China signs Washington Accord at latest meeting of the International Engineering Alliance
The 2016 meetings of the International Engineering Alliance, which works to advance benchmarking and mobility in the engineering profession, took place in Kuala Lumpur in June with the admission of China as a signatory of the Washington Accord a major development
The 2016 meetings of the International Engineering Alliance (IEA) took place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in June.
Damien Owens, Engineers Ireland registrar and member of the IEA Governing Group, attended on behalf of engineering community in Ireland. The attendance comprised approximately 147 delegates from 27 countries representing professional engineering organisations and accreditation agencies.
The IEA is an organisation that works to advance benchmarking and mobility in the engineering profession. It meets every two years to progress international agreements. In between, there is an interim meeting to progress much of the operational issues. Aside from the meeting itself, the forum facilitates bilateral discussions with relevant correspondents from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Japan etc.
There are six international agreements governing mutual recognition of engineering qualifications and professional competence. In each of these agreements, countries and economies who wish to participate may apply for membership and, if accepted, become members or signatories to the agreement. Engineers Ireland members, particularly those working overseas, may be familiar with the Washington, Sydney and Dublin Accords, which are accreditation agreements for the international recognition of certain engineering qualifications.
A significant development at the 2016 meet was the admission of China as a signatory of the Washington Accord, the accreditation agreement for professional engineering academic degrees.The review group for China was chaired by Prof Cyril Burkley, who is chair of the Accreditation Board in Engineers Ireland.
Signatories of the Accords have obligations to support review teams and it was reported to the meeting that Engineers Ireland is second among the signatories in terms of the effort and resources it allocates in support of review visits. This is a reflection of its members’ dedication to developing and upholding the standards of the international engineering profession.
Following review visits earlier this year, Engineers Ireland was granted six years of membership under the Dublin Accord, Sydney Accord and International Professional Engineers Agreement. Its review under the Washington Accord takes place later this year.
Following an initiative from a member in Nepal who was working in that country with the Nepal Engineers Council (NPC) to establish a system of professional registration, it was arranged for NPC to attend the IEA meetings as an observer. This further demonstrates Engineers Ireland’s members’ commitment to the profession, wherever in the world they find themselves. - Engineers Journal