Moving to a new country can be exciting, but also a challenging journey—especially when it involves starting a new job. If you’re a civil engineer from abroad and looking to relocate to Australia, you’re en route to a great career opportunity. Before getting started, however, you need to get familiar with the process of submitting a competency demonstration report (CDR).
Don’t worry; we’ll help guide you through the process. We’ll explain why submitting a CDR is necessary and what it entails. We’ll also provide helpful tips on how to make the submission process easier and faster. Let’s get started!
What is a CDR?
If you are an international civil engineer looking to work in Australia, then the CDR or Competency Demonstration Report is an essential part of the Australian immigration application process. It is a way for Engineers Australia to evaluate and assess your work experience, technical skills and English language proficiency.
The CDR is a comprehensive report that is evaluated by Engineers Australia for its depth, breadth and quality. The report shows how your qualifications and experience meet the requirements to be eligible to migrate and work in Australia. it must demonstrate that you have acquired the key skills, engineering knowledge, and understanding of professional engineering ethics necessary for safe-practice engineering in Australia.
The main component of your CDR include:
- Three career episode reports detailing significant projects you have worked on
- A Summary Statement which summarises each career episode
- A Continuing Professional Development (CPD) report detailing your current professional development goals and activities.
Civil Engineering Professional
Civil engineering professionals plan, organise, and design projects like dams, bridges, pipelines, gas and water supply systems, sewerage systems, roads, airports, and other structures. Professionals in civil engineering analyse the likely behaviour of rock and soil under the pressure of proposed structures and design the structural foundations. They also examine the statistical characteristics of all types of structures and test the durability and behaviour of the materials used in their construction. They plan and develop transportation systems. Finally, they estimate and track the costs associated with the project’s construction.
In ANZSCO, you will find civil engineering qualifications listed. You can use the ANZSCO code and use it when you are asked to choose the engineering occupation you want.
Indicative Skill Level
In Australia and New Zealand, most occupations listed in the civil engineering unit group have a level of skill equal to a bachelor’s degree or higher qualification. In some cases, on-job training or/and relevant experience may be required in addition to the formal qualification (ANZSCO Skill Level 1). You also may be required to be registered or have a licence.
Writing Effective Career Episodes for Civil Engineering
One of the most important parts of a CDR is writing effective career episodes. These must tell a story about your engineering work and reflect how you applied your knowledge and skills as an engineer.
Your career episodes should include:
- Background Information: A brief overview of your role, qualifications, experience, and the organisation and context in which you worked.
- Description of Engineering Activity: A clear description of the activities that you did in that particular project or assignment and why it was necessary.
- Outcomes/Results: A clear explanation of the results of your engineering work, including any contributions to better engineering processes or practices.
Remember, these career episodes are meant to demonstrate your various technical competencies as a Civil Engineer—so try to be as descriptive and comprehensive as possible without making them overly verbose or complicated! Outline each episode in enough detail so that an assessor can have a clear sense of the contributions you made, but don’t go into unnecessary detail about unrelated topics or activities.
- The word limit should be between 100 to 2500
- It should be written in essay format
- It should be written from a first-person perspective (I)
- Number your paragraph to make it easier to cross-reference with competency elements of the summary statement.
Writing a Successful Summary Statement for Civil Engineers
A summary statement is basically an overview of the competencies you have mentioned in your career episodes. Now the catch here is that you must outline each entry-to-practice competency for your occupational category and how you addressed them.
You can find the template summary statement for each of the four occupational categories here. Analyse each of your career episodes as you go through the template and detail how you have addressed each competency element. You can cross-reference by using the numbered paragraphs in your career episodes.
A summary statement is basically a short paragraph written in the first person (using “I” language) that summarises the key points of your CDR.
Outlining Your Continuous Professional Development (CPD) as a Civil Engineer
As a civil engineer, your Continuous Professional Development (CPD) is a crucial component of your CDR and needs to be included in the CPD section. Here’s what you need to know about outlining your CPD for an Australian CDR.
Structure of the Outline
Your outline should include:
- An explanation of the purpose of CPD
- An overview of any courses or professional development activities that you have completed in the past two years
- A summary of current and future planned activities
- A description of how these activities were and will be beneficial to your career as a civil engineer
You should mention the date of each activity so that it is easier for the assessor to see how current your training is.
In summary, CDRs are a great way to demonstrate your competence as a civil engineer to the professional board in Australia. They require a significant effort to prepare, but if you take the time to craft a quality CDR, you can be confident that you’ve put your best foot forward.
Understanding the CDR requirements and guidelines is essential to ensure you give yourself the best chance of success. Make sure you read and understand the information carefully before submitting your CDR. It is also important to check your application for any errors or omissions before you submit it for assessment.
Good luck! You can do this.