The current FIG Council (2007 – 2010) has made “Building the
Capacity” its key priority for its term of office. In the marketplace, “Capacity
Building” is of major importance to everyone involved in the development and
enhancement of trade in services, professional services in particular. The
concept includes upgrading human resources, uplifting inter-organisation trust
and co-operation, strengthening departments and organisations, and building
networks and institutions.
FIG has worked on mutual recognition since its Congress in Brighton
in 1998 where a Task Force for Mutual
Recognition was established to investigate the area of mutual recognition as a device for liberalisation of
market services to respond to the challenge of globalisation and devise the
means to ensure global free movement, so that the process reflects the
requirements of the surveyor. This Task Force was chaired by Prof. Stig
Enemark. The target was to review the area of mutual
recognition of qualifications within the world-wide surveying community and
develop a framework for the introduction of standards of global professional
competence in this area. The results of the Task Force investigations were
published in the FIG Publication No. 27 – Mutual
Recognition of Qualifications. This web site has been created to follow the
development of mutual recognition on continuous basis.
The current FIG Council (2007–2010) has made “Building the Capacity”
its key priority for its term of office. In the marketplace, “Capacity Building”
is of major importance to everyone involved in the development and enhancement
of trade in services, professional services in particular. The concept includes
upgrading human resources, uplifting inter-organisation trust and co-operation,
strengthening departments and organisations, and building networks and
For professional services, qualification is key and thus the recognition of
qualifications is critical in the development and enhancement of trade in
professional services. It is recognised that professional services underpins
just about all aspects of economic activities, notably international finance,
international law and security of tenure.
According to Frances Plimmer (2001), professional qualifications
- is a mark of quality, which the professional body ensures by the level of
entry, continuing education, code of conduct, disciplinary proceedings and other
means of regulation;
- is a mark of professionalism, which, itself guarantees a range and a level
of ethical behaviour on which clients, governments and the public can rely; and
- is of a range of levels (local, national and, increasingly international)
FIG responded with the General Assembly agreeing to the formation of the Task
Force on Mutual Recognition chaired by Prof. Stig Enemark of Denmark in 1999.
Members of the Task Force included leading surveyors from just about every
continent where FIG has a presence then. The output of the Task Force was
Publication No. 27 – Mutual Recognition of Qualifications (can be downloaded
as a .pdf-file from www.fig.net/pub/figpub/pub27.pdf).
Mutual Recognition of Qualification
Mutual recognition is a process that allows the qualifications gained in one
country (the home country) to be recognised in another country (the host
country) and ensures an environment where the mobility of professionals can be
assured and is an essential component in working towards the free flow of
The Mutual Recognition of Qualifications approach championed by FIG is unique
as it allows each country to retain its own kind of professional education and
training including the registration and licensing requirement. This allow
Countries to retain her right and duty to ensure that only appropriately
qualified and competent person be registered and/or licensed under its domestic
regulation to provide professional services.
Implementing Mutual Recognition of Qualifications
ASEAN Surveyors, when asked to work on a mutual recognition arrangement by
their respective Governments under the auspices of the ASEAN Framework Agreement
on Services (AFAS), drew inspiration from FIG’s approach to mutual recognition
of qualifications and within a short period of time in negotiations, concluded
the ASEAN Framework Arrangement for the Mutual Recognition of Surveying
The Agreement was signed by the ASEAN Economic Ministers on 19th November 2007
in Singapore and came into force three months later, i.e. 19th February 2008.
The ASEAN agreement demonstrated the applicability of FIG’s
approach and also refers to FIG’s Standards and Guidelines (www.fig.net/mutrecog/Standards-and-Guidelines.pdf),
which is the basis of the recognition requirement (Article 3.7 – ASEAN Framework
Arrangement for the Mutual Recognition of Surveying Qualification).
Purpose of this Site
FIG Council hoped, in establishing this site that will become a resource for
matters concerning mutual recognition of qualification. You will find on this
site (and or links)
In the future, FIG Council hoped to enhance this site further and encouraged
member associations to share experiences on mutual recognition in their region
as well as to contribute their respective associations or country’s
pre-qualification requirement and/or education standards.
Vice President (2009–2011)
FIG Policy Statement on Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications
The International Federation of Surveyors (FIG) recognises the importance of
free movement of surveyors in a global marketplace. The mutual recognition of
professional qualifications provides a means whereby professional qualifications
held by individual surveyors can be recognised by individual professional
organisations as comparable to those acquired by their own national surveyors.
FIG will promote the principle of mutual recognition of professional
- Encouraging communication between professional organisations to ensure a
better understanding of how surveyors acquire their professional
qualifications in different countries;
- Developing with professional organisations a methodology for
implementing mutual recognition for surveyors;
- Supporting professional organisations where difficulties are identified
in achieving mutual recognition, and encouraging debate at national
government level in order to remove such difficulties;
- Working with external organisations (such as the WTO) in order to
achieve mutual recognition in both principle and practice of professional
qualifications for surveyors world-wide."
GATS is considered by WTO to be among it’s most important agreement. The
accord came into force in January 1995, is the first and only set of
multilateral rules covering international trade in services.
- Each WTO Member Country lists in her national schedule those services
for which she wishes to guarantee access to foreign services suppliers
- All commitments apply on a non-discriminatory basis to all other WTO
The rights of EU citizens to establish themselves or to provide services
anywhere in the EU are fundamental freedoms in the Single Market. National
regulations that only recognise professional qualifications of a particular
jurisdiction present obstacles to these fundamental freedoms. These obstacles
are overcome by EU rules guaranteeing the mutual recognition of professional
qualifications between Member States.
Under the EU Directives for the Mutual Recognition of Professional
provisions are made whereby Professionals qualified in one (home) Member State
can seek professional recognition of their qualifications in another (host)
Member State for the purpose of practising their profession in that host Member
State. These Directives apply only where the profession is regulated in the host
Member State i.e. where the practice of the profession is confined by law,
regulation or administrative procedure to persons who hold specific
qualifications, or registration/recognition from a specific competent authority
or professional body.
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The Association of Southeast Asian Nations
ASEAN was established on 8 August 1967 in Bangkok by the five original Member
Countries, namely, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.
Brunei Darussalam joined on 8 January 1984, Vietnam on 28 July 1995, Laos and
Myanmar on 23 July 1997, and Cambodia on 30 April 1999.
The ASEAN region has a population of about 500 million, a total area of 4.5
million square kilometers, a combined gross domestic product in excess of US$800
billion, and a total trade in excess of US$ 1 Trillion. Launched in 1992, the
ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) is now in place. It aims to promote the region’s
competitive advantage as a single production unit. The elimination of tariff and
non-tariff barriers among Member Countries is expected to promote greater
economic efficiency, productivity, and competitiveness.
As of 1 January 2005, tariffs on almost 99 percent of the products in the
Inclusion List of the ASEAN-6 (Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the
Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand) have been reduced to no more than 5
percent. More than 60 percent of these products have zero tariffs. The average
tariff for ASEAN-6 has been brought down from more than 12 percent when AFTA
started to 2 percent today. For the newer Member Countries, namely, Cambodia,
Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Viet Nam (CLMV), tariffs on about 81 percent of their
Inclusion List have been brought down to within the 0-5 percent range.
ASEAN Framework Agreement on Services (AFAS) was signed by ASEAN Economic
Ministers in 1995. The Objectives of AFAS include
- To enhance cooperation in services amongst member countries in order to
improve the efficiency and competitiveness, diversity production capacity
and supply and distribution of services of their service providers within
and outside ASEAN
- To eliminate substantially restrictions to trade in services amongst
ASEAN Concord II (Bali Concord II) was adopted at the 9th ASEAN Summit by the
ten Heads of States to reaffirm ASEAN as a concert of Southeast Asian nations,
bonded together in partnership, in dynamic development and in a community of
caring societies. The ten leaders agreed to establish an ASEAN Community that
would be supported by the three pillars of
- political and security cooperation;
- economic cooperation; and
- socio-cultural cooperation.
These three pillars are closely intertwined and mutually reinforcing in the
effort to achieve peace, stability and prosperity.
The ASEAN Framework Arrangement for the Mutual Recognition of Surveying
was signed with the ASEAN Economic Ministers on 19 November 2007 in Singapore
and came into force three months later, i.e. 19 February 2008.
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)
APEC works in three broad areas to meet the Bogor Goals of Free and Open
Trade and Investment in the Asia-Pacific by 2010 for developed economies and
2020 for developing economies. Known as APEC's 'Three Pillars', APEC focuses on
three key areas:
- Trade and Investment Liberalization
- Business Facilitation
- Economic and Technical Cooperation
The outcomes of these three areas enable APEC Member Economies to strengthen
their economies by pooling resources within the region and achieving
efficiencies. Tangible benefits are also delivered to consumers in the APEC
region through increased training and employment opportunities, greater choices
in the marketplace, cheaper goods and services and improved access to
South Asian Association for Regional
The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) was established
when its Charter was formally adopted on December 8, 1985 by the Heads of State
or Government of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri
Lanka. SAARC provides a platform for the peoples of South Asia to work together
in a spirit of friendship, trust and understanding. It aims to accelerate the
process of economic and social development in Member States.
The Agreement on South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) was signed on 6 January
2004 during the Twelfth SAARC Summit in Islamabad. The Agreement is to enter
into force on 1 January 2006. SAPTA was envisaged primarily as the first step
towards the transition to a South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) leading
subsequently towards a Customs Union, Common Market and Economic Union.
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If you would like further information on any of the above, or are able to
assist with the work of the Network, please contact
Presentations and papers
from FIG conferences
Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications. Article of the Month,
October 2007 by Frances Plimmer, United Kingdom
Mutual Recognition of Surveying Qualification: Theory, Concept or Reality?
Paper presented by Teo Chee Hai at the FIG Working Week 2007, 13-17 May, Hong
Kong SAR, China
Recognition of Professional Qualifications. Paper presented by Frances
Plimmer at the
FIG Working Week 2007, 13-17 May, Hong Kong SAR, China
Implementing Mutual Recognition of Surveying Qualification in ASEAN.
Paper presented by
TEO CheeHai, Malaysia at the 5th FIG Regional Conference March 8-11 2006,
Recognition of Surveying Qualifications within the ASEAN Framework Agreement on
Services1. Paper presented by Teo CheeHai at The FIG Regional Conference,
October 3-7 2004, Jakarta, Indonesia and
the Month November 2004
Recognition of Professional Qualifications: The European Union System. Paper
presented by Frances PLIMMER at The FIG Regional Conference, October 3-72004,
Mutual Recognition – Developing a Concept Tailored for the
Surveying Profession. Keynote presentation at the FIG Working Week, Seoul,
Korea, 6-11 May 2001.
Methodology to Assess
Professional Competence for the Different Areas of Surveying. Paper
presented by Dr Frances Plimmer, United Kingdom, 3 November 2000,
Delft, The NetherlandsMutual
Recognition of Professional Qualifications. Paper presented by Stig Enemark
and Frances Plimmer at the FIG Working Week, 22-26 May 2000, Prague.