Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng

Professional Qualifications Bill introduced to Parliament, ensuring skilled professionals from around the world will have their qualifications recognised in the UK.

  • Laws will support the UK government’s commitment to making the UK the best place in the world to work, trade and do business
  • regulators, including those in devolved administrations, to continue to have autonomy to determine professional standards and assess who meets these standards
  • empowers regulators to license highly skilled professionals from around the world, enabling them to practise in the UK in line with skills needs

New laws to allow skilled professionals from around the world to have their qualifications recognised in the UK have been introduced to Parliament today (Wednesday 12 May).

By being able to recognise qualifications from professionals around the world, the Professional Qualifications Bill will further strengthen UK professions’ reputation for excellence and help to ensure the UK can address where the demand for skills is not currently being met.

Much of the UK’s current framework for recognising professional qualifications derives from EU law. Currently, regulators must have routes to recognising professional qualifications from the European Economic Area (the EU, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) and Switzerland.

Workers with professional qualifications from outside these areas can face hurdles to getting their qualifications recognised in the UK. This can include higher application fees or, in some cases, no means to recognition at all.

Now the UK has taken back control of its laws from the EU, the government is introducing new legislation so skilled professionals can have their qualifications recognised in the UK where they meet UK standards. Regulators will have the autonomy to assess qualifications, and to pursue arrangements with counterparts in other countries in the interests of their professions.

An example would be if a regulator like the Architects Registration Board agreed a mutual recognition agreement with international partners. This would support UK businesses and professionals to win and provide architecture services in new markets such as the Middle East or Asia by helping UK architects have their qualifications recognised overseas.

The Bill gives devolved administrations powers to equip their regulators with the ability to enter into arrangements with international partners. This will help all parts of the UK to take advantage of the UK’s global trading status.

The new laws will help meet the demands of individual professions in different parts of the UK by identifying professions that will benefit from access to global talent. Identifying where there is demand for skills from overseas will be for the UK government and devolved administrations to decide and legislate for.

The Professional Qualifications Bill, introduced to Parliament today, will establish an effective regulatory framework for professional qualifications that meets the needs of all parts of the country and supports UK professionals to deliver services overseas.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said:

Having left the European Union, this vital piece of legislation will ensure skilled professionals from around the world are able to have their qualifications recognised in the UK, allowing us to attract the brightest and best as we build back better.

These laws will not only bolster the UK’s standing as a great place to work and trade, but will strengthen our Union by creating a clearer framework for recognising professional qualifications that meets the skills needs of each part of the UK.

Minister for Investment Lord Gerry Grimstone said:

British professional qualifications are globally recognised as the gold standard, adding to our global reputation for professionalism.

Our new laws are freeing regulators from EU restrictions and opening up routes to attract professionals who meet UK standards from around the world, re-enforcing the UK as the best place to work, trade, and do business.

Our proposals give regulators the autonomy they need to ensure all professionals in the UK meet the rigorous standards expected in all parts of the UK.

Helen Brand OBE, chief executive of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), said:

This Bill will be very helpful in facilitating recognition of professional qualifications and trade in professional services. This is therefore a much welcome development as a catalyst to future Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), particularly in relation to mobility and trade in services, issues that matter a great deal to our members.

Hugh Simpson, Chief Executive and Registrar for the Architects Registration Board, said:

The Professional Qualifications Bill is a really important step following the UK’s exit from the EU. The UK is a global leader in architecture and for ARB to have the power to form mutual recognition agreements with international regulators will enable us to assure the public that all registered architects are suitably qualified. It will also provide opportunities for UK architects to have their qualifications recognised internationally and to enable theglobal spread of skills, knowledge and innovation.

The legislation will also support the UK’s ambitious international trade agenda by equipping regulators of professions with the tools to enter into recognition agreements with overseas regulators where they want to do so.

The new laws will also strengthen working across the Union by supporting regulators in each home nation to share information with their counterparts, ensuring professions are regulated effectively in all parts of the UK.

This complements measures within the UK Internal Market Act which ensure qualifications from one part of the UK are recognised across the country so the devolved administrations can set their own rules and standards, but still welcome the trade of businesses based anywhere in the UK.

An assistance centre will continue to provide an enquiry service which will cover both UK wide and devolved professions, helping businesses and professionals to understand the steps they need to take to have their professional qualifications recognised in the UK and abroad.

Today’s announcement follows the government acting on an unprecedented scale to protect jobs, livelihoods, businesses and public services throughout the pandemic. The government is building on this through its flagship Plan for Jobs that will increase job opportunities in all parts of the UK backed by £30 billion of investment, and the Plan for Growth that will lay the foundations for a recovery driven by the private sector, spreading investments and opportunity throughout the UK.

The Professional Qualifications Bill follows extensive engagement with the industry including engagement with regulators, trade associations and academics from all parts of the UK as well as a written Call for Evidence.

Additional information

  • The EU’s Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications Directive 2005 (MRPQ Directive) forms the basis of the UK’s system to recognise professional qualifications gained overseas. Following the UK’s exit from the EU, and the conclusion of the transition period on 31 December 2020, the UK is no longer bound by the MRPQ Directive
  • a regulated profession is one in which there are restrictions to pursuing the activities or a subset of activities of the profession, such as for doctors, and/or restrictions for using a professional title, such as the use of ‘architect’
  • across the UK there are over 160 professions regulated by law, by more than 50 regulators, plus a range of other professions regulated voluntarily
  • the Bill will equip regulators to make agreements with counterparts in other countries. To support this, the UK government has also published guidance to help regulators enter such agreements and will provide support going forward
  • in 2020, UK exports of services were worth £267.1 billion, representing 46.2% of total UK exports
  • for further information on the UK’s proposals see the Recognition of Professional Qualifications and Regulation of Professions: Policy Statement

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

#SkillsWorldLive Video: Will there be enough jobs in the green economy?

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Advertisers

Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

Podcasts

We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

Events

FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page