New funding for UK regulators to further access abroad

The Recognition Arrangements Grants Programme will provide grants of up to £75,000 to help regulators seek mutual recognition of professional qualifications overseas

New funding for regulators and accountancy professional bodies is set to benefit UK professionals who are looking to work abroad post-Brexit, the government has announced.

The Recognition Arrangements Grants Programme will provide grants of up to £75,000 to UK regulators to develop recognition arrangements with international counterparts to “ensure British professionals have their qualifications recognised overseas”.

The government suggested funding may be used by accountancy professional bodies to agree deals which ensure that UK-qualified accountants will have their credentials recognised by regulators in countries such as Australia and New Zealand. 

It added that accounting organisations such as the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), who offer industry specific qualifications like the ACA, could use the grant funding to work with equivalent organisations in other countries to establish mutual recognition of both their certifications and those of the other nation.

An ICAEW spokesperson said: “We warmly welcome the announcement by BEIS of this new round of funding. It will prove extremely useful for UK professional bodies working towards international recognition arrangements as part of the ‘Global Britain’ agenda.

“BEIS’ pilot scheme was very helpful supporting aspects of ICAEW’s international recognition work and because of this we intend to bid again.”

The government said the move will help ensure regulators have the ability to agree recognition arrangements with overseas counterparts, making it easier for British professionals to have their qualifications recognised overseas, without the need to requalify with additional qualifications.

The scheme will reportedly help the UK build on its role as a global centre for business, commerce, and trade after leaving the EU, adding that the new resources will help lawyers, accountants and engineers in particular to continue to work or grow their businesses abroad as well as at home.

Business minister Lord Callanan said: “The UK’s professional qualifications are rightly widely recognised as a gold standard for diligence, professionalism, and proficiency around the world.

“By creating our Recognition Arrangements Grants Programme, we are supporting regulators to build on this well-deserved reputation for excellence by agreeing recognition of professional qualifications with countries across the EU, ultimately making it easier for our lawyers, surveyors, accountants, and others to work in the EU and elsewhere.”

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