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The Recognition of Professional Qualifications and Regulation of Professionals

The UK Government wants to ensure a regulatory environment that supports jobs, gives fair access to global professionals and maintains high standards. This will help inform the UK Government’s approach if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

Specifically, the UK Government is focusing on England’s approach to Professional Registration but is interested in approaches and suggestions for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The IET will respond to various issues within the consultation. The IET aims to answer the following questions:

  • Please outline your process(es) of recognising someone with an international qualification. In your answer, please include details of how this differs from the process of recognising a domestic applicant, the rationale for this/ the reasons why this is the case, and the costs of administering this route.
    If you have different processes for different international routes (e.g. for candidates from the EU, USA, Australia, or due to any Mutual Recognition Agreements you hold), please include details on the differences between them. 
  • Please outline any additional steps and the resource implications that you face in processing applicants with international qualifications.
  • With reference to any of the additional steps outlined above, what would you suggest are the priorities for the UK Government in considering future ways to recognise international qualifications? Please include any details on what an ideal system could look like, as well as how it could operate. Please consider what the priorities would be for the profession you regulate.
  • Do you require legislation to give you powers to make changes to your international recognition routes?
  • What level of dialogue do you maintain with your international counterparts? Please outline the benefits and challenges to cooperation. Please also outline if you are a member of any international networks of regulators, what they are and your experience with them.
  • What are your priorities for supporting UK professionals on your register to have access to their profession in other countries? Please outline any Government support that would help.
  • Do you have any provisions for the recognition of professional qualifications held by refugees residing in the UK? If yes, please detail what these are and why you have implemented these provisions. If no, please detail why not.
  • Please describe the process by which UK professionals gain qualifications to enter the profession, including detail on the types of education and training they must undergo and how long it takes to complete them.
  • Please describe the process you offer for professionals who have gained the relevant UK qualifications to be brought onto your register.
  • How often do you review your processes and standards? In your answer, please describe both formal and informal ways this is carried out (e.g. via consultancy, membership surveys) and include detail of any changes you have recently made based to this process.
  • Do you feel that the current standards you set, against which applicants are assessed to enter onto the register, are a fair reflection of the level of skill, training, education, and experience required to practise their profession? Please explain your answer.
  • Please detail any principles of regulation you follow (e.g. proportionality and transparency) and how you uphold them, and whether they support you in your duties as a regulator.
  • Please detail any requirements you may place on the professionals you regulate and why they are necessary. If you do not impose any requirements, please justify your reasons for not doing so.
  • Please describe the process by which you determine your application fees. Please set out any principles or guidelines you adhere to when determining fee amounts.
  • Please detail any changes that you are considering for your sector to ensure the profession you regulate stays relevant to current challenges. Does current regulation allow for you to make these changes?
  • Please detail any steps you take to help make sure that your standards and processes are adaptive, support innovation and promote social mobility.
  • Please detail any continuous professional development that is required for professionals to remain on your register. Please include detail on how often this should take place, in what form, as well as the benefits of adhering and consequences of not adhering to these requirements.
  • Do you collect data on the diversity of both your UK and international applications? For example, on gender or ethnic background.
  • Please outline any steps you take to eliminate unconscious bias from your recognition process.
  • Please outline any steps you take to support job creation in the profession you regulate.
  • Please outline any steps you take to attract a diverse workforce to the profession you regulate.
  • Please detail any other information or evidence that you think we should take into consideration during this Call for Evidence.

The Institution of Engineering and Technology Trustees propose submitting a response to this consultation and invite comments from Members who have expertise in this area and have studied the consultation documents. In its capacity as a professional body, the IET will confine itself to only addressing those questions that are within its area(s) of competence.

For more information and a summary of the questions, please refer to the consultation webpage.

Please respond no later than 9 am 16/10/20 to Duncan Kenyon, with “The Recognition of Professional Qualifications and Regulation of Professionals” in the subject line.