What Is MSA Booklet (Migration Skill Assessment Booklet)?

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Migration Skill Assessment Booklet

Engineers who are looking forward to migrating to Australia on a permanent residence basis can get their skills assessed through the Migration Skill Assessment (MSA) process. Engineers Australia, the most diverse body of engineers in Australia, conducts the Migration Skill Assessment process for migrants. It is a paper-based system in which the skills and competencies of engineers are evaluated based on their qualifications and employment history. As a result, the Migration Skill Assessment process determines if the applicant’s skills are in accordance with the Australian work standards.  Let us further discuss what is Migration Skill Assessment (MSA) Booklet and how can it help the applicants in filing the correct application.

What is MSA booklet?

The Migration Skill Assessment process follows a well-defined process thereby providing a pathway to the applicants how they can achieve a positive skill assessment. However, the applicants must note that the MSA process does not recognize their qualifications; neither can be used for employment purposes in Australia. It is solely for migration purposes. The Engineers Australia provides the Migration Skill Assessment booklet where the applicants can find the complete information about the process. Hence, the applicants should go through this booklet before applying for skill assessment. From fee details to Recognition to Prior Learning and Steps to prepare CDR every little detail is explained in an easy language in the booklet.

The Engineers Australia skill assessment booklet comprises of 4 different sections with each section providing explanatory details of the Migration Skill Assessment process.

  1. Section A – This section includes details on how the process of skill assessment is conducted by Engineers Australia starting with the requirements details, fee details, online procedure, assessment procedure and the outcome of the assessment. It also mentions how an applicant can file a re-review of their application if they are not satisfied with the outcome.
  2. Section B – This section provides details on how an applicant can choose a pathway of their skill assessment process.
  3. Section C – This section provides the stepwise procedure for creating the CDR report. It also contains examples of Summary Statements for each of the Engineers occupational categories – Professional Engineers, Engineering Technologists, Engineering Associates and Engineering Managers. It also provides comprehensive information about the competencies of these occupational categories. It further also includes a list of ANZSCO (Australia New Zealand Standard Classicization of Occupations) occupations which are selected for Engineers Australia.
  4. Section D – This section provides the details of Additional Assessment Services such as Fast Track and Assessment of overseas PhD.

Choosing the Correct Pathway of Assessment as per the MSA Booklet

The Engineers Australia provides 5 pathways of skill assessment to the applicants based on their qualification namely:

  1. Accredited Australian Qualifications
  2. Washington Accord Qualifications
  3. Sydney Accord Qualifications
  4. Dublin Accord Qualifications
  5. Competency Demonstration Report (CDR)

The Engineers Australia skill assessment booklet acts as a resource for choosing the correct pathway. However, the qualifications that decide which pathway of skill assessment the applicant should choose are divided into two categories namely Accredited and Non-Accredited Qualifications.

The Australian engineering qualifications and the overseas qualifications for engineers that have been accepted through legal agreements come under the category of Accredited Qualifications. Engineers Australia is a signatory to three agreements – Washington Accord, Sydney Accord and Dublin Accord. The Accredited qualifications are assessed on the basis of undergraduate qualifications.

For those who do not have an accredited undergraduate or postgraduate qualification are categorized in the Non-Accredited Qualifications category. These applicants have to undergo the Competency Demonstration Report (CDR) assessment process.

Let us further discuss the process of evaluation of Non-Accredited occupations:

The applicants with Non-Accredited qualifications have to compile a CDR report. It is documentary evidence of the engineering knowledge of the applicant and the application of that knowledge in their engineering field. The CDR report is prepared for the occupation that the applicant wants to nominate from the list of skills mentioned by Engineers Australia. The CDR is then evaluated against the Australian graduate standards and the definition of the occupation as provided by ANZSCO. The following flowchart depicts the stepwise process of preparing a CDR report.

The components of the CDR Assessment in the MSA Booklet

1. Personal Information

This includes documents that can provide your personal information such as your resume or curriculum vitae, photograph, passport bio-data page and evidence of English language competency. The applicants need to provide complete details of their workplace, their job role and duties in their resume.

2. Application Information 

This includes the details of the occupation that the applicant wants to nominate for evaluation. The nomination should be as per the ANZSCO listed occupations.

3. Education

The applicants also need to provide their educational qualification evidence through transcripts, degree certificates or enrolment certificates as applicable.

4. Skilled Employment

The applicants have to provide evidence of their employment. Those who have based their career episodes on their professional experience have to provide reference letters of the same from their company indicating their job title and employment duration. Along with this the applicants also have to submit documents from third parties that can support their employment period such as government documents of income tax return etc.

5. The CDR Report

The Engineers Australia booklet describes the format of the CDR report in details. The CDR report comprises of three main sections: CDP (Continuing Professional Development), Career Episodes and Summary Statement.

  1. CDP or Continuing Professional Development is evidence of how the applicant has kept themselves up-to-date in their field after completing their qualifications, for example, attending conferences, workshops or pursuing private study. The length of this CPD listing should be of one page only (A4 Size).
  2. Career Episodes are evidence on how the applicant has applied their skills and engineering knowledge in their job. The applicants have to provide three career episodes with each focusing on a certain aspect of their engineering career. For instance, the applicants can write a career episode on a certain project that they had undertaken, a problem that they have resolved or any engineering task that was a part of their course of study.

The career episodes need to be written by the applicant thereby showcasing their English communication skills. Hence, the career episodes should explain in details how the applicant applied their knowledge in the engineering field, what solutions they suggested or their overall role in that engineering task.

The Career Episodes are written in a prescribed format as under:


This is an introduction about the career episode including the details of organization and duration of the career episode,Approximately 100 Words


It describes the background details of the applicant’s job role, the idea behind the project or the position of the applicant in the organization and its relation with the career episode.200 – 500 Words

Personal Engineering Activity

This is the body of the career episode indicating how the applicant performed that task, what challenges were faced, how they came onto conclusions or resolved the problems.500 – 1000 Words


This is the summation of the career episode and the role of the applicant in that episode.50 – 100 Words

3. The Summary Statement is a summation of the three Career Episodes. In this, the applicant presents an analysis of the episodes in reference to the competencies of the occupation they have nominated. Hence, the summary statement acts as a cross-reference to the career episodes. The applicants can find samples of the summary statement in the MSA Booklet or Engineers Australia website.

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