The advice is always use a registered migration agent. If you think ACS are pedantic. Wait till you actually deal with migration. Accept, they don't give the chance to redo do things.mthey will keep that big expensive visa fee. Issue a refusal and potentially even a ban on reapplying.
Let me tell you my story. I have already worked in Australia for a year on a working holiday visa. I came back to the UK 6 years ago and have been working regularly for the past 5 years at a large tech firm here in the UK. I applied for a skills assessment through the Australian Computer Society (ACS). I could not believe how fussy and pedantic they have been with regard to the format of the reference letters. I paid £300 to have the employers references assessed. They advised me that every letter needs to be certified. I went back to all my previous employers and asked them to certify the letters. The ACS then came back saying it cannot be certified by the company itself. So I got my mate Jeff who just happens to be a chartered structural engineer to certify the letters. Now there were about 10 letters and he is a busy man so instead of getting him to write all the speel out, I put together a "Stamp" which was just a piece of paper with everything printed on it and it included his signature. I scanned each letter with stamp carefully placed so that it would be readable on the letter. I submitted all 10 of them to the ACS. They wouldn't accept that either. So I went back to my mate and got him to write everything out again. He was happy enough to do this but it took him about an hour to do. I submitted all the letters to the ACS. They then came back to me saying that one of the letters (which just so happens to be the company I have been at the longest and also my current employer where I have been 5 years) lacks sufficient detail. It did not include information on my roles and duties. So I went back to my company and asked them to re-do the letter. My company then re-iterated what it said in the letter that they could not give out certain information due to company data protection policy. I then phoned the ACS at midnight my time and hoped that someone on the other end would be human enough to empathise with my situation. Instead of being helpful they were rude and the girl actually cut me off in mid speech and said "what is your actual question? " she insisted that not only could they not accept the reference letter, but if I was to somehow get my company to re-do the reference letter this time with all the required detail, that I would still have to pay a further £200 to get the application re-assessed! I have managed to get my company to redo the letter and I have paid the additional £200 to have the application re-assesed. It would not suprise me if these idiots at the ACS come back with some other BS excuse for not being able to process my skills assessment. My understanding is that I need to get this done through the ACS if I work in IT and it is needed for the department of home affairs to calculate how many points I have. I have found my interaction with the ACS to be a bit like the computer says no sketch in the tv show little Britain. See link here for a funny clip.
This kinda puts me off Australia in general. It makes me wonder if I really want to live in a country where people are so far stuck up their own arses that they cannot compromise on the money thing or indeed show even the slightest bit of empathy. I found Aussies were mostly rude and up themselves apart from a few people I have kept in touch with. So part of me is wondering why I want to apply for a visa there apart from the great weather, good money and attractive lifestyle. I guess you've got to take the rough with the smooth. I reckon when I am out there I will not this time go out of my way to be too friendly with the Aussies, because I have in my experience found them to be fake friendly at best! Their immigration system stinks of arrogance and I hope the people aren't all like that. It has been 6 years since I left so I can't remember everything although I do remember some people were so far up their own arses it was difficult to maintain a conversation with them!
JUST WANTED TO GET THAT OFF MY CHEST!
Enjoy the video below, Aaron.