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Press releases 2022

Agreements to facilitate professional mobility with Spain

Published: 29/09/2022

Engineering Council "40 years of engineering standards" logoThe Engineering Council is pleased to announce new agreements with Spanish professional bodies Asociación de Ingenieros Profesionales de España (AIPE) and Agency for Qualification of Professional Engineers (AQPE), which will facilitate the mobility and recognition of engineering professionals between the UK and Spain.

AIPE are based in Madrid and AQPE represent the Catalan region, based in Barcelona. Both the AIPE and AQPE competence standards are based very closely on the Engineering Council’s UK Standard for Engineering Competence and Commitment (UK-SPEC) and their processes - including a professional review interview - are similar. Both organisations have had their standards in place for six years (with support from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, IMechE) and award titles including Expert Professional Engineer and Senior Professional Engineer.

These new Admissions Pathway Agreements (APAs) create streamlined processes for professional registration in a straightforward way, following the model adopted in similar agreements with Engineering New Zealand and Engineers Ireland, which aim to minimise any duplication of assessment processes. This facilitates professional engineering mobility and maintains public confidence in the quality of professional competence in both jurisdictions. To support this, engineers registered with the Engineering Council, or certified by AIPE and AQPE are required to demonstrate they are maintaining and developing their professional competence through a process of Continuing Professional Development (CPD). 

While there is no legal requirement to be registered as a Professional Engineer to carry out engineering work in Spain, some areas of work are reserved and require registration with the relevant government department. These include Ingeniero de caminos, canales y puertos, Ingeniero Industrial and other engineering roles that involve sign-off of designs, planning and management of maintenance and document control. For the purpose of registration with the Spanish government the UK is treated as an EU member state until the end of 2025. Certification as a Professional Engineer may support registration for these reserved areas of work and is valued by employers in Spain. 

Alasdair Coates, Chief Executive Officer of the Engineering Council, said “Mutual recognition of professional registration between the UK and Spain is important, and this agreement provides reassurance to registrants that recognition of their professional competence will continue. Engineering is a global profession and the aim of the Engineering Council’s international activity is to ensure that our standards are globally recognised and facilitate the international mobility of engineering professionals.”

The Engineering Council looks forward to welcoming representatives of AIPE and AQPE to London on 20 October for a formal signing of these agreements.

These APAs with Spanish bodies are part of our broader work on international mobility and professional recognition, which includes collaboration with ENGINET. ENGINET is a network of European engineering associations that employ competence-based assessment, founded in March 2020, with founder members from the UK (the Engineering Council), Spain, Italy, France, Portugal and the Netherlands. The aim of the association is to move towards mutual recognition of professional competence. ENGINET has now established a legal entity, with an address at the SNIPF headquarters in Toulouse. Its Secretariat function is based in Barcelona, with the AQPE team.


For press enquiries:

Kate Webster, Engineering Council –, 020 3206 0567

The Engineering Council was incorporated by Royal Charter in November 1981 to regulate the engineering profession in the UK. This is our 40th year of setting and maintaining standards, to ensure that society continues to have confidence and trust in the engineering profession.

The Engineering Council holds the national Register of Engineering Technicians (EngTech), Incorporated Engineers (IEng), Chartered Engineers (CEng) and Information and Communication Technology Technicians (ICTTech). It also sets and maintains the internationally recognised standards of competence and ethics that govern the award and retention of these titles. By this means it is able to ensure that employers, government and wider society, both at home and overseas, can have confidence in the skills and commitment of registrants. For more information visit: