, high risk workers, and asbestos removalists from other States and Territories can operate in Western Australia in accordance with the Work Health and Safety (General) Regulations.
Are any occupations excluded?
A long term exemption of five years can be applied to a licence where there is a significant risk to consumers, public, workers, animals or the environment. This may be different in each State.
The WA Government has excluded Electrical Workers and Electrical contractors from AMR in WA.
Are all licence holders eligible to access AMR ?
There are a number of criteria that make a person ineligible for AMR including:
- If their licensed occupation is subject to civil, criminal or disciplinary proceedings in any State and they have been informed or are otherwise aware of the proceedings.
- If their home State licence is cancelled or currently suspended or their automatic deemed registration in a second State is cancelled or currently suspended.
- If they are personally prohibited from carrying on an activity or carrying on an occupation that covers the activity or they are subject to any conditions in carrying on the activity, as a result of criminal, civil or disciplinary proceedings in any state.
- If they are currently refused registration in any State for an occupation that covers an activity.
- If they fail to meet any public protection requirements required by the law of Western Australia before carrying on the activity or while carrying on the activity or if they fail to provide evidence of meeting those requirements when requested to do so.
- If they fail to satisfy a required vulnerable person character test or they fail to provide evidence of satisfying the test.
- If they fail to notify the local registration authority for the second State occupation of an intention to undertake activities when notification is mandatory in the second State or if their home State changes and they fail to inform the local registration authority in the second State of the change in home State.
- If they fail to give evidence of their current place of residence and principal place of residence or their current workplace and principal place of work when asked by the local registration authority to do so.
- if the person is authorised to carry on the activity in the second State by other means. For example: in Western Australia the Work Health and Safety (General) Regulations has provisions that recognise asbestos assessor, high risk work , and asbestos removal licences issued by another State/Territory.
As a consumer or employer, how will I know what activities the individual is authorised to do, or if their licence is valid?
To verify an individual holds a current occupational licence, ask to see a copy of their home State licence. A list of AMR participants operating in WA is available on the "Register of interstate licensees operating in WA under Automatic Mutual Recognition (AMR).
You may also request to view the welcome letter provided by DMIRS confirming they have notified to work under AMR , and have met any public protection requirements.
A list of activities covered by an occupational licence is available on the website of the home State registration authority. The individual should be able to provide you with a link to where the information is on their home State’s webpage
Do I need to notify?
The WA Government requires notification from any licensee intending to work in WA under AMR , including confirmation that any public protection requirements have been met. The only exception are for Mines Safety Certificates of Competency.
Will the local registration authority check that people working under AMR have a valid licence and have met public protection requirements?
When you notify the local registration authority in any State of your intention to work under AMR , the information you provide is shared with your home State and verified.
- Name and address
- Confirmation and details of your registration
- Activities and restrictions of your substantive registration
- Eligibility. Are there any conditions on the registration as a result of criminal, civil or disciplinary proceedings in any State?
Providing false or misleading information on your notification form can lead to the suspension or cancellation of your automatic deemed registration. Action taken while working under ADR will also apply to your home State licence. This means, providing false or misleading information on your ADR notification can also lead to the suspension or cancellation of your home State (substantive) licence.
How do I know what public protection requirements apply to an occupation?
It is the licensee’s responsibility to ensure they are familiar with local laws and obligations relating to delivery of service, including meeting relevant public protection requirements.
PPR and statutory obligations can include:
- Fidelity fund payments
- Financial resources
- Professional Indemnity Insurance
- Trust Accounts
Details relating to these requirements under each licence type is available on the DMIR’s website.
Licensees accessing AMR must show evidence public protection requirements have been met when they notify of their intention to work in WA.
Are licence holders working in WA under AMR required to complete annual CPD?
Annual Continuous Professional Development (CPD) required of Western Australian licensees does not apply under ADR. However licence holders required to undertake CPD under their home State licence must continue to meet this obligation.
How is my information shared?
When you notify the local registration authority in any State of your intention to work under AMR , the information you provide will be shared and its accuracy verified with your home State.
- Name and address
- Confirmation and details of your registration
- Activities, conditions and restrictions of your home State registration
- Eligibility checks: Are there any conditions on the registration that are the result of criminal, civil or disciplinary proceedings in any State?
When requested by another jurisdiction, WA will provide information on a worker’s WA registration or licence, the activities they are authorised to carry out and any history of non-compliant behaviour.
Providing false or misleading information on your notification form can lead to the suspension or cancellation of your authorisation to work outside your home State.
Compliance action taken by a second State while you are working there will also impact your home State licence. This means, providing false or misleading information on your AMR notification can lead to the suspension or cancellation of your home State (substantive) licence.
Information held by DMIRS will be shared with other state and territory regulators to better target and manage compliance and enforcement activities in relation those workers operating under AMR . Information sharing will include:
- Notifying all state and territory regulators of disciplinary action taken against a worker operating under AMR . This will only occur after the person has been notified or is otherwise aware of the action being taken.
- Recording and publishing (if authorised by WA laws) instances of non-compliant behaviour by a person operating under AMR .
DMIRS will manage workers’ personal information in a way that is consistent with the Mutual Recognition Act 1992 as adopted by the Mutual Recognition (Western Australia) Act 2020.
What happens if disciplinary action is taken against me?
Under AMR , the local registration authority is required to notify all other States and Territories, including your home State, when disciplinary action is taken against a person operating under AMR . This includes at commencement of a preliminary investigation or action where there is a realistic possibility that the investigation or action will lead to criminal, civil or disciplinary proceedings.
Once other States and Territories have been informed of the action the right to operate in any jurisdiction under AMR ends immediately. This will also impact your substantive home State registration which will be suspended. Home States will however have the capacity to re-instate your substantive licence if they think it is appropriate to do so. If you continue to work under AMR or while your home State licence is suspended you will be operating unlicensed and can be prosecuted for doing so.
Details shared with other States and Territories as a result of disciplinary action will include:
- the individual’s name and address;
- information identifying the individual’s automatic deemed registration;
- information about the disciplinary action being taken;
- whether it is possible for the suspension or cancellation of the automatic deemed registration to be appealed; and
- information relating to the reasons for taking or considering disciplinary action.
Do I need to maintain my home State licence?
You must maintain a valid substantive licence in your home State to be eligible for AMR .
This is because AMR only allows you to carry out the same activities in the second State that are authorised by your home State licence.
Your home State must either be your principal place of residence or your principal place of work. Where your principal place of work is different to your principal place of residence, and you hold a registration in both States, you can choose either one as your substantive home State licence.
If you make a permanent move to another State, you will need to apply for a local licence in the new home State. This can be done by accessing long standing mutual recognition registration processes whereby you seek to have your substantive licence recognised for the purpose of getting a local licence in the state you have moved to.
If your home State licence lapses, or is cancelled or suspended, your right to work under AMR elsewhere is Australia ceases until you apply and are granted a licence in another state where you are living or working.
If you obtained a WA licence through longstanding mutual recognition arrangements you do not have to maintain your original home State licence.
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