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.
International Engineers Looking to Practise in Canada
In Canada, engineering is a regulated profession and engineers require a licence in each province or territory where they intend to practise. This is true whether you are moving to Canada permanently, or merely for a period of time. A number of elements are in place to facilitate mobility, as outlined below, however the best resources to begin with are:
Elements in place to facilitate international mobility
- International Agreements
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 programs and recommends that graduates of programs accredited by any of the signatories be recognized by the other signatories as having met the academic requirements for entry to the practice of engineering.
Signatories include organizations from the following countries:
Australia; Canada; China; Chinese Taipei; Hong Kong, India; Ireland; Japan; Korea; Malaysia; New Zealand; Russia; Singapore; South Africa; Sri Lanka; Turkey; United Kingdom; United States.
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), recently 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 engineers). This agreement therefore provides a basis upon which country-specific Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) may be negotiated.
- Country-Specific 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.
For information on whether a MRA is recognized in a specific province or territory, consult with the individual Canadian engineering regulatory bodies.
Engineers Canada has entered into MRAs with engineering organizations in the following countries: Australia; France; Hong Kong, China, Ireland, United States (Texas only).
Hong Kong, China:
Texas, United States:
Engineers Canada is a signatory to two international registers. Engineers listed on the registers may experience more expeditious mobility between the countries participating.
The two registers are:
- The International Professional Engineers Agreement (IPEA) provides for recognition of substantial equivalency of standards and quality assurance systems used to establish the competency of engineers for independent practise.
- The APEC Engineer Competence Agreement (APECEA) provides for recognition of substantial equivalency of standards and quality assurance systems used to establish competency of engineers for independent practise within the APEC economies.
For information on whether a Register is recognized in a specific Canadian province or territory, consult with the individual Canadian engineering regulatory bodies.
- Roadmap to Engineering in Canada
- Guideline on Admission to the Practice of Engineering in Canada
- Canadian Engineering Regulators
- Washington Accord (view the document from International Engineering Alliance)
- Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)