Information about the Australian Government Authorised Officer application process
|AAO Application to Appointment Flowchart PDF||1||412 KB|
|AAO Application to Appointment Flowchart DOC ||1||48 KB|
|Digital Passport Photos requirements for authorised officer applications PDF||1||233 KB|
|Digital Passport Photos requirements for authorised officer applications DOC ||1||58 KB|
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Please refer directly to the policy on the appointment and use of non-departmental authorised officers to undertake prescribed functions under the Export Control Act 2020 and its sub-orders when reading the supporting information below.
Processing the application:
Processing times should take no more than 10 business days, if the applicant has provided ALL the supporting documentation at the time of submitting the application to the department.
It is the sole responsibility of the applicant and their employer to provide the department with all supporting documentation as evidence at the time of submitting the application. Some documents could take some time to obtain. All documents should be ready to lodge with the application to reduce any delays in processing. Delays may occur and extend the processing time where further documentation is requested to support the application.
If the applicant is assessed by the department as meeting all these requirements, they will be appointed as an authorised officer by the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (or their delegate). Appointment as an authorised officer will be confirmed by email to their employer. The OPV at the establishment will also be copied in.
A letter and ID card will be sent to the authorised officer’s employer at the employer’s address. The authorised officer is required to return an acknowledgement that they received their ID card and are aware of the conditions of use of the ID card.
The process for applying to become an Australian Government Authorised Officer (AAO) involves the applicant:
- Completing the latest version of the application form which includes:
- Evidence of residency status within Australia.
- Providing certified copies of qualifications that the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment accepts for the appointment to the position of an AAO.
- providing a certified copy of a recently attained (within 30 days of date of signing the application) national police check from the Australian Federal Police (AFP).
- providing evidence of Q fever immunity status.
- Providing a certified copy of a recently attained (within 30 days of date of signing the application) National Police Check from the Australian Federal Police (AFP).
- Providing evidence of Q fever immunity status.
- 100 points of ID.
- digital passport photo (refer to Digital Passport Photos requirements for authorised officer applications information sheet PDF [233 KB, 1 page]).
- Undergoing and successfully completing species capability assessments by a departmental veterinarian. The AAO must be capable of performing inspection in an operational environment to the required level on the species at which the applicant has identified in their application.
- Attending an AAO induction training course run by a Registered Training Organisation.
- Participate in an information session provided by a Registered Training Organisation or a departmental senior officer. The information session also includes an assessment that must be completed.
1. Application form
Applicants must complete the latest version of the application form and send it to the department email address located on page 10 of the form. Note that old versions of the form will not be accepted. The application form requires the applicant to provide information about:
- personal and contact details
- evidence of residency or citizenship status
- 100 point identification check and passport photos
- relevant species – approval of the AAO is limited to species in which they have competency to inspect
- Q fever immunity (for applicants working with animals other than pigs)
- previous appointments and work experience
- employment details
- employer declaration
- conflicts of interests disclosure
- AFP national police check
- details of any pending criminal charges
- declaration and signature.
For sections that are not self explanatory, additional information is provided below.
2. Advice for applicants holding temporary, bridging or skilled migration visas
The applicant must ensure they are permitted by, or under, Australian law to work in Australia and to perform the services of an AAO.
Where an applicant is a non-citizen or temporary resident of Australia, the applicant should discuss and obtain documentary evidence from the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs to support their application. This evidence may be a certified copy of the print-out from the Department of Home Affairs’ Visa Entitlement Verification Online tool (VEVO).
The status of an AAO is regarded as more highly skilled incidental employment. In 2012, the Department of Home Affairs (at that time was the Department of Immigration and Citizenship) advised this department that, if a lawfully employed temporary resident engaged by Industry as a skilled meat worker has exceeded incidental employment as an AAO by more than 10 per cent, then the skilled meat worker migrant is in breach of their visa requirements and meat labour agreement.
The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment will consider applications from people interested in becoming appointed as an AAO and who are non-citizens or temporary residents of Australia provided the applicant:
- can demonstrate that they meet all immigration requirements to date and attach documentary evidence from the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs to support their application as an authorised officer.
- provides a certified copy of their eligible temporary stay visa and foreign passport details. The applicant and their employer acknowledge that the applicant CANNOT perform AAO duties for more than 10 per cent of their time as a skilled meat worker.
- provides evidence to the department at the time of applying as an AAO, to support the fact they have demonstrated they have English language proficiency that is equivalent to an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test score of at least 5 in EACH of the four test components of speaking, reading, writing and listening within the past 36 months of applying to become an AAO. Test score equivalencies can be found on the Department of Home Affairs website.
- meets all other requirements stipulated by the Department of Home Affairs and the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment to work lawfully in Australia and to perform the services of an AAO as a highly skilled incidental portion of their employment.
- Applicants who are temporary residents have been assessed by a Meat Industry National Training Advisory Council (MINTRAC) assessor, or another assessor approved by the Commonwealth, as being appropriately skilled for the purposes of being appointed as an AAO (i.e. have a qualification that is nationally recognised that a Recognition of Prior Learning exercise that meets the minimum requirements of a Certificate IV in Meat Processing (Meat Safety).
|If the applicant provided a skills migration assessment for a...||Then the applicant is required to contact...|
|Meat Inspector||The National Meat Industry Training Advisory Council (MINTRAC) who can provide contact details for a number of Registered Training Organisations who can undertake a Recognition of Prior Learning exercise.|
|Veterinarian||The Australasian Veterinary Boards Council (AVBC) Inc who can provide details on ways to enter the profession in Australia, including skills assessment and the national veterinary examination|
Where a positive outcome is received through the process, a certificate will be awarded to the applicant. This can be included in future applications to support suitability for employment as an Authorised Officer.
You do not need to provide documents to show your English language proficiency if you are a citizen of the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, the United States or the Republic of Ireland and you have a valid passport from one of those countries.
There may be occupational training opportunities for highly skilled overseas meat inspectors interested in applying through other temporary subclass visas. Applicants should use due diligence and understand any risks associated with the visa application process.
You might have to pay other costs, such as the costs of health assessments, overseas police certificates, or any other certificates or tests. You are responsible for making the necessary arrangements.
3. Evidence of the required qualification
Provision of training and other information to an applicant intending to become an AAO is the responsibility of establishment management or service providers (e.g. independent AAO employers), where applicable.
Applicants must attach certified copies of their qualification to the application form (See section 20 of the application form for how to certify documents).
The department prescribes qualifications in its policy on the appointment and use of non-departmental authorised officers to undertake prescribed functions under the Export Control Act 2020 and its sub-orders, irrespective of whether the applicant is an ex-departmental employee or not.
The qualification can be achieved either through training and assessment or a skills recognition process.
Skills recognition is where prior qualifications, skills, capabilities, knowledge and other evidence of experience is recognised formally through assessment. A certificate or letter of equivalence issued by a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) must be provided to the department if an applicant is seeking recognition of equivalence through this process. The applicant is advised that all costs incurred through this process will not be reimbursed or covered by the department.
4. Disclosure of conflicts of interest
Applicants must disclose all conflicts of interests or potential conflicts of interests – whether real or perceived – in the application form.
Examples of conflicts of interest include (but are not limited to):
- Performing inspection on animals either owned by you or members of your family.
- Provision of goods and services by the establishment either for free or at discounted rates e.g. meat, pet food, housing, use of equipment or entertainment such as free meals.
- Being in a position of management and control at the establishment(s) where inspection will be performed.
The declaration of conflicts of interests does not necessarily preclude individuals from appointment as an AAO.
However, depending on the nature or seriousness of the conflict the department may require the AAO to take certain actions – for example, not inspecting your own or a family member’s livestock, or seeking the department's permission to access specific goods or services from the company. In these examples, the required action is intended to remove any real or perceived impropriety.
5. Capability assessment
A capability assessment must be performed on all species the AAO is identified as being eligible to work on. The assessment(s) must be submitted within 10 business days of submitting the application otherwise the application will be rejected.
The OPV (or ATM) must assess the capabilities of the applicant nominees using prescribed instructional material and forms issued by the Export Meat Program for each species at which the applicant has nominated.
The criteria to assess ongoing capability are current departmental Standard Operating Procedures and Work Instructions on conducting inspection for that particular species.
6. Third Party Authorised Officers Obligations Training
AAOs must comply with the Australian Public Service Values and Code of Conduct.
After receiving a formal information session provided by a Registered Training Organisation, applicants must complete the assessment and provide the certificate of completion to the department with their application.
7. Induction training
Applicants must attend and pass the AAO induction training course run by a Registered Training Organisation recognised by the department and provide evidence of this with their application.
Departmental Standard Operating Procedures and Work Instructions for the conduct of inspection will be provided during this induction training and must be followed. Updated instructional material is provided to the inductee by the establishment OPV or service provider.
Further information on the induction training course can be sourced by contacting the AAO Coordinator via email or through MINTRAC.
8. Renewal process
Approximately twelve weeks before expiry, the AAO Coordinator will contact the AAO’s employer in writing to inform them of the appointment/s that are due to expire. A renewal form and an information sheet will be provided with this correspondence.
The key features of the AAO renewal process are as follows:
- There is a section on the renewal form to update personal details.
- The applicant must provide a new National Police Check (NPC).
- The applicant must provide new passport photos.
Completed renewal forms and all necessary supporting documents should be emailed to the AAO Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If the person is no longer employed as an AAO their employer should inform the AAO Coordinator in writing and return the AAO ID card to the department.
Further queries on the AAO renewal process should be directed to the AAO Coordinator at email@example.com.