So you’ve decided to make the move to Australia and start anew. You’ve been dreaming of a better lifestyle and now it’s time to make it a reality.
As an engineer, you know that in order to get your visa, you’ll need to prove your skill set is up-to-scratch with Australia’s rules and regulations. But what exactly do you need to do? You may have heard of the Competency Demonstration Report (CDR) or the Migration Skills Assessment (MSA). Both are necessary for those looking to gain a visa in Australia as an engineer.
In this article, we’ll break down what these terms mean, and how you can go about submitting them for a successful application. By the time we’re done, you’ll have all the information you need to build a stronger application and achieve your migration dreams!
Overview of the Migration Skills Assessment
Are you an engineer looking to move to Australia? Before you can do so, you must undergo the Migration Skills Assessment (MSA). It is a documentary-based skills assessment of the qualification and employment history of an applicant. The aim is to make sure that successful applicants can contribute to the skilled workforce of Australia. Engineer Australia is authorized by the Australian Department of Home Affairs to assess the qualification, skills and experience of applicants who wish to migrate to Australia as an engineer.
Choosing the Right Category
There are four occupational categories for skilled migration:
- Professional Engineer (have a 4-year engineering degree)
- Engineering Technologist (have a 3-year engineering degree)
- Engineering Associate ( have a 2-year advanced diploma or associated engineering degree)
- Engineering Manager, this category is for overseas engineers whose qualifications don’t include the above three categories.
Based on your qualifications and skills, you will be able to work in one of these occupational categories in Australia and also choose the assessment pathway for your application.
Understanding the Role of the Competency Demonstration Report (CDR)
If you’re planning to move to Australia as an engineer, you must understand the important steps in the process: the Competency Demonstration Report (CDR). There are several assessment types in Engineers Australia you will choose the one that suits your case.
You will choose the Competency Demonstration Report if:
- Have non-accredited qualification
- Have accredited qualification but want to be assessed as a different occupation than the degree title
- You are applying as an Engineering Manager
Essentially, your Competency Demonstration Report is like your resume—or CV—and it’s what will get you in front of a deciding panel. To argue that you possess the competencies and knowledge as an engineer, this report will prove your technical knowledge, qualifications and professional experience. It’s essentially a collection of documents that explain why you should be considered for a visa under skilled migration. These documents include:
- Latest passport-size photo
- The first page of your passport that has your name and photo
- Your CV or resume with detail about your experience
- Educational certificate and transcripts
- IELTS or PTE Academic, TOEFL iBT results (please check the table below for language requirements)
- Employment Documentary Evidence
- Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
- Career Episode
- Summary Statement
The CDR will make or break your application, so it should be complete and accurate. Your writing style also matters; technical skills should be assessed by engineering professionals, who are more likely to understand if things are written well.
Crafting Compelling Career Episodes for the CDR
To get permanent residency in Australia, engineers will need to complete the Competency Demonstration Report (CDR). It involves writing three career episodes that focus on specific engineering activities and providing evidence that they meet the standards set by Engineers Australia.
So, what should you include in the career episodes of your CDR? The first thing you should include is:
- The title of the engineering activity or project you are writing about
- Dates and terms of the career episode
- The geographical location of the experience
- The name of the organization or the name of the employer
- Also if the career episode is based on an academic project, then you will include your supervisor’s email address as well as the name and code of the subject
When it comes to writing your career episode, ensure that you use the essay format and active voice and write it from the first-person perspective. you can demonstrate your communication skills with this task as well.
Each career episode should be based on a piece of work or a project you have worked on or are currently working on. Describe the project and what your role is in the work. Engineering methods (define, plan and design, deliver, evaluate) will be used here to explain how you deal with the task and complete it.
You’ll want to make sure that your career episodes make your work clear by going into detail about what exactly you did—the processes involved, any challenges you faced and overcame, any innovative solutions you devised, as well as any insights you gained. For every point you make, it’s a good idea to provide evidence as proof. Finally, wrap up each episode by summarizing what skills and knowledge you acquired through this experience—anything from communication skills to critical thinking. Essentially you need to make sure that you explain how you develop and demonstrate all the competencies listed for your occupation category.
The word limit for each career episode is between 1000 to 2500 words and should focus on the engineering activity you participated in. Number your paragraph in your career episode so that it will be easier for your assessor to cross-reference with the summary statement’s competency elements.
Tips for Writing a Successful Summary Statement
A summary statement is a brief summary of all the competencies you have demonstrated in your three career episodes. Each entry-to-practice competency for your occupational category should be listed in your summary statement along with how you addressed them. You will use active voice and first-person pov when writing this part as well.
The summary statement is made up of these sections:
- Knowledge and skill base
- Engineering application ability
- Professional and personal attributes
The EA assessor utilizes these sections as evidence of the competencies you mentioned in your career episodes. So make sure to use the paragraph number so that the assessor can access that information in the career episode without any difficulty. Missing any key point in your summary statement can very well lead to your competencies not being proven and could become a reason for rejection.
So if you’re a professional engineer considering making the move to Australia, you’ll need to ensure that you are eligible for the migration skills assessment. This involves submitting a Competency Demonstration Report (CDR) that meets the criteria of the Australian regulator, Engineers Australia.
This is an important step in the journey leading to your migration to Australia and something you should be prepared for. We hope this blog helps you with understanding CDR and how to write it better. Good luck and we wish you the best of luck with your move!