The international engineer
Much like in Australia, the registration of engineers around the world is a complex patchwork comprising of hundreds of different organisations, legislations, regulations and programs.
Importantly, there is no single global register for degree-qualified, registered professional engineers. Accordingly, ‘international recognition’ globally is not realistically achievable, for any organisation.
If working overseas is important to you, the first question is:
“Which country or region do you anticipate working in?”
Where you wish to work will determine what requirements you must meet to practice as an engineer, and whether or not Australia, and any of its engineering bodies, has a mutual recognition agreement in place.
In most cases, where an agreement exists, it is often not directly transferable – in most cases, professional engineers working overseas will need to undertake additional assessment and examination to be deemed competent to practice.
It is also important to note that a large majority of international engineer registers are voluntary, and are not backed by legislation, meaning there is no requirement for engineers to be a member of any organisation or hold a particular status to practice.
If it is a matter of achieving recognition of your qualification, a number of countries accept the equivalence of Australian qualifications through an international agreement, the Washington Accord:
- Chinese Taipei
- Hong Kong China
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- United Kingdom
- United States
The second question to ask is:
“What are the legal requirements to practice as an engineer in that region/country/state, and if not, does your potential employer require you to demonstrate professional competence?”
Professionals Australia has a comprehensive understanding of the international engineering framework, and with the above information in-hand, will be well-placed to assist you with advice on international recognition.
Lastly, if you are a Registered Professional Engineer (RPEng) with Professionals Australia, you can also nominate to be RPEQ. This means you have been accredited under a system developed by a government, which provides an excellent opportunity to prove your standing with other governments around the globe.