Overseas qualification competency assessment application

If you are not eligible to submit an MRA application you may be eligible to submit an application for an Overseas Qualification Competency Assessment (OSQCA).

The OSQCA process assumes you have experience working as a speech pathologist. Applicants must demonstrate that they have worked for a minimum of 1000 hours to be eligible to apply.

It is strongly suggested that you submit your application from your home country as it is easier to obtain further evidence to support your application if requested.

You should apply for OSQCA if:

  • Your qualifications are comparable to those of speech pathologists trained in Australia.
  • You have the ability to use English effectively in the Australian speech pathology context.
  • You have practised as a speech pathologist for at least 1000 hours in the last five years.

All these conditions must be met for you to be assessed for Certified Practicing Membership of the Association.

Speech Pathology Australia is providing advance notice to overseas qualified applicants with regard to planned changes to assessment standards from 2024.

All potential applicants are advised to consult the website prior to preparing and submitting an application.

The Association will ensure that any changes to the assessment standards will not disadvantage applicants already in the process of being assessed.

Notice added February 2022

Educational requirements

Your speech pathology qualifications must be comparable to those of speech pathologists trained in Australia. This comparison is made using the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). The minimum qualification accepted in Australia is a Bachelor’s degree, which is classified as AQF 7.

Your qualification(s) must:

  • be specific to speech pathology practice.
  • include components of supervised clinical experiences.
  • be comparable with the Australian Qualifications Framework definition of AQF 7.

Compare your qualifications with the AQF definitions prior to submitting your application to confirm that they are at least equivalent to the Australian minimum.

English Language requirements

Many languages other than English are used in Australia. Speech Pathology Australia is keen to increase the number of languages in which competent clinical practice is available, but this does not replace or remove the requirement for competent professional use of English.

Speech pathologists in Australia need to work with English as the vehicle of communication and as the focus of assessment and treatment. Therefore evidence of competent professional use of English is required as part of the Overseas Qualification Competency Assessment process. This is demonstrated through the completion of the Occupational English Test (OET) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

An individual who has sat either the IELTS or OET twice in six months and not achieved the required scores may apply for special consideration if they meet the following criteria:
> Three subtest scores are at the required level, with one subtest score falling between 350 and 400 on the OET, or between 7.5 and 8.0 on the IELTS.
> Believe their performance on the English language test is not representative of English language skill OR was impacted by a significant event (evidence must be provided).

Requests for special consideration must include the following:

1. An explanation of why performance did not meet the required level. For example, this document may provide evidence of an unexpected adverse event that impacted performance on the English language test.


2. Evidence of completion of courses or programs of study that have assessable minimum English requirements. The course or program guide must clearly indicate the level of English competency required.


3. Results from an alternative English test completed within the previous two years. The alternative English test must have a comparable subtest structure and comparison guide to the OET or IELTS.

Please contact the Manager Professional Standards for further information.

Occupational English test requirements (OET)

The OET provides a global evaluation of the applicant’s ability to use English in professionally relevant reading, writing, listening and speaking tasks. It also considers features such as naturalness and general effectiveness.

Speech Pathology Australia requires a “superior” English level with at least two subtest results in the Band 450 – 500 and two subtest results in the Band 400 - 500.

To find out more click here.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) – Academic Test requirements


The IELTS is a globally recognised assessment that provides an evaluation of the applicant’s English skills across writing, reading, listening, and speaking.

Speech Pathology Australia requires a “superior” English level. On the IELTS Academic Test, applicants must achieve a minimum overall score of 8, with a minimum score of 8.5 in two of the four components (listening, reading, writing and speaking) and a minimum score of 7.5 in two of the four components.

To find out more about IELTS, click here.

Assessment exemptions

Applicants are exempt from providing evidence of English language testing if they have an entry level Speech Pathology qualification conducted in English from a university in the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, United States of America or the Republic of Ireland.


Fee for migration skills assessment: The application fee of $1,400 (Australian dollars) must accompany the application form.

Fee for withdrawing application: If a withdrawal is requested prior to the assessment commencing, a full refund will be considered, less an administration fee of $100 (Australian dollars).

Fee for review/appeal: The fee for lodging an appeal against Speech Pathology Australia’s decision is 25% of the initial application fee or $350 (Australian dollars) which must be paid at the time of submitting the written appeal.

Fee for replacement assessment advice:  N/A

Payment options: The full application fee must be paid at the time of lodging a written application for migration skills assessment.

Refund policy: This fee is non-refundable.

Application process

Please submit your completed application, including all required supporting documents and evidence, by email. All required supporting documents must be placed in a Dropbox folder and the link to that folder be provided in the email upon application.

Please ensure all supporting documentation is high quality, full colour scans, at 300dpi or greater. For official identity documents i.e. passport, and driver licence (or other photo identification), please submit a photograph, rather than a photocopy to ensure this is of adequate quality. Please ensure the entire document is visible in all photographs, including all edges. If there are any issues with the quality of the identity documents, you may be asked to re-submit them.

If you have any questions about the process or documentation requirements please email Skills Assessment.

Preparing your portfolio of evidence

The Guide for Applicants provides detailed information for applicants including:

  • What to include in your application.
  • How to present your evidence.
  • The assessment process.
  • The appeal process.

To find out more click here.

Competency Based Occupational Standards (CBOS)

See the table below for an example of the type of evidence you may choose to include to address CBOS Unit 1 for a population (child/adult) and for a range of practice area (speech/language/voice/fluency/swallowing/multimodal communication). Please note that case studies may reflect clients who have difficulties with more than one range of practice area – e.g. an adult who has had a stroke may have difficulties with speech, language and swallowing and all may be covered together.

To find out more click here.

Assessment process

Once you have provided all the required documentation, your application is ready for assessment. The Professional Recognition Panel will provide written feedback on your submission within 10 weeks.

Please note the 10 weeks commences from the time you have provided all required documentation, NOT from the date you commenced your submission.

If your application is not successful, feedback will be provided. You may submit evidence on two further occasions following feedback from the Panel.

The assessment process must be completed within two years of your original application.

Please refer to the Overseas Qualifications Competency Assessment (OSQCA) Guide for Applicants for further details of the assessment process.

Policy on fraudulent documents

All the documentation and evidence in your portfolio will be checked for fraudulent representation. Any evidence of this will result in refusal to process the documents and your application will not proceed further.

Review/appeal process

Speech Pathology Australia will only consider an appeal of an unsuccessful outcome under the following circumstances.

  • The assessment procedures and processes as approved by Speech Pathology Australia have not been implemented or adhered to in the established manner or format.
  • There is proven prejudice or bias exhibited by the Professional Recognition Panel or an individual Professional Recognition Assessor in the undertaking of the assessment.
  • Significant new information or documentation becomes available after the assessment process which would add to or change the applicant’s claims and capacities to demonstrate competence in the practice of the profession.

The appeal process is not to be used by applicants as an alternative to the established assessment process. A review cannot reverse or change the decision of the Professional Recognition Panel, nor will it exempt an applicant from any component of the assessment process. The review can only request that the assessment process be repeated or that it not proceed.

An appeal will not be considered on the basis of:

  • Disputing or questioning the standards set.
  • Disputing or questioning the assessment process as established by Speech Pathology Australia.
  • Contesting the nature and extent of the information and advice provided to the applicant.

The three examples provided for the rejection of an appeal are a non-exhaustive list of circumstances where the threshold requirement for an appeal is not met.

An appeal against Speech Pathology Australia’s decision must be made within 28 days of the date of receiving the letter stating that your application was unsuccessful.

You must lodge your appeal in writing, directed to the Chief Executive Officer of Speech Pathology Australia. The reason for the appeal must be clearly stated.

Please refer to the Overseas Qualifications Competency Assessment (OSQCA) Guide for Applicants for further information.