What Is the Washington Accord for Engineers?
Wondering what the Washington Accord is and its importance to you as an engineering student? Learn more here.
Updated 23 May 2022
Listen up, aspiring engineers!
Want to know if your Engineering Degree is internationally recognised?
Well, you may want to learn more about the Washington Accord. Find out what it is and how it can benefit you in your career as an engineer. Let’s go!
What is the Washington Accord?
The Washington Accord is an international agreement signed between engineering bodies that are responsible for accrediting engineering degrees in their country.
In many nations, the engineering profession is governed by a body that ensures the standards of engineering education. The Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM), for example, holds that responsibility in Malaysia. The Washington Accord is an agreement between such engineering bodies representing countries around the world.
Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation (APU)
Bachelor of Petroleum Engineering (Hons)
✓Dual-award degree – one from De Montfort University, UK, and one from APU
What is the purpose of the Washington Accord?
The Washington Accord is dedicated to ease the mobility of professional engineers. By recognising engineering degrees as equivalent among all signatory countries, it makes it easier for engineers to gain professional registration in other countries, enhancing employment opportunities.
At the same time, the accord also upholds the standard of engineering education among engineering bodies globally. In order for a country to be part of the Washington Accord, they must ensure that their graduates satisfy the accord’s graduate attributes. Graduates are expected to be able to apply their knowledge of math, science, engineering fundamentals and an engineering specialisation to solve complex engineering problems.
How does the Washington Accord benefit engineering graduates?
If your country is a signatory of the Washington Accord, it means that your Engineering Degree is recognised internationally by other signatory countries and not just within your home country, thereby increasing your employment opportunities.
While the accord does not cover licensing of professional engineers (that is to say, having the status of Professional Engineer in your home country does not mean that you will automatically have the same status in other countries in the Washington Accord), it does make it easier for you to gain professional recognition abroad. This is because academic requirements are a key criteria of professional registration, which is covered by the Washington Accord.
Is Malaysia a signatory of the Washington Accord?
Good news! The Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM) has been a full signatory in the Washington Accord since June 2009.
As of today, there are 20 full signatory countries in the Washington Accord, including Australia, UK, USA, Singapore and Korea. This means that your Engineering Degree is internationally recognised and you can easily seek professional registration from any of these countries without undergoing further formal education.
Which Engineering Degrees are recognised by BEM?
To find out if your Engineering Degree is recognised by BEM, and therefore recognised by the Washington Accord, you can visit the Engineering Accreditation Council website.
It’s important to note that only 4-year engineering programmes are accredited by BEM.
We hope this gives you a good idea of what the Washington Accord is and the opportunities it can provide you. Remember that academic qualifications are just one aspect of your engineering career. Lifelong learning and continuous improvement are also important to upkeep the engineering profession. Good luck!