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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Overseas Qualifications Unit?

The Overseas Qualifications Unit (OQU) was established in 1989 by the Victorian Department of Labour to assist overseas qualified professionals to gain recognition of their qualifications so that they could undertake work in Victoria.

The OQU is part of the Skilled and Business Migration program within the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources.

What does the Overseas Qualifications Unit do?

The Overseas Qualifications Unit (OQU) provides qualified professionals, who are permanently living in Victoria, with an assessment of their qualifications (awarded by overseas educational institutions) to assist them to undertake work in Victoria.

The OQU aim is to provide individuals with free, confidential and reliable information about their overseas qualifications to help them achieve their personal and career goals.

The OQU also assists employers, educational institutions and others to appropriately interpret overseas education and qualifications.

For more information about the types of qualifications that are assessed and the scope of services, see the Tailoring a Qualification Assessment to your Needs page.

How does the Overseas Qualifications Unit assess overseas qualifications?

Assessment of a person’s overseas qualifications is based on the Country Education Profiles published by the Australian Government Department of Education. As an obligation under Lisbon Recognition Convention (2002) the Australian Government Department of Education is the official National Information Centre for Australia.

The Australian Government Department of Education and Training assessment guidelines help to compare overseas educational qualifications with qualifications on the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) by using the AQF learning outcomes.

Find out more about the Australian Government Department of Education and Training assessment guidelines

AQF qualifications are described in terms of the characteristics of learning outcomes and the general nature of the educational program rather than the length and detailed content of the program (e.g. an overseas Bachelor of Science may be compared to an Australian Bachelor degree, but not and Australian Bachelor of Science). In the vocational and technical education sector, outcomes are based on competency levels.

Find out more about Australian qualifications on the Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) website. 

What is an Overseas Qualifications Unit Assessment Advice?

An Overseas Qualifications Unit (OQU) Assessment Advice is an official document that confirms the recognition of an overseas qualification and its comparable level in Australia, based on the Australian Government Department of Education assessment guidelines.

Example of an OQU Assessment Advice

Assessment Advice Sample 

How can I use an Overseas Qualifications Unit Assessment Advice?

An Overseas Qualifications Unit (OQU) Assessment Advice can be used in a number of ways:

  • Presented directly to employers, human resource departments, recruitment agents etc.
  • Included as information on a resume, e.g. My qualification has been assessed by the Victorian Government’s Overseas Qualifications Unit as comparable to the educational level of an Australian Bachelor Degree.
  • Presented to various institutions including professional bodies or admitting institutions.

What are certified copies?

A certified copy of an original document is a copy signed and witnessed by a person who is authorized to witness statutory declarations and certify documentation.

Who can certify documents?

  • A Justice of the Peace or a Bail Justice
  • A Notary Public
  • A barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court
  • A clerk to a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court [barristers' clerk]
  • The Prothonotary or a Deputy Prothonotary of the Supreme Court
  • The Registrar or Deputy Registrar of the County Court
  • The Principal Registrar of the Magistrates' Court
  • The Registrar or Deputy Registrar of the Magistrates' Court
  • The Registrar of Probates or an Assistant Registrar of Probates
  • The Associate to a Judge of the Supreme Court or of the County Court
  • The Secretary of a Master of the Supreme Court or of the County Court
  • A person registered as a Patent
  • Attorney under Part XV of the Patents Act 1952 of the Commonwealth
  • A member of the police force
  • The sheriff or a deputy sheriff
  • A member or a former member of either House of the Parliament of Victoria
  • A member or a former member of either House of the Parliament of the Commonwealth
  • A councillor of a municipality
  • A senior officer of a Council as defined in the Local Government Act 1989
  • A registered medical practitioner within the meaning of the Medical Practice Act 1994
  • A dentist
  • A veterinary practitioner
  • A pharmacist
  • A principal in the [government] teaching service
  • The [branch] manager of a bank
  • A member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia or the Australian Society of Accountants or the National Institute of Accountants
  • The secretary of a building society
  • A minister of religion authorised to celebrate marriages [not a civil celebrant]
  • A person employed under Part 3 of the Public Sector Management and Employment Act 1998 with a classification that is prescribed as a classification for statutory declarations or who holds office in a statutory authority with such a classification
  • A fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives (Victoria)

Copies of documents submitted to the Overseas Qualifications Unit must be certified by having all elements as shown below, including the signature of a person who can legally witness a Statutory Declaration.

Example of Correct Certification

Where can I get my overseas qualifications translated?

A free translation service is offered by Adult Multicultural Education Services (AMES) to eligible people permanently settling in Australia. You can lodge your documents at an AMES Education site and they will then be sent to a translation service provider. 

If you are not eligible for this service, an accredited National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) translator should be used.

To access a translator, visit the AMES website or the NAATI website

What is the assessment time for an Overseas Qualifications Unit Assessment? 

Assessment can take up to 12 weeks. 

Where can I have my qualification assessed if I am not eligible for OQU services?

OQU services are for recently arrived migrants to Victoria (see OQU eligibility criteria). If you are not eligible for OQU services and wish to apply for an assessment of your educational level please contact the Australian Government Department of Education who can provide educational assessments of higher education, post-secondary or technical and vocational qualifications. This assessment is for individuals who need to establish the educational level of an overseas qualification compared with an Australian educational qualification on the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF).

For information on how to apply for an educational assessment visit the Australian Government Department of Education and Training website. If you have general queries about an educational assessment you can contact them by email: qualsrecognition@education.gov.au

Australian Government Department of Education assessment is for general employment. The Australian Government Department of Education charges an application fees for the service.

I have lost my assessment outcome, can I request a re-issue?

The Overseas Qualifications Unit (OQU) can re-issue an assessment on a case-by-case basis. Due to high level of administrative requirements on a re-issue, the process can take up to four weeks. You can send a request for a re-issue by email to oqu@liveinvictoria.vic.gov.au

Please include the reason for the re-issue, your full name (as on the award certificate) and the date of the original assessment outcome in your email.

Can I request a review of the assessment outcome provided by OQU?

The Overseas Qualifications Unit (OQU) prides itself in providing highly accurate assessment outcomes by implementing internal quality checks before issuing the outcome to a client. We also believe that as a client you are entitled to an explanation of the assessment outcome provided. As a first step you are encouraged to contact us to discuss your assessment outcome as well as the possibility of reviewing it.

More information