Skills and competency assessments

Speech Pathology Australia (the Association) is recognised as the national professional standards organisation for speech pathologists in Australia. The Association is also recognised by the Australian Government, Department of Home Affairs as the assessing authority for speech pathologists intending to apply for skilled migration to Australia.

Listen to SPA's Speak Up podcast - what you need to know if you are an Overseas qualified speech pathologist and you want to work in Australia.


To work as a speech pathologist in Australia all overseas trained speech pathologists must have successfully completed a skills assessment. Skills assessments are issued by relevant skills assessing authorities. Speech Pathology Australia is recognised by the Australian Government Department of Employment and Workplace Relations as the assessing authority for speech pathologists.


To be eligible for a skills assessment you must meet the recency of practice requirement. To meet this requirement you must have evidence that you have worked as a speech pathologist for a minimum of 1000 hours in the past 5 years.Travelling to Australia to work as a speech pathologist before you complete a skills assessment is STRONGLY discouraged.

You can find further information about Immigration and the use of a registered Migration Agent from the Department of Home Affairs.

Overseas trained speech pathologists

There are two types of application that you may make. These are:

Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) application

To be eligible to apply you must hold certification from or have membership of one of the signatory MRA Associations. You must also have completed your professional education to become a speech pathologist in a country that is signatory to the MRA Agreement as below.

  • American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) – Certificate of Clinical Competence– Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP)
  • Speech-Language & Audiology Canada (SAC) – Certified Speech-Language Pathologist (S-LP(C))
  • Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists (RCSLT) – Certified Member (Cert MRCSLT)
  • Irish Association of Speech and Language Therapists (IASLT) – Full Member
  • New Zealand Speech-Language Therapists’ Association (NZSTA) – Full Member (with the exception of those who graduated before 1993, who are not eligible to apply under this agreement).

View more information about the Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA).

Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) Application Form 

Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) Guide for Applicants

View a copy of the Mutual Recognition Agreement

Overseas qualification competency assessment application

If you are not eligible to submit a MRA Application (see above) and have the evidence to demonstrate your competence as a speech pathologist, you should complete the Overseas Qualification Competency Assessment.

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.

View more information about the Overseas Qualification Competency Assessment (OSQCA).

Overseas Qualification Competency Assessment Application Form

Overseas Qualification Competency Assessment Guide for Applicants

Overseas Qualification Competency Assessment Application Forms – Identifying Evidence

Document change record

Please note you are advised to refer to the web version of the Overseas Qualification Competency Assessment Guide. Printing a hard copy version is not recommended. You must submit your portfolio based on the criteria that is on the web at the time of submission. Any major changes to requirements will be communicated to all applicants as appropriate.

You MUST read the guidelines that refer to your application.

You must be eligible for Certified Practising membership of Speech Pathology Australia to work in most organisations in Australia.

Further information regarding Immigration and the use of a registered Migration Agent can be obtained from the Department of Home Affairs.

Travelling to Australia for the purposes of work prior to your application being accepted is NOT recommended.

Competency based occupational standards

The Competency Based Occupational Standards for Speech Pathologists – Entry Level (CBOS) describe the core competencies of speech pathologists working in Australia. CBOS outlines the standards against which the qualifications and competence of overseas applicants are assessed.

Some applicants depending upon their year of qualification or country of professional education will be required to provide additional evidence of competency with Dysphagia management.

View the Competency Based Occupational Standards (COBS)

View the Dysphagia Clinical Guidelines

Competent professional use of English

The Association is supportive of increasing 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.

Applicants are exempt from providing evidence of English testing if they hold 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. If any aspect of an application raises concerns about an applicant’s English language competence, they will be asked for additional information about their competence in English or directed to complete the Occupational English Test (OET) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), even if they have indicated that their dominant language is English.  All other applicants will need to provide evidence of successfully completing the OET or IELTS.

Further information about the English language requirements is available here.