MUTUAL RECOGNITION OF PROFESSIONAL
a Concept Tailored for the Surveying Profession
Prof. Stig ENEMARK, Chair of FIG Task Force on
Mutual Recognition on Qualifications and
Dr. Frances PLIMMER,
Secretary of FIG Task Force on
Mutual Recognition on Qualifications
Key words: Mutual recognition, Surveying
Profession, Professional Competence, FIG.
The paper aims to develop a general understanding of the nature of
Mutual Recognition, the challenges we are facing, and the benefits for
the world wide surveying community by adopting a FIG policy in this
area. The FIG Task Force on Mutual Recognition should be seen as a
respond to the globalisation of surveying services, and to the
pressures being generated by the WTO agenda which provides a framework
for free trade in professional services.
Mutual recognition is a device which allows a qualified surveyor
who seeks to work in other country to acquire the same title as that
held by surveyors who have qualified in that country, without having
to re-qualify. Mutual recognition is, therefore, a process which
allows the qualifications gained in one country (the home country) to
be recognises in another country (the host country).
The paper presents a methodology for assessment of professional
competence tailored for the surveying profession. The principles and
responsibilities are identified and the role of the national surveying
organisations is highlighted as the key driver in the process. The
final report of Task Force on Mutual Recognition of Professional
Competence will be presented for adoption at the FIG Congress in
Washington 2002. This paper presents the key issues to form the FIG
approach is this area.
Mutual recognition is perceived by the European Commission as a
device for securing the free movement of professionals within the
single market place of the EU. For the WTO, the aim is the global
marketplace for services, using the process of mutual recognition of
The paper will present the approach taken by the Task Force to
develop a FIG concept on Mutual Recognition tailored for the surveying
profession. The approach is in line with the pressures generated by
the WTO, which provides a general framework for free trade in
The suggested approach is, however, pragmatic by nature. It draws
from the common professional identity of the surveying community.
Also, it allows each country to retain its own kind of professional
education and training because it is based not on the process of
achieving professional qualifications but on the nature and quality of
the outcome of that process.
The Task Force recommends that the Bureau at its meeting in Seoul
2001 adopt a policy statement on Mutual Recognition to be included in
the final report. A draft for the contents of the final report is
presented in the full paper. The final report will be presented for
adoption at the FIG Congress in Washington 2002. The draft for a FIG
Policy Statement on Mutual recognition reads as follows:
"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 qualifications by:
- 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."
There are a number of barriers, which hinder mutual recognition at
a worldwide scale. Language, national customs and cultures are,
however, not true barriers to mutual recognition. Ignorance and fear
are the main barriers and yet with improved communication and
understanding, these should disappear.
Surveyors have professional skills, which are vital for the success
of the global marketplace. We need to communicate effectively in order
to develop an understanding of the processes and benefits on which
mutual recognition can be based. The work of the Task Force has
contributed to and furthered the debate.
The principle of mutual recognition has been established and we
have the chance to adopt a framework that suits the surveying
profession. We should take it.
Prof. Stig Enemark
Chair of the FIG Task Force on Mutual Recognition
Tel: +45 9940 8344
Fax: +45 9815 6541
Dr. Frances Plimmer
Secretary of the FIG Task Force on Mutual Recognition
University of Glamorgan
Tel + 44 1443 482125
Fax + 44 1443 482169
22 March 2001
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FIG Office. Last revised on 15-03-16.