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A new law, the Professional Qualifications Act 2022, which is set for implementation between now and autumn 2022, will mean professional qualifications gained outside the EU are equally recognised in the UK.
On 12 May 2021, a new approach to recognising overseas professional qualifications was taken with the Professional Qualifications Act 2022 receiving Royal Assent as a UK Act of Parliament.
This new Act revokes the previous EU Legislation governing how overseas professional qualifications are recognised in the UK (including Northern Ireland).
The UK government claimed that the existing system derived from the EU often gave preference to qualified professionals from the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland. Since officially leaving the EU on 31 January 2020, this preferential treatment was unreciprocated when it came to the UK. Therefore, the new Act will be introduced to address the UK’s needs.
In essence, the Act gives UK regulators the autonomy to decide whether an individual with overseas qualifications is fit to practice a regulated profession in the UK. This simply means that UK regulators can now recognise the qualifications of professionals across the world, rather than just from EU member states.
By improving information sharing between regulators and making entry requirements of certain professions clearer, the Act also helps aspiring international professionals to establish themselves in the UK.
Not only does the Act help UK regulators recognise qualifications from around the world, it will also help UK professionals have their qualifications recognised abroad. This will hopefully spread UK skills, knowledge and innovation further across the globe, providing a boost to UK businesses exporting their services.
This is a huge step forward for the UK in relation to regulators wanting to advertise globally for jobs. It will allow individuals, who were put off in the past from applying, to apply to come and work in the UK.
The Act’s key provisions will come into effect before autumn 2022 and the government has agreed to work closely with regulators and stakeholders on commencement dates to ensure everyone involved is well-prepared.
If you would like to seek further information or advice about any of the issues raised in this article or how you could benefit from the new Act, please contact our Employment and Business Immigration team at Cleaver Fulton Rankin.
This article has been produced for general information purposes and further advice should be sought from a professional advisor.