cdr writing guidelines

CDR Writing Guidelines by Engineers Australia

  6 minute read

Publish date: 2024/5/13


Are you an engineer seeking skilled migration to Australia? Well, your dream can come true with a CDR report that follows all the CDR guidelines set by Engineers Australia (EA).

CDR writing guidelines explain how to demonstrate your skills. You must follow these specific instructions to get a positive competency assessment from EA.

So, what exactly are Engineers Australia's CDR guidelines? We got the complete answer in this article. Let’s dive in!

11 Crucial CDR Guidelines of Engineers Australia

Let's look into competency demonstration report guidelines in detail.

The CDR format (components) provides a clear structure for organising your engineering competencies and experiences. This helps assessors to easily understand and evaluate your skills and qualifications.

Adhering to the CDR format set by EA shows that you respect and understand the assessment process. Not following the format can lead to immediate CDR rejection or delay in the assessment process.

Engineers Australia has defined four engineering occupational categories. Knowing your category ensures that you will mention and address the specific competencies required by it.

This helps you to provide evidence that directly addresses the assessment criteria specific to your field in your report.

While preparing your CPD report, list your activities in chronological order, i.e., from the most recent work to the earliest.

This helps EA assessors understand your career, learning, and achievements.

You must ensure that your career episodes demonstrate your authentic engineering experiences as per your ANZSCO Code. Copying others' content on your report is the biggest mistake you can make.

However, if you must use definitions or other peoples' work, you must provide in-text citations and references.

To ensure the maximum authenticity of your report, we recommend you run a CDR review to check plagiarism and AI-marked content.

Career episodes have a specific word limit i.e. 1000-2500 words for each career episode.

To be precise, the CDR Guidelines by EA has specific word limits for each section of the career episode format:

  • Introduction (approximate 150 words)
  • Background (200-500 words )
  • Personal engineering activities (600-1500 words)
  • Summary (50-150 words)

Writing style in the report must be in the singular first person. The writing must clearly indicate your own personal role in the work described.

For example:

  • Use “I did”
  • Avoid “we did / what I was involved in”

Self narrative tone reflects your engineering practices which encourages assessors to relate with your experience and understand the context of your achievement

Include genuine and sufficient engineering evidence to support each career episode. This evidence may be diagrams, charts, photos, calculations, tables, etc. You should also provide the actual pictures of evidence or generate them by using software.

Note: You can also upload supporting documents if you feel they can strengthen your application.

Additionally, you have to keep this evidence in the ‘personal engineering activities’ section.

Numbering paragraphs in your career episode makes it easier to link your skills in the summary statement. This helps in writing error free summary statements.


  • Career Episode 1 (Paragraph 1.1,1.2,1.3,etc)
  • Career Episode 2 (Paragraph 2.1,2.2,2.3,etc)
  • Career Episode 3 (Paragraph 3.1,3.2,3.3,etc)

EA has specified different summary statement templet for each engineering occupational category. They are available on the website; you can download the correct template and fill in the correct details.

Check out our blogs on:

  • How to write summary statement for professional Engineer
  • How to write summary statement for Engineering Technologists
  • How to write summary statement for Engineering Associates


  • EA uses different tools and software based on the applicant's engineering field and the specific content in their report.
  • To know the assessment process in detail, read “How is CDR Skill Assessment done by Engineers Australia’s Assessors?

In the summary statement, you must carefully cross-reference the correct career episode paragraph number/s with each competency element. It helps assessors locate where you have covered the competency element.

Incorrect paragraph number can lead to CDR rejection.

Engineers Australia emphasises using simple Australian English language. You must use spelling, vocabulary, and grammar of the Australian English standard while preparing CDR.

Your CDR must be easy to understand and should only have a few jargon words, if any.

Following the CDR writing guidelines by Engineers Australia is crucial for positive assessment.

So, before starting your CDR, be absolutely sure of the writing rules, considerations, and consequences.

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Key Takeaways

  • Follow the CDR format to avoid delays and rejections.
  • Know your engineering occupational category for the right assessment of your competency.
  • Keep a record of your CPD from oldest to newest order.
  • Showcase your unique experiences, not your team’s you worked with.
  • Each career episode can have 1000(min) to 2500(max) words. Keep your CDR report within those limits.
  • Make a CDR report all about your contribution.
  • Explain your diagrams and calculations - show your engineering skills.
  • Keep the sections of your career episode sections organised by numbering them.
  • Download the summary statement template for your occupational category.
  • Provide the correct career episode paragraph numbers in the summary statement (third column).
  • Write your CDR in clear, simple, and Australian English language.
  • Frequently Asked Questions

    Some crucial CDR submission guidelines are as follows:

    • Upload your Continuing Professional Development (CPD) in table format.
    • Upload 3 different files for your 3 Career Episodes.
    • Upload your Summary Statement as per your occupational category.

    For detailed information about CDR submission, check our blog ‘How to apply for stage 1 competency?’.

    If you do not follow the EA guidelines for competency demonstration report then you can face the following consequences:

    • Your CDR report can get rejected.
    • You can witness a significant delay in your skills assessment.
    • Your skilled migration assessment can have negative outcomes.
    • You may be banned from reapplying for EA skills assessment.
    • There can be a significant impact on your visa application.

    Author Bio:

    Aadya Sharma is a civil engineer in Australia with a passion for blending creativity into technical regions. Her engineering journey of nine years is full of exploration and learning.

    Her outstanding skill is to take on complex engineering challenges and solve them effectively. In addition, she follows the philosophy of trying new things and implementing them in different parts of life.

    Beyond her technical skills, she is committed to bringing positive change in her field. Her diverse nature of work and skills sets her apart from other engineers.

    What did you think of the article? Anything you agree or disagree with? We would love to hear your thoughts.

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