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Engage - March 2019

Brexit and professional recognition

Published: 06/03/2019

If there is no agreement between the UK and EU before 31 October, a new Statutory Instrument on the recognition of professional qualifications, which was laid before Parliament on 19 December 2018, will immediately come into effect. This Statutory Instrument will replace the current UK legislation to implement the EU Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualification Directive (MQRP) and ensure that the framework for the recognition of professional qualifications continues to work effectively for EU engineers who wish to be recognised in the UK. There would be no reciprocal recognition of professional titles for outbound UK engineers and recognition would be subject to the rules of each EU27 nation.

The implementation of the Statutory Instrument may result in some administrative changes for Professional Engineering Institutions (PEIs) but should not affect individual registrants.

The Statutory Instrument is available to view on the government website. Alongside the Statutory Instrument is an Explanatory Memorandum, which provides greater detail about the changes this legislative instrument would make.

If an agreement between the UK and EU is reached, the current framework for recognition of professional qualifications would remain in place until the end of the Implementation Period in December 2020. Under the Withdrawal Agreement, the EU27 would be obliged to ensure UK nationals who are resident or frontier working1 in the EU will continue to have their professional registration recognised, as long as they obtained or applied for that registration before the end of the Implementation Period. There will be no change to EUR ING and IntPE titles, whether or not an agreement is reached.

The Engineering Council anticipates that, in either a “deal” or “no deal” scenario, there will be minimal changes to the immediate day-to-day recognition of professional qualifications within the UK.

For more information on the Engineering Council's international activities, please visit our website.


1frontier workers are EU union citizens, or United Kingdom nationals, who pursue an economic activity as a worker, or are established in accordance with EU law, in one or more states, and who reside in another state