Ensuring mobility of engineers Post-Brexit

Ensuring mobility of engineers Post-Brexit

11 December 2018 at 09:28
 
Engineers Ireland, the professional membership body for engineers in Ireland has become one of the first organisations to sign an agreement with its counterpart in the UK to ensure ongoing recognition of qualifications between the jurisdictions.  The deal will allow ongoing mobility post-Brexit for engineers coming to the Republic and for Irish engineers going to the UK.
 
Engineers Ireland agreed the Access Pathways Agreement (APA) this week with the Engineering Council, the registration body for engineers in the UK, to ensure the continued recognition of Professional Titles held by registered engineers post-Brexit.  The two statutory bodies for engineers have agreed to recognise one another’s professional engineering titles awarded by professional engineering organisations both in Ireland and in the UK.
 
The Agreement recognises the equivalent holders of professional registered titles in both jurisdictions including Chartered Engineer (CEng); Engineering technician (EngTech) and Associate Engineer (Ireland) /Incorporated Engineers (UK). Also included are holders of the UK’s Information and Communications Technology Technicians title (ICTTech).
 
Caroline Spillane, Director General, Engineers Ireland, said: “We are very pleased to be able to re-assure our members on this worrying issue and are grateful to our UK colleagues for this expanded and updated Agreement between Engineers Ireland, as the statutory and regulatory organisation for all disciplines of professional engineering in Ireland and the Engineering Council in the UK.  Our two countries are so close and so inter-twined for engineers, this is a very welcome development.  In surveys as far back as 2016 when Brexit was just a distant threat, our members asked us to forge stronger bi-lateral links with our peer organisations in the UK to support professional mobility.
 
“This Agreement, put simply, ensures that engineers who apply, are assessed, and achieve a registered professional title from Engineers Ireland, will continue to have that registered title recognised if they seek work in the UK post-Brexit. Correspondingly, engineers in the UK, that receive a professional title from one of their 35 professional engineering organisations, will have that title recognised if they wish to come to work in the Republic of Ireland.”
 
Peter Quinn, President, Engineers Ireland and former Chair of its Northern Regional Branch, said: “To ensure our members’ qualifications are recognised around the world, Engineers Ireland engages with similar organisations overseas and also standards bodies both nationally and internationally.  With the probable Brexit on 29 March 2019, it is vital that we maintain the mutual recognition of engineering professionals between Ireland and the UK, particularly if the UK operates outside the EU Directives. Engineering is a global profession and this Agreement will provide considerable re-assurance particularly to our members in Northern Ireland who work North-South and East-West. 
 
“This Agreement aims to provide certainty to engineering professionals from both Ireland and the UK to continue to support trade, the development of critical infrastructure and economic development regardless of the outcome of Brexit.
 
“Our position on behalf of our members was, and continues to be, that mobility and recognition of professional titles must be retained with the UK. Mutual recognition agreements have been in place with UK professional engineering organisations (PEOs) for many years. We have built strong relationships and trust with these organisations and we are proud to continue these links. I am delighted a pathway has been negotiated and achieved with the Engineering Council in the UK on behalf of these PEOs,” he concluded.
 
Editor’s notes:
 
Engineers Ireland is the registration body for engineers on the island of Ireland and has regional branches in Northern Ireland, GB and in Australia/ New Zealand. Engineers Ireland is the sole authority to award the registered professional titles of Chartered Engineer, Associate Engineer and Engineering Technician in the Republic of Ireland.  Engineers Ireland is the Competent Authority for engineers under EU Directive on Professional Qualifications.
 
Engineers Ireland initiated negotiations with the Engineering Council in the UK to put in place this Agreement to continue recognition of engineering professionals post-Brexit.
 
The Engineering Council is the UK regulatory body for the engineering profession and holds the national registers of 222,000 Engineering Technicians (EngTech), Incorporated Engineers (IEng), Chartered Engineers (CEng) and Information and Communications Technology Technicians (ICTTech). 
 
The Engineering Council grants licences to 35 PEOs, allowing them to assess candidates for inclusion on the national register of professional engineers and technicians. They can also be licensed to accredit academic programmes and professional development schemes.