Current situation and in the event of attaining a Brexit deal

The purpose of the Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications (MRPQ) Directive is to provide a framework to help facilitate the free movement of workers from the EEA and Switzerland, by having their professional qualifications recognised in a state other than the one in which they were attained. The MRPQ primarily relates to regulated professions, details of which are available on the European Commission's database of regulated professions.

CIAT is the EU's competent authority for the Chartered Architectural Technologist in the UK. This means that CIAT is the 'gatekeeper' for the profession, and in order to adhere to the MRPQ, it has to ensure those that meet the minimum requirements are granted access to the profession in the UK.

The MRPQ offers several mechanisms for recognition, which set out what Competent Authorities must do to ensure that their qualification processes are fair and transparent, and facilitate free movement as far as is possible.

These mechanisms for recognition include:

  • automatic recognition based on minimum training conditions or professional experience (this applies to doctors, nurses, dental practitioners, veterinary surgeons, midwives, pharmacists and architects).
  • the 'general system'. Competent Authorities or regulators must not refuse applications on the basis of inadequate qualifications, if the qualification(s) held by applicants that want to practise the regulated profession are recognised by an EEA State or Switzerland. An applicant may be required to undertake an aptitude test or an adaptation period before being eligible to practice the regulated profession.
  • for those who want to work on a temporary or ocassional basis in another EEA State or Switzerland.

The mechanism that applies to those seeking to practice as a Chartered Architectural Technologist is the general system. CIAT is the only Competent Authority that exists in Europe for the Chartered Architectural Technologist. In fact, CIAT is the only body with the authority to award the professional qualification of Chartered Architectural Technologist and will remain so, regardless of Brexit.

Our Institute's membership processes have always been inclusive and we have always considered partial access and compensation measures to those that have applied for membership in order to facilitate a flexible route to qualification. Our processes take into account academic achievement and work experience, regardless of the EU Directive. CIAT will continue to operate in the same way.

The government has prepared legislation to update the Recognition of Professional Qualifications Regulations. This will bring a new system into force for exit day. There is also an Explanatory Memorandum, which explains the legislation and the changes it will make to the Recognition of Professional Qualifications Regulations in more detail. This legislation will be supplemented by sector specific legislation to cover certain professions.

UK regulators would no longer be obliged to abide by the EU Directive and there would be no reciprocal recognition mechanism in place between the UK and EEA states or Switzerland. Decisions to accept an applicant as a Chartered Architectural Technologist would be discretionary. 

Competent Authorities for other regulated professions in the EEA or Switzerland would not be required to recognise UK nationals, and they would be subject to the national rules and policies of the Member State. As CIAT is the only EU Competent Authority for Chartered Architectural Technologists, this will have no impact on our members.

The government will continue to work with the Scottish Government, Welsh Government and the Northern Ireland Civil Service as well as regulatory bodies to ensure the future system for the recognition of professional qualifications works across the UK. These arrangements are without prejudice to the rights and privileges accorded, by virtue of the Common Travel Area, to Irish and UK citizens when in each other's state.


Member recognition in EU and freedom of movement, before and after Brexit

Some EEA nations do not have a role that is directly equivalent to a Chartered Architectural Technologist. Some countries will have protection of function, so only certain professions are recognised to undertake certain activities. This already presents challenges to Chartered Architectural Technologists who wish to work in these EU states, regardless of Brexit and whether or not a deal is struck.

Other countries will not have regulation of profession or function, and members who are currently able to move and work freely would need  to investigate the rules and policies of the nation in which they want to work, as they would do now.

Depending on the outcomes of the Brexit negotiations, visa restrictions may apply. 

Link to gov.uk