Authorised Officers

Authorised Officers (AOs) are trained individuals who are authorised under the Export Control Act 1982 to perform specific export inspection functions in accordance with Australian export legislation. When undertaking these duties, AOs are regarded as Australian Government officials. They may conduct a range of functions for a number of commodities, based on their training and assessment history. All AOs are subject to a rigorous audit regime.

AOs must have the right skills, and provide their competency through an assessment to be able to carry out a range of export functions in a manner that meets the requirements of overseas trading partners and complies with all legislative requirements.

AO applicants must have no unresolved conflict of interest that would affect their ability to carry out their work as an AO.

Charges apply to becoming an AO. All costs must be settled prior to a person being appointed as an AO.

Further information on the fees and charges that relate to Plant Export AOs.

The department has developed a framework for plant export AOs which is a comprehensive information package about the AO model:

For detailed information on how to become an AO, please refer to the table below:

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Steps to become an Australian plant exports AO

AO submits an application

You must submit a complete application to the department covering any job functions you would like to be appointed to perform.

You will be contacted via email acknowledging receipt within 2 working days of the department receiving your application form.

Department invoices the application fee

Once the department receives your application, you will be sent an invoice for the $250 application fee.

You will need to pay this invoice before your application can be processed.

Department processes the application

The department will take up to 15 working days to process your application and return an email with your results.

There are 3 situations when the department may contact you relating to your application.

  • Your application is accepted and you can progress to the next steps.
  • Your application requires further information and cannot be progressed until additional information is provided.
  • Your application is not accepted.
Department invoices the learning and assessment fee

Once your application has been accepted, you will be enrolled into eLearning and will receive an invoice for the $1750 learning and assessment fee.

You will need to pay this invoice before you can undergo assessment.

AO completes the eLearning modules

Most job function has a number of mandatory eLearning modules.

You can work your way through the eLearning modules at your own pace and are required to complete all quick quizzes and knowledge assessments.

Once you have completed your eLearning you must email Plant Export Training to verify all courses are complete.

AO attends facilitated training (If requested)

Facilitated training is covered by the learning and assessment fee, however, it is not mandatory for most job functions.

Facilitated training needs to be requested by contacting Plant Export Training.

AO completes competency assessment/s

Once you are ready to participate in a competency assessment against your chosen job functions, you must advise the department by emailing Plant Export Training.

Please note that the $1750 learning and assessment fee charged earlier must be paid before you can undertake an assessment.

Department prepares a deed of obligations (DoO)

Once you are deemed competent against a chosen job function through a competency assessment, your DoO will be emailed to you. You will need to sign, date and return it to Plant Export Training.

The DoO is a legally binding document that outlines the export service standards, an AO’s authority to act and the services the AO can perform.

Department invoices the appointment fee

Once your DoO has been prepared, you will receive an invoice for the $250 approval fee.

You will need to pay this invoice before you can be appointed as an AO.

Instrument of Appointment (IoA)

Within ten working days of receiving your signed DoO, and your payment of the appointment fee, an IoA will be prepared for you.

Once the IoA is signed by the delegate, you will be appointed as an AO and be allowed to perform certain job functions on behalf of the department.

Ongoing performance

Once you are appointed as an Authorised Officer, your performance will be monitored through an audit process.

For more information on how the department will monitor your performance, see the AO Audit and Performance Standards.

Apply to be an AO

To apply to be an AO, download and complete the AO application form - Australian plant exports:

Update your contact details

To update your contact details, including disclosing a new conflict of interest or pending criminal charges, download and complete the AO update details form – Australian plant exports:

To remove job function/s or apply for additional job function/s

To remove job function/s from your application or appointment or to apply for additional job function/s, download and complete the AO change of job function/s form - Australian plant exports:

Requesting facilitated training or competency assessment

If you have completed the relevant elearning modules for your chosen job function/s, you can request facilitated training which is mandatory for some job functions.

Once you have attended any mandatory facilitated training, have paid your training an assessment fee, and are ready to be assessed, you may request a competency assessment.

To request facilitated training or a competency assessment, you will need to email the Authorised Officer Program at Plant Export Training.

Ongoing audit of your performance as an AO

An appointed AO’s performance will be monitored through ongoing audits. AOs are subject to announced and/or unannounced audits by departmental auditors and the audit of all AO inspection records. AOs may be issued with Corrective Action Requests (CARs) to address non-compliances and may also be required to attend additional training to ensure that their competency standard is maintained. The detection of serious non-compliance could result in the revocation of the AO’s appointment and/or further legal action if deemed necessary.

For more information, visit the AO Audit and Performance Standards.

Withdraw from the AO model

To withdraw from the AO model, download and complete the AO withdrawal form – Australian plant exports:

Where to send your application

Send completed forms and relevant documentation to the following email or postal address:

Email to: Plant Export Training.

AO Administrator - Plant Export Operations
Department of Agriculture and Water Resources
GPO Box 858
Canberra ACT 2601

AO Company information pack

Questions and answers

The department has developed the following questions and answers. If you still have unanswered questions, please email Plant export training.

Authorised Officers

Approved Arrangements