The Washington Accord

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1. What is the Washington Accord?

The Washington Accord was signed in 1989. It is an agreement between the bodies responsible for accrediting professional engineering degree programs in each of the signatory countries. It recognizes the substantial equivalency of programs accredited by those bodies, and recommends that graduates of accredited programs in any of the signatory countries be recognized by the other countries as having met the academic requirements for entry to the practice of engineering. The Washington Accord covers professional engineering undergraduate degrees. Engineering technology and postgraduate-level programs are not covered by the Accord.


2. How can I find out if my program is recognized under the Washington Accord?

The list of programs currently recognized under the Washington Accord can be searched by signatory country.


3. How do the Washington Accord signatories recognize degrees earned prior to the signing of the Accord?

Generally, the signatories only accept accredited degrees earned from the date of acceptance of a signatory into the Accord. Therefore, the original six signatories (IEAust-Australia, CCPE-Canada, IEI-Ireland, IPENZ-New Zealand, EngC-United Kingdom, and ABET-United States) accept one another's degrees accredited in 1989 and onward. Degrees from HKIE-Hong Kong, ECSA-South Africa, JABEE- Japan, and IES- Singapore are generally accepted beginning in 1995, 1999, 2005, and 2006 respectively, the dates these accrediting bodies were accepted as signatories of the Accord. For degrees earned prior to the aforementioned dates, each signatory country assesses the degrees on an individual basis. They should be contacted individually for specific policies on this matter.


4. If a program is not recognized by the Washington Accord, can it be submitted for recognition by the Washington Accord signatories?

Individual degrees cannot be submitted for recognition under the Washington Accord.


5. I hold an engineering degree from a non-Washington Accord signatory country. This degree, however, is recognized by a Washington Accord signatory as substantially equivalent to an engineering degree accredited within this signatory country. Is my degree recognized by other Washington Accord signatories?

The Washington Accord Agreement applies only to accreditations conducted by the signatories within their respective national or territorial boundaries. The signatories are not bound to recognize programs accredited or recognized as substantially equivalent by other signatories outside their national boundaries.


6. The list of accredited programs posted by a Washington Accord signatory includes non-engineering programs. Do Washington Accord signatories recognize technology degrees?

Washington Accord signatories recognize only engineering programs accredited by the respective signatories.

Information on the technology agreements honored by individual signatories may be found on their respective websites. The Sydney Accord provides for the mutual recognition of technology programs.


7. Do I get automatic licensure recognition in any signatory country of the Washington Accord after completing an engineering program/degree in a signatory country?

The licensing or registration of professional engineers is not covered directly or in full by the Washington Accord. However, the academic requirements which are part of licensing /regulation requirements are covered by the Accord.

The licensure process differs among signatory countries. You must contact the individual signatory country to which you are applying for licensure in order to learn of national and regional licensure regulation and specific requirements for holders of overseas degrees.


8. If I get an accredited Master's degree from a signatory country, can my overseas undergraduate degree be recognized by the signatory?

The Accord only recognizes undergraduate degrees earned in a signatory country. You must contact the individual signatory for information on how each assesses the equivalency of studies completed outside national boundaries. Various signatory countries have evaluation centers charged with evaluation and recognition of overseas programs. Information about this process can be found on their website.