Overseas qualification recognition and widened eligibility

Professional Assessment and Recognition

If you have completed qualifications and training in library and information science (LIS) overseas or you have completed a non-accredited Australian course there are a number of ways you may have your qualifications and experience assessed against the ALIA  Library and Information Sector: Core knowledge, skills and attributes and gain professional membership of ALIA.

In Australia library and information work is usually divided in to three levels: librarians (and information specialists), library technicians and library assistants. These work levels are associated with certain qualifications, roles and duties.

For more information about LIS roles see our web page on Careers in Library and Information Science.  For information about formal work level guidelines please check this document. For information about current ALIA accredited courses and qualifications for Librarians, Teacher Librarians and Library Technicians in Australia please see our accredited courses listing, here

Librarians and information specialists and library technicians may be recognised through professional Associate (AALIA) and Library Technician (ALIATec) membership of ALIA. Librarianship is an unregulated profession in Australia and membership of ALIA is voluntary.

1. International professional reciprocal recognition

ALIA currently has reciprocal recognition agreements with the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) (UK), American Library Association (ALA) and the Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa  (LIANZA).

UK - Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP)

The agreement between CILIP and ALIA enable holders of ALIA accredited qualifications at post  graduate level to seek Charter membership of CILIP. Holders of graduate level qualifications accredited by CILIP are eligible for ALIA Associate (librarian) membership.

USA / Canada - American Library Association (ALA)

The American Library Association  accepts an ALIA accredited master-level degree in library and information management as equivalent to an ALA accredited master qualification. Holders of USA and Canadian Masters level qualifications accredited by ALA are eligible to apply for ALIA Associate (librarian) membership.

New Zealand- Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa (LIANZA)

ALIA and LIANZA have negotiated an MOU that provides for membership reciprocity between the professional category of ALIA Associate Certified Professional AALIA (CP) and the Professional Registered Member category of LIANZA (RLIANZA).

'ALIA and LIANZA accept the principle of reciprocity for New Zealand RLIANZA and AALIA (CP) holders, on the basis that AALIA (CP) and RLIANZA members taking advantage of the reciprocity agreement meet the requirements of the scheme in the country in which they are practicing and after an initial two years within that scheme meet the requirements for continued accreditation. With regard to the AALIA (CP) this would mean applying for certification; with regard to RLIANZA this would require revalidation. This would mean that AALIA (CP) members would begin using RLIANZA in lieu of, rather than in addition to the AALIA (CP) post-nominal and vice versa.
ALIA and LIANZA respect the differences between the Core Knowledge, Skills, and Attributes and the Body of (Professional) Knowledge, which leads to differences in qualification requirements. However, these differences tend to reflect national circumstances rather than fundamental matters of professional concepts and ethics. An important element of LIANZA’s Body of Knowledge is the awareness of indigenous knowledge paradigms, which in the New Zealand context refers to Māori. LIANZA agrees that under the terms of this agreement, AALIA (CP) Members will not need to demonstrate understanding of New Zealand indigenous knowledge paradigms to gain entrance to the RLIANZA scheme but will need to include it in their Professional Development Plans when revalidating'.

For more details please email education@alia.org.au

2. Overseas qualification assessment service

If your professional qualification is not recognised by CILIP or ALA and you are not a current RLIANZA member (as above), you can apply for professional membership of ALIA by having your overseas library and information science qualifications assessed by ALIA (against our accredited course standards).

For this to take place you must complete a number of steps:

  • Then submit a completed ALIA overseas qualification assessment application form (including the results of the general assessment) and a non refundable service fee of $360AUD to membership@alia.org.au

NB - the assessment process may take up to 16-20 weeks

All sections and required documentation must be completed and payment submitted before the application can be processed. ALIA recognises overseas qualifications completed up to 10 years prior to your application, unless demonstrated that you have maintained involvement in the profession by undertaking relevant Library and Information Science (LIS) continuing professional development and work experience.

Download a copy of the ALIA Overseas Assessment form hereTo receive a copy of the overseas application form in the mail please email membership@alia.org.au. Please include your name, postal address, contact phone numbers and country of qualification in the email correspondence.

Once the assessment has been successfully completed, you may upgrade to a professional level membership of ALIA.


3. Widened eligibility (Australian qualifications)

If you have completed an Australian qualification not recognised by the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) for professional eligibility, you can still be assessed for eligibility for either Associate (Librarian/Information Specialist) or Library Technician professional level membership of the Association through the Association's widened eligibility process.

Assessment is on an individual basis. The assessment considers your qualifications, knowledge of library and information services, relevant employment history and continuing education.

  • Join as a member of ALIA (general member (full-fee or reduced fee category)) please see the member categories and fees page for details and cost
  • Then submit a completed ALIA widened eligibility assessment application form (including evidence of experience and qualifications) and a service fee of $360AUD to membership@alia.org.au

Download a copy of the ALIA Widened Eligibility form here.

All sections and required documentation must be completed and payment submitted before the application can be processed. To receive a copy of the widened eligibility application form in the mail please email membership@alia.org.au. Please include your name, postal address, contact phone numbers and details of any qualifications in the email correspondence.


More information and assistance

Please contact our membership team on 1800 020 071 or membership@alia.org.au


the ALIA Learning Team at education@alia.org.au