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Fostering mutual recognition of engineering qualifications in the UK and US

Following last summer’s announcement by Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, of an agreement to work towards mutual recognition of professional qualifications in engineering between the UK and the US, delegates from both nations have met in London for further discussions.

The Engineering Council and the USA’s National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) held a roundtable hosted by the Department for Business and Trade. The Engineering Council was represented by Prof John Chudley (Chairman – pictured), Paul Bailey (CEO), Katy Turff (Deputy CEO and Head of Policy & Standards), and Dr Dave Clark (International Affairs Manager). The NCEES delegation included senior representatives from 11 States.

The Engineering Council explains that the proposed Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) would facilitate recognition of professional engineering qualifications and remove barriers to mobility of Chartered Engineers and Professional Engineers between the two countries. It said: “It is expected that such an agreement will instil confidence and trust among the public, employers, and their clients towards those professionally recognised engineers covered by it, highlighting their commitment to globally acknowledged professional standards. The agreement will build on the framework of the International Professional Engineers Agreement, of which the Engineering Council and NCEES are founding members. Moreover, it will acknowledge and uphold the discipline-specific and jurisdictional requirements of the participating organisations from the US and UK.”

The Engineering Council says such an agreement – which would be the first UK-US MRA for engineers of its kind – would open opportunities for individuals and businesses, covering areas such as trade, knowledge sharing, and co-operation, as well as helping to address skills shortages in critical areas.

Subject to receiving final approval from their respective Boards, NCEES and Engineering Council Boards aim to sign the agreement in the spring, followed by a launch at the NCEES National Meeting in August 2024.

The International Professional Engineers Agreement is a multinational agreement between engineering organisations which creates a framework for recognising substantial equivalence of professional engineering competence standards.


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