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National Occupational Licensing System to be discontinued

On 13 December 2013, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) decided that the policy for a National Occupational Licensing System (NOLS) would no longer be pursued. Accordingly, the orderly disestablishment of the National Occupational Licensing Authority will take place during 2014.

The Release from NSW Fair Trading stated:

“COAG made this decision following extensive State-based consultation and significant negotiations, which identified a number of concerns with the proposed NOLS model that could not be resolved without imposing significant additional costs for governments and affected occupations. A lack of stakeholder consensus on the benefits of the proposed model was also a significant factor in COAG’s considerations.

As a consequence, the task of improving labour mobility across borders has been assumed by the States and Territories. The NSW Government remains committed to working with other jurisdictions, through the Council for the Australian Federation, to implement a system that will allow licensees to operate across borders without having to apply for a second licence or pay an additional fee. This will be of particular benefit to licence holders who live and work in areas bordering Victoria, Queensland and the ACT.

One option under consideration is an enhancement to the existing mutual recognition arrangements, which would operate in a similar way to the current driver’s licence framework. Essentially, State-issued licences would permit the bearer to undertake an equivalent scope of work in another jurisdiction.

One particular benefit of this approach is that it is not expected to impose additional time or transition costs on the 96% of NSW licensees that operate only within this State.”

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