Automatic mutual recognition

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What is automatic mutual recognition?

Automatic mutual recognition (AMR) enables individuals licensed or registered for an occupation in one Australian state or territory to work in another state or territory using their home state licence.

Workers covered by AMR may be able to do the activities they are licensed for in their home state in other states and territories without the need to apply and pay fees for a second licence.

The scheme makes it easier for licensed or registered workers to operate in multiple states and territories. AMR provides safeguards to maintain standards and protect consumers, workers and others.

The AMR scheme is set out in the Mutual Recognition Act 1992 of the Commonwealth (MRA). Victoria has adopted the AMR scheme under the Mutual Recognition (Victoria) Act 1998.

States and territories participating in AMR

The new AMR scheme commenced on 1 July 2021 in:

  • Victoria
  • New South Wales (NSW)
  • Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
  • Northern Territory (NT).

Other states will join in coming months. We will continue to update this page as other states enter the scheme.

Workers can only enter Victoria to work under AMR if their home state is a participating state (and vice versa). This means that from 1 July 2021, only workers from Victoria, NSW, ACT and the NT are eligible to participate.

The AMR scheme does not apply to New Zealand occupational registrations and licences. However, the existing processes under the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Arrangements will continue to apply. Visit the Department of Education, Skills and Employment website for more information about the Trans-Tasman mutual recognition arrangements.

Occupations covered by AMR in Victoria

Interstate workers can rely on AMR to carry on activities in the following occupations in Victoria:

  • conveyancers
  • rooming house operators
  • motor car traders
  • second-hand dealers
  • pawnbrokers
  • owners corporation managers.

Occupations excluded from AMR in Victoria

States and territories can exempt occupations from AMR for a temporary period as a transitional measure. The Victorian Government has exempted the following occupations from AMR until 31 December 2021:

  • professional engineers
  • licensed estate agents
  • sex work service providers
  • approved managers of a sex work service.

Workers in these occupations who are licensed or registered outside of Victoria are not able to rely on AMR to perform those activities in Victoria during the exemption period. 

Workers in some of these occupations can apply to the Business Licensing Authority (BLA) for a new registration or licence to carry out their activities in Victoria, under existing mutual recognition arrangements. Further information regarding how to apply under this method can be found in our licensing and registration section for:

Other states and territories have also temporarily exempted some occupations from AMR. Further details on temporary exemptions can be found on:

The temporary exemptions in Victoria do not stop a licensed worker from relying on AMR to work in another state or territory if the occupation is covered by AMR in that state or territory. For example, an estate agent licensed in Victoria can rely on AMR to work in the ACT, NSW or NT if that state or territory has not exempted estate agents from AMR.

Notice requirements

A state or territory may require workers to notify the local registration authority before they begin undertaking activities under AMR. Workers in the following occupations must notify the BLA before carrying on activities in Victoria under AMR: 

  • conveyancers
  • rooming house operators
  • motor car traders
  • second-hand dealers pawnbrokers
  • owners corporation managers.

There is no fee to submit an AMR notification. Please use the notification form.

Once you submit the notification form to the BLA you are treated as though you are registered or licensed in Victoria and can commence working in Victoria. This is known as ‘automatic deemed registration’.

The BLA will contact you should it require further details or there is an issue with you working under AMR in Victoria. You will not be issued with a second registration or licence, and you will not have to pay any fee.

Once you notify the BLA of your intent to work in Victoria some of the details provided will appear in an online public register.

If you fail to notify the BLA of key information prior to carrying out an activity in Victoria, you will not be authorised to carry out the activity in Victoria. Significant penalties apply for unlicensed or unregistered work in Victoria.

You must also notify the BLA if your home state or territory changes. A worker’s home state is their primary place of residence or work.

Eligibility to work under AMR in Victoria

To be eligible to carry on an activity in Victoria under AMR, you must:

  1. hold a substantive registration or licence in your home state or territory that is participating in AMR and covers the activity you intend to carry out in Victoria
  2. provide notification to the BLA, including evidence of your substantive registration and your home state outside of Victoria 
  3. not, as a result of disciplinary, civil or criminal action in any state or territory in relation to the occupation that covers the activity:
    • have a suspended or cancelled licence or registration
    • have conditions on your registration or licence
    • be personally prohibited from carrying out the activity or occupation
  4. not be subject to disciplinary, civil or criminal action in any state or territory in relation to the occupation that covers the activity
  5. not have been refused registration in any state or territory for an occupation that covers the activity
  6. not have an existing authority to carry on the activity in Victoria (such as an existing Victorian registration)
  7. meet public protection requirements required in Victoria to carry on the activity and provide evidence of this to the BLA (for example, these include holding necessary professional indemnity insurance cover under the Master Policy managed by Austbrokers Countrywide and the Australian Institute of Conveyancers (Vic Div) and complying with Victorian Trust Account requirements)
  8. notify the BLA of your intent to carry on activities under AMR in Victoria using the notification form.

If you are unsure about whether you are eligible to participate under AMR in Victoria, please contact the BLA via email bla@justice.vic.gov.au

What activities can be undertaken in Victoria under AMR?

If you are eligible to work in Victoria under AMR, you can only undertake activities in Victoria that you are allowed to perform under your licence or registration in your home state or territory. This is the case even if the occupation in Victoria allows licensed or registered workers to perform a wider range of activities.

You can also only undertake activities in Victoria that are permitted under relevant Victorian laws. For example, a motor car trader who is allowed to buy vehicles on consignment in their home state would not be allowed to do this in Victoria since consignment selling is illegal in Victoria.

What laws and requirements apply when working in Victoria under AMR?

Workers coming to Victoria under AMR must comply with all relevant Victorian laws that regulate how their activities are conducted, including public protection requirements. You should familiarise yourself with these requirements before undertaking activities in Victoria, and make sure you understand what is required of you.

For example, a conveyancer who works in Victoria under AMR must comply with Victorian requirements regarding trust accounts and professional indemnity insurance. They must also comply with all relevant Victorian laws relating to conveyancing transactions, including the Sale of Land Act 1962 (Vic) and the Transfer of Land Act 1958 (Vic).

Further information is available on the CAV website regarding workers’ obligations and rules for carrying out an activity. In some instances, the BLA will contact you via email to remind you of certain regulatory responsibilities. 

A person working in Victoria from interstate must also continue to operate in accordance with any conditions of their home state registration or licence, unless the BLA waives these conditions.

Breach of Victorian laws and requirements

While undertaking an activity in Victoria under AMR, you are subject to Victorian disciplinary arrangements. If you fail to comply with Victorian laws regulating your activity, this can result in your ability to work in Victoria under AMR being suspended or cancelled.

Suspension or cancellation of your ability to work in Victoria under AMR will also result in your registration or licence in your home state being suspended or cancelled. This may also affect your access to the AMR scheme in the future.

Information sharing by regulators

The BLA will share information with other regulators to better target and manage compliance and enforcement activities in relation to workers operating under AMR. Information sharing will include:

  • when requested by an interstate regulator, information on a worker’s registration or licence, the activities they are authorised to carry out and any history of non-compliant behaviour
  • notifying all state and territory regulators of disciplinary action being taken against a worker operating under AMR, where the person has been notified or is otherwise aware of the action being taken
  • recording and publishing (if required by state or territory laws) instances of non-compliant behaviour by a person operating under AMR.

The BLA will manage workers’ personal information in a way that is consistent with Victorian privacy requirements.

Changing home state or territory

Your home state is where your primary place of residence or work is located.

If you change your home state or territory to Victoria, you must apply through the existing arrangements for a new substantive registration or licence in Victoria. You are still entitled to work in Victoria under AMR while your application for a substantive registration here is being progressed.

Victorian workers seeking to work interstate under AMR

Victorian workers wishing to rely on AMR to carry out activities in a participating state or territory are encouraged to contact the relevant interstate regulator to confirm: 

  • whether your occupation is covered by AMR in that state or territory, or is exempt from AMR 
  • the notification requirements that apply
  • public protection requirements you must comply with in that state and territory (for example, any trust accounting requirements and/or professional indemnity insurance requirements)
  • any tests that apply for working with vulnerable people
  • other relevant rules and laws for carrying on activities under a registration or licences.

Participating interstate regulator details can be found below. 

New South Wales

Regulator: NSW Fair Trading

Website: www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au

Telephone: 13 32 20

Australian Capital Territory

Regulator: Access Canberra

Website: www.accesscanberra.act.gov.au/s/fair-trading

Telephone: 13 22 81

Northern Territory

Regulator: Licensing NT

Website: nt.gov.au/industry/licences

Telephone: (08) 8999 1800