Can you Prepare a CDR Report without Prior Employment Experience?

CDR report without prior employment experience

Are you aspiring to become an engineer in Australia but feeling concerned about lacking work experience? Don’t let that worry hold you back! If you’re new to the job scene, you can still create an impressive Competency Demonstration Report (CDR) that showcases your skills and expertise. Instead of fixating on your job history, let’s explore how to fashion an outstanding CDR by emphasizing your education and the projects you’ve participated in. By doing so, you can confidently demonstrate that you possess all the qualities of an exceptional engineer, even without a conventional work background.

But what’s the buzz about CDR reports? How do you actually prepare one? Let’s dive into the essential components of a CDR Report for engineers:

  • Curriculum Vitae (CV): Highlight your educational and personal details.
  • Continuing Professional Development (CPD): Illustrate your commitment to ongoing learning.
  • Career Episodes: Present your project involvements and engineering experiences.
  • Summary Statement: Connect your experiences to Engineers Australia’s competencies.

We’ll provide you with a brief overview of each section to help you grasp the concept behind it. Let’s get started!

1. Curriculum Vitae

The Curriculum Vitae for the CDR Report should be carefully written and prepared to help in a positive outcome. A well-written resume with a concise compilation of educational history, professional experience, qualifications, objectives, and achievements is a sure way to create an impression on Engineers Australia (EA). Our experienced team will guide you in crafting an insightful resume, including all essential points. The total content of your resume should not exceed more than three pages. 

2. Continuing Professional Development (CPD) 

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) contributes to the growth of experience, the maintenance of current technical competencies, and the progress of your engineering career. CPD programs are designed to extend or refresh your experience, knowledge, or opinion in your field of study, allowing you to keep and enhance your job performance while retaining professional competence. Over three years, your CPD record must show at least 150 hours of organized CDR in the applicable engineering field.

3. Career episode

The Career Episode Report for Engineers Australia offers extensive information on the technical and other abilities of an engineer for their project. In your career episodes, you must exhibit your professional abilities. The career episode is dependent on the tasks that you have completed. The main goal of the career episode is to demonstrate your technical abilities and competence in the chosen occupation. The career episode should be kept to a word count of 1000 to 2500. It should be written entirely in Australian English.

 For each episode:

  • Start with an introduction: project title, duration, location, and your role
  • Background: Explain the context and objectives of the project
  • Personal Engineering Activity: Describe your specific involvement, responsibilities, and tasks within the project. Discuss your engineering problem-solving skills, decision-making, and technical competencies.
  • Summary: Conclude the episode by summarizing the outcomes and your contributions.

Since you lack employment experience, you can focus on academic projects, internships, research, or even personal projects related to your field. Highlight how these experiences allowed you to apply engineering principles and techniques.

4. Engineering Education

Detail your educational background, including:

  • Degrees earned (e.g., Bachelor’s or Master’s in Engineering)
  • Name of institutions
  • Dates of study
  • Major subjects studied
  • Academic achievements or honors

5. Summary Statement

After you’ve written all three of your career episodes, the following step is to write a summary statement. Summary statements are a summary of all of your competency aspects. That is why you must thoroughly examine your professional experience to guarantee that everything is covered. It must be stated correctly, connecting all of the dots in your career episodes. Because only one summary statement is required for all three career episodes, it is recommended that your summary statement not be limited to one page.

How to write a CDR report without prior employment experience?

With the proper combination of all the above components for the CDR report, you are eligible to submit it to Engineers Australia. However, in cases where applicants lack employment experience, there might be a solution to such problems. Let’s focus on the career episode as all the project you have completed is to be described in this very section. Since you don’t have any employment experience, you can opt for the projects you’ve performed during your academic, and training years, and even workshop-based projects. We have provided detailed examples for each career episode in the link below: 

For each of the above career episodes, the following section must be written properly: 

1. Introduction

The introductory part serves as the start of the career episode and should include all relevant information. This section should be no longer than 100 words. This section must include the following essential elements:

  • Dates of Beginning and Ending
  • The organization’s name
  • Location
  • Your job title/position
  • Superior Supervised

 2. Background

This section briefly introduces the project, the nature of the work area, and your roles and duties on the project. The background section defines the setting or project you described, as well as the project’s goal. All background information should be presented in between 200 and 500 words.

3. Personal Engineering Activity

The main component of the Career Episode is the personal Engineering Activity, which should be 500 to 1000 words long. This section contains all of the explanations for the tasks you completed for the project. It gives specifics about your engineering ability’s practical implementation. The details, such as what you accomplished and how you did it technical obstacles or hurdles you encountered during the project, and how you solved those problems, should be highlighted.

4. Summary

Finally, summarize all of the project tasks that you completed/achieved and highlight your engineering-related abilities. This section’s word count can range between 100 and 120.

When writing a CDR report, keep the format provided in the Migration Skills Assessment (MSA) guide in mind. To begin, pick which engineering job you want to be evaluated for. Then, learn about the talents and abilities required for the career you’ve selected.

CDR may be written in a few simple steps. Personal information, application information, education, employment, and a report must all be included on the CDR. 

Personal Details

  • Frontpage including all the details of your passport
  • Resume
  • Passport size photograph
  • Name change documents, if any 
  • English language test (IELTS / PTE ACADEMIC™) score

Application Information

  • Proof of registration
  • Nominated engineering occupation of the applicant

Select your engineering profession according to the ANZSCO code list properly.

Education details 

  • Academic / education transcripts
  • Degree Certificates from your educational years
  • Transcript and Enrolment letter
  • Additional qualifications documents


  • Evidence of employment
  • Translational and original language documents (in languages other than English)

If you are claiming engineering work for more than a year, you must submit a reference letter (with relevant information) from your company.

CDR (Competency Demonstration Report) is a mandatory document that engineers must submit to obtain a skilled migration visa to work in Australia. Engineers Australia assesses these engineers using their CDR reports. The Migration Skills Assessment (MSA) has laid forth specific guidelines for creating a CDR report.

If your report does not meet these requirements, your CDR application will be delayed, and you will be unable to go to Australia until the suspension period expires. Your CDR report will be rejected mainly because it does not adhere to MSA requirements. 


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