STOCK Saudi / Jeddah / airport
Immigration counters are seen at the arrival hall at King Abdulaziz International Airport, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Picture used for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Reuters

Dubai: If you are planning to live and work in Saudi Arabia, it is important to note that the country has a Skill Verification Programme, which requires foreign workers being recruited in some occupations to take theoretical and practical tests, before a visa is issued to them.

The Saudi Skill Verification Programme (SVP), also referred to as the Professional Accreditation Programme, was introduced in 2021 by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development (MHRSD) in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC), with the aim of improving the skill level in the Saudi labour market.

Here is all you need to know about what the test includes and which occupations it applies to.

What is the Skill Verification Programme?

The programme includes a skills verification exam, which contains theoretical and practical elements. The theoretical test’s duration is 30 minutes, while the practical exam is for 90 minutes.

The test needs to be taken by foreign workers who are already working in Saudi Arabia – referred to as the internal track of the programme – as well as foreign workers who are being recruited for the occupations listed within SVP, which is referred to as the external track of the programme.

Saudi Arabia has set up multiple test centres within the country as well as outside the country, to allow workers to take the test.

According to a 20222 report in Saudi Gazette, MHRSD the first phase of the external track of the programme was launched in Pakistan, India and Bangladesh.

Who needs to take the test?

According to the SVP website, the categories and occupations for the test include:

1. Plasterer
2. Automotive Electrician
3. Carpentry
4. Plumbing
5. Welding
6. Communication
7. Shuttering Carpenter
8. Tilling
9. Machines
10. Blacksmith
11. Painting
12. Automotive Primary Service
13. Automotive Mechanics
14. Construction and Building
15. Electrician
16. Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning
17. Car body Repair

How can I take the test?

For those residing in Saudi Arabia, the steps for registering are as follows:

1. Visit the SVP website.
2. Find the nearest test centre according to your specialization.
3. Book an appointment.
4. Login to your SVP account.
5. Follow further instructions there.

The theoretical test’s duration is 30 minutes, while the practical exam is for 90 minutes.

The cost of the Skill Verification test is Saudi Riyal 470 (Dh460).

How companies can sign up to get workers tested for SVP?

Employers who wish to hire workers under the categories listed above have to follow these steps, according to the official SVS website:

1. Employer Sign in – The employer first needs to sign-in to SVP portal -
2. Pay a package – They then need to make the payment for the test.
3. Book an appointment – They can then book an appointment for the employee at any of the SVS centres. The employee would then need to go to the designated centre on the appointment date, to take the test.
4. Result – The result of the test will be shown on the employer’s dashboard.

The test result is valid for five years.