The Engineering Council has responded to the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) call for evidence on recognition of professional qualifications and regulation of professions.
Our response sets out that any future system for the recognition of professional qualifications should include reciprocal recognition for UK engineers who wish to work/live overseas. The ideal solution would be to use a framework that would allow comprehensive mutual recognition, with governmental support in the form of formal agreements requiring regulators to make best efforts to recognise other professional qualifications. This has the potential to increase mobility and increase the opportunities for trade in services.
The current system of voluntary self-regulation works well and provides benefits to society, such as enhanced product, process and service safety (for example, in food, pharmaceutical, electrical, transport) and environmental/sustainability improvements.
We have a robust system of assessment, in which all candidates for registration must meet the same standard of competence and commitment, which applies equally to candidates with qualifications from within, or outside, the UK. Everyone who can demonstrate the required level of competence can become professionally registered and this demonstration of competence, rather than years of professional experience or the requirement to have gained prescribed qualifications, is a fundamental principle of the way we regulate. Professionally registered engineers and technicians commit to maintaining and developing that competence throughout their careers, through Continuing Professional Development (CPD).
The Engineering Council is active in European and global networks, supporting and influencing the direction of these organisations by providing members of governance committees and working groups. Dialogue between members of these organisations is active and useful in helping us to facilitate the mobility of engineers and maintain the international standing of UK qualifications.
The Engineering Council sets and maintains internationally recognised standards of professional competence and ethics that govern the award and retention of professional engineering titles Engineering Technicians (EngTech), Incorporated Engineers (IEng), Chartered Engineers (CEng) and Information and Communications Technology Technicians (ICTTech). This ensures that employers, government and wider society – both in the UK and overseas – can have confidence in the knowledge, experience and commitment of professionally registered engineers and technicians.