Objective 1.1

Ease of movement of people, capital, services and data across borders

Action 1.1I

The Government will increase the two-way mobility of professionals to and from key markets through continuing the inclusion of practical mechanisms in free trade agreements for professional bodies/regulators to collaborate and eliminate ‘behind-the-border’ procedural and other barriers.

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Government response
Related Action/s

Continue to pursue the recognition of Australian qualifications and professional recognition overseas, and in-demand foreign qualifications in Australia.


Progress to date

Australia continues to include professional services specific chapters or annexes in free trade agreements to provide an ongoing facilitative mechanism for regulators and industry associations to work with counterparts to:

  • develop temporary, limited or project-specific licensing or registration regime for professionals; and
  • negotiate and implement mutual recognition agreements.

This includes efforts in free trade agreements under negotiation, such as with the United Kingdom and the European Union, as well as efforts to build on existing agreements, such as the Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement.

The Agreement in Principle between Australian and United Kingdom governments on 17 June 2021 outlined professional services provisions, which will deliver long term benefits for UK and Australian professionals who want to work in each other's territory and have their qualifications recognised without facing unnecessary cost and bureaucracy, primarily through collaboration between UK and Australian accreditation and regulatory bodies aimed at facilitating qualification recognition.

During the eleventh negotiating round between Australia and the European Union on 1-11 June 2021, the mutual recognition and professional services chapter was provisionally closed. The Chapter includes a framework for the mutual recognition of professional services qualifications between Australia and the European Union.

At the first meeting of the Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement Joint Commission on 24 June 2021, the Parties agreed to consider establishing a professional services subsidiary body to the Joint Commission and will conduct stakeholder consultations and begin work on possible Terms of Reference for consideration.