Globalization and advances in international trade and business services have resulted in an increased need for engineers to have their credentials recognized around the world.
To maintain the good reputation of the engineering profession, it is essential to ensure that licensure and regulation operate effectively and facilitate international mobility. In this way, the public can continue to feel confident that professional engineers, regardless of where they received their education, have the right education and skills to practise engineering with competence and integrity.
In Canada, engineering is a regulated profession and engineers require a licence in each province or territory in which they intend to practise. This is true whether you are moving to Canada permanently, or merely for a limited period of time.
If you are an international engineering graduate looking to become an engineer in Canada, the Roadmap to Engineering in Canada is a valuable resource to help understand the registration process and how your credentials and experiences might be recognized by the Canadian engineering regulators. Engineers Canada has also developed a Guideline on Admission to the Practice of Engineering in Canada that assists Canadian engineering regulators in assessing internationally-educated applicants.
A number of agreements and tools are in place to facilitate mobility, as outlined below; however, the best resources to begin with are:
The Engineers Canada Mobility Register: Engineers Canada is a signatory to two multi-national agreements that recognize ‘substantial equivalence’ of professional competence in engineering. Engineers listed on the representative registers may experience more expeditious mobility between the countries participating. Find out more about the Engineers Canada Mobility Register.
The Washington Accord: The Washington Accord is an agreement between organizations responsible for accrediting engineering degree programs in 18 countries. It recognizes the substantial equivalency of academic programs and recommends that graduates of programs accredited by any of the signatories be recognized by the others as having met the academic requirements for entry to the practice of engineering. The Washington Accord is limited to the recognition of academic credentials, whereas the next three items relate to professional-level credentials. Find out more about the Washington Accord.
International trade agreements: Most existing trade agreements speak to general areas of economic cooperation, including the trade of goods and services. The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), negotiated between Canada and the European Union, speaks directly to engineering services and the mobility of engineers as professionals. CETA provides a framework for the mutual recognition of professional qualifications, including those of engineers. This agreement therefore provides a basis upon which country-specific Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) may be negotiated.
Country-specific Mutual Recognition Agreements: Engineers Canada has entered into five Mutual Recognitions Agreements (MRAs) with engineering organizations around the world. However, the adoption and recognition of these agreements by the Canadian engineering regulators varies across Canada. Find out more about Engineers Canada’s mutual recognition agreements.