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Common Questions about Competency Demonstration Report (CDR) for Engineers Australia Skills Assessment


Engineers who want to migrate to Australia often have many questions on different aspects of the Competency Demonstration Report (CDR) for Australian Skills Assessment. This article seeks to provide answers to some of these common CDR questions.


To begin with, what is a CDR for Migration Skills Assessment (MSA) by Engineers Australia?  Why are many CDRs submitted for Stage 1 skills assessment rejected by Engineers Australia? 


Usually, a successful CDR submission will be determined by how much you understand the basic CDR requirements and the assessment criteria. Below is a list of some common CDR questions and their answers.



1. What is a Competency Demonstration Report (CDR) for Engineers Australia Skills Assessment?

A Competency Demonstration Report or simply, CDR report is a combination of customised documents used by Engineers Australia to assess the competency of an engineer on the basis of engineering skills and knowledge, management, communication and leadership. All Engineers who want to migrate to Australia from countries that are NOT signatories of the Washington Accord, Sydney Accord or Dublin Accord, have to pass through Stage 1 skills assessment – CDR pathway.

Exceptions may be given to non-Australian engineers who have Accredited Australian Qualifications.


2. What are the Requirements of a CDR Report according to Engineers Australia?


Engineers Australia is always determined to ensure that only competent engineers get a chance to migrate and work in Australia. To ensure this, EA has set immigration requirements stipulated in the Migration Skills Assessment (MSA) booklet available on EA’s website. The following are the main requirements for skills assessment through the Competency Demonstration Report pathway as per Engineers Australia.


  • Your personal details including birth certificate, passport bio-data among others.

  • An updated copy of your resume showing details of employment and education.

  • Evidence of competency in the English language (test results for IELTS)

  • Educational qualification and/or enrolment certificates, academic transcripts or other documents

  • Employment letter(s)

  • Three Career Episodes

  • The Summary Statement

  • Continuing Professional Development (CPD)


The first part of the requirements for Australian skills assessment through the CDR pathway is based on education qualification, personal identification and employment details. However, the hardest part is the second part which involves the preparation of CDR documents. A CDR report comprises of three Career Episodes, Summary Statement, CPD and the CV.


Your CDR report should be based on three practical engineering projects, one per career episode or a job position that you occupied.


The quality of your CDR documents is dependent on how well it meets the migration skills assessment requirements set by Engineers Australia. The summary statement cross-references the three career episodes of your CDR. Therefore, if your career episodes are deficient; your summary statement automatically becomes deficient.


3. Can I prepare my own CDR Report for my Skills Assessment by EA?


Yes, it is possible to prepare your own CDR without hiring a consultant, provided:


  • You have ample time to read through a bulk of materials and apply the concepts to write your CDR.

  • You are familiar with CDR report requirements by EA and the assessment criteria.

  • You have all the necessary requirements, specifically the engineering projects that meet EA Skills Assessment Criteria.


To prepare a fully compliant Competency Demonstration Report for submission to Engineers Australia, you should have worked on at least three engineering projects that meet all the 16 competency elements required for a successful Skills Assessment outcome.


4. Why are Many CDR reports rejected by Engineers Australia?


Usually Engineers Australia rejects CDRs because of failure to address all the 16 engineering competency elements. The competency elements are stipulated under the Migration Skills Assessment (MSA) booklet and summarized in the summary statement requirements. Since the MSA requirements keep changing, it is important to confirm with EA before preparing your documents.


The process of preparing a CDR is highly involving; not to mention the risk of CDR rejection by EA due to failure to meet the assessment criteria.

However, with the right tools, you can increase your success rate to almost 100%.


5. How to Write a CDR report for Engineers Australia Skills Assessment


Recalling, a competency demonstration report is a combination of a set of the following primary documents:


  • Three Career Episodes (CEs)

  • Summary Statement (SS)

  • Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

  • CV


Before proceeding, it is good to confirm that your nominated engineering occupation appears in the ‘Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)’ available from the Department of Home Affairs. To know how to write a good CDR for your Australian Skills Assessment, you need to understand how to write good Career Episodes and the Summary Statement.


A Career Episode is therefore meant to demonstrate your competency in the nominated occupation by focusing on a single project case or a job position that you occupied.


Although you may write a general career episode based on your job position, our experience has shown that the best approach for a higher success rate is to identify a single project and use it as the basis for your career episode.


(a) How to write good Career Episodes for your CDR Report


A Career Episode, according to Engineers Australia Skills assessment requirements, is a narrative that describes how you have applied your engineering knowledge and skills to solve an engineering problem and/or accomplish a major engineering task or project.


  • The first step is to search, review and understand the scope of your nominated occupation in terms of responsibilities. You can accomplish this by searching for your nominated occupation on the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) website. Check the typical responsibilities/tasks that you need to have accomplished to qualify for the nominated occupation.

  • Having understood the engineering responsibilities that must be met, you can now proceed to select your projects. To do this, identify major projects or tasks that you have accomplished before and have sufficient materials to write detailed Career Episodes for your CDR.  This task can be challenging, but if you take your time, you will be able to accomplish it.

  • Note: For those who have no work experience, you can write your Career Episodes based on academic projects to allow for engineers Australia degree assessment. However, the projects need to be relevant to the nominated engineering occupation. Therefore, proper project selection is important.

  • The next step is to download and review the Migration Skills Assessment (MSA) Booklet from the Engineers Australia Website. Read the requirements of a Career Episode and ensure that you have everything at your fingertips.


Develop the structure of your career Episodes on MS Word or any other text editor by dividing the document into sections (A) Introduction, (B) Background, (C) Personal Engineering Activity and (D) Summary.


What you write on your career episode must meet all the 16 competency elements as outlined in the Summary Statement requirements; otherwise, your CDR will be rejected by EA.

Avoid repetition, exaggeration or inclusion of vague arguments in your career episodes.

You can purchase a Sample CDR for use as guidance during the preparation of your CDR Report.

(b).How to write a good Summary Statement for your CDR as per Engineers Australia Skills Assessment requirements

The summary statement is a detailed cross-reference of all your three Career Episodes to give an account of each competency element. Use a standard Summary Statement format to prepare your final summary statement.

(c). How to write CPD for your CDR

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is the smallest document of your competency demonstration report. As per the Engineers Australia skills assessment requirements, the CPD should not exceed one page. The best format based on our experience is to use a Listing. Have a small introduction and then tabulate your CPD programs accordingly. Include the program title, dates/duration, and the institution or company that offered the training. Note that only CPD programs accomplished after Bachelor’s degree graduation are relevant for EA skills assessment.

Summary Satatement: If shallow or poorly prepared, your CDR will definitely be rejected by EA for failure to meet the relevant skills assessment requirements.


6. Engineers Australia Skills Assessment Outcome


After successfully lodging your application with EA:


  • You may receive the "Additional Information Request" from the Assessor requesting you to clarify issues of concern or to provide material evidence on the highlighted areas. Note that when you receive this notification, there is a probability that Engineers Australia may reject your CDR. In this regard, it's advisable to ensure that your CDR meets all the skills assessment requirements before applying.

  • You will receive your CDR Outcome Letter whose name will resemble the following ‘141034 MSA CDR Outcome Letter for 4078066’. In case you didn't qualify, the letter will notify you. At this point, you can plan on how to reapply later.


If your CDR is detected to contain unoriginal content, you may be banned for 11 months or more.


7. Conclusion:


The process of preparing a Competency Demonstration Report for Australian Immigration Skills Assessment is lengthy and highly involving. It is possible to write your own CDR given that you have sufficient time and background knowledge.


However, in case you would want to maximize your chances of success or save time, you can hire our experts to assist you. We also provide Quality CDR Review services for:

  • Those who have already prepared their CDR reports

  • Those with revision comments from EA Assessors

  • Those whose CDRs have been rejected by EA.


To start the process, Visit the CDR Help Page, read the requirements and charges and send your order request by filling our online Order Request Form (ORF).


All the best in your endeavours





Through our many years of experience in CDR preparation, we have joined the pieces and compiled a hypothetical assessment criterion, which we have tested and improved over the years to guarantee a 100% success rate.

Author: Peter N. M.

A mechanical engineer, programmer, tech-enthusiast and an experienced technical writer