Mutual Recognition Agreements

The mutual recognition of accrediting systems throughout the world supports our mission to improve technical education worldwide and foster the mobility of students and graduates.

Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs), often known as “accords,” are non-governmental agreements among organizations that accredit academic degree programs.

These agreements recognize the substantial equivalency of participating organizations’ accreditation processes and their graduates’ preparedness to begin professional practice at the entry level.

Substantial equivalency means that the accreditation systems have comparable standards, outcomes, and processes, even though they may not be identical.

We are a signatory to five MRAs:

  • The multilateral Seoul Accord (for computing programs)
  • The bilateral agreement between Engineers Canada and ABET (for engineering programs)
  • The multilateral Washington Accord (for engineering programs)
  • The multilateral Sydney Accord (for bachelor degree-level engineering technology programs)
  • The multilateral Dublin Accord (for associate degree-level engineering technician programs)

Mutual Recognition Agreements

  • Computing: Seoul Accord

    Overview

    The Seoul Accord is a mutual recognition agreement (MRA) which pertains to computing and IT-related programs accredited by its signatories within their jurisdictions since 2008. Signatories to the Seoul Accord are organizations responsible for accrediting computing and IT-related programs in Australia, Canada, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

    The Seoul Accord assists in determining if a computing or IT-related program in one signatory’s jurisdiction is recognized in another jurisdiction for purposes of licensure and registration, employment, or admission to graduate school.

    Graduate Attributes

    Graduate attributes established by accrediting agencies form a set of individually assessable outcomes that indicate a graduate’s potential for competency in the profession. A graduate from an accredited program is expected to demonstrate these outcomes.

    The Seoul Accord’s Graduate Attributes identify the characteristics of graduates of all computing programs that fall within the scope of the accord. A signatory to the Seoul Accord may identify additional attributes that differentiate specific programs accredited by the signatory.

    Learn More

    If you have questions about the Seoul Accord, please contact our Senior Manager – International Relations.

  • Engineering: Engineers Canada Bilateral MRA

    Overview

    Engineers Canada is a bilateral mutual recognition agreement (MRA) between Engineers Canada and ABET. It pertains to accredited engineering programs in Canada and the United States. Engineers Canada Bilateral MRA assists in determining if engineering programs in Canada or the U.S. are recognized for purposes of licensure and registration, employment, or admission to graduate school in the other country.

    Recognition Dates

    This bilateral MRA applies to students who graduated from accredited engineering programs in 1980 or later. Engineers Canada and ABET are under no formal obligation to recognize one another’s accredited engineering programs or their graduates prior to 1980; however, they may do so at their own discretion.

    Licensing & Registration in Canada

    Licensing and registration bodies in the U.S. and Canada make the final decision on recognition of an individual’s credentials for the purpose of licensing and registration. Other than providing documentation that an individual graduated from an ABET-accredited program, we cannot advocate or intervene on behalf of individuals who are seeking to have their credentials recognized by licensing and registration organizations in Canada.

    Licensing & Registration in the U.S.

    If your program is recognized by the Engineers Canada bilateral MRA, check the list of U.S. state licensing boards maintained by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) for information on licensing and registration requirements in the state in which you wish to practice. If your program is not recognized by the Engineers Canada bilateral MRA, please note that some licensing and registration boards may accept an external evaluation of your credentials.

    We do not conduct credentials evaluations, nor do we recommend evaluation services. Please refer to the appropriate state licensing board for information about acceptable evaluation services.

    Is Your Program Recognized?

    These questions will help you determine whether your program is recognized by the Engineers Canada Bilateral MRA.

    Learn More

    If you have questions about this bilateral MRA, please contact our Senior Manager – International Relations.

  • Engineering: Washington Accord

    Overview

    The Washington Accord is a mutual recognition agreement (MRA) which pertains to engineering programs accredited by its signatories in their jurisdictions since 1989. Signatories to the Washington Accord are organizations responsible for accrediting engineering programs in Australia, Canada, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

    The Washington Accord assists in determining if an engineering program in one signatory’s jurisdiction is recognized for purposes of licensure and registration, employment, or admission to graduate school in another jurisdiction.

    Jurisdiction

    The Washington Accord only recognizes engineering programs accredited within the signatories’ own jurisdictions. Signatories to the Washington Accord may accredit programs outside of their jurisdiction, but only those programs accredited within their jurisdictions are recognized by the Accord. For example, although we accredit programs in countries outside of the U.S., the Washington Accord recognizes only ABET-accredited programs within the U.S.

    Recognition Dates

    The year in which the signatory joined the Washington Accord determines recognition. For example, ABET was a founding member of the Washington Accord in 1989. Graduates of U.S.-based ABET-accredited programs beginning in 1989 are covered by the Washington Accord.

    Other signatories are under no formal obligation to recognize ABET-accredited engineering programs or their graduates prior to 1989; however, individual signatories may recognize graduates prior to 1989 at their own discretion.

    Please see the list of Washington Accord signatories to check the year in which each signatory joined the Accord.

    Licensing & Registration Outside the U.S.

    The Washington Accord signatories have agreed to make every reasonable effort to ensure that the engineering licensing and registration bodies in their countries recognize the substantial equivalence of engineering programs accredited by the other signatories. However, it is the licensing and registration organizations in each signatory’s country which make the final decision regarding the recognition of an individual’s credentials for the purpose of licensing and registration.

    Other than providing documentation that an individual graduated from an ABET-accredited program, we cannot advocate or intervene on behalf of individuals who are seeking to have their credentials recognized by licensing and registration organization in the jurisdiction of other signatories.

    Licensing & Registration in the U.S.

    If your program is recognized by the Washington Accord, check the list of U.S. state licensing boards maintained by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) for information about requirements in the state in which you wish to practice.

    If your program is not recognized by the Washington Accord, please note that some licensing and registration boards may accept an external evaluation of your credentials. We do not conduct credentials evaluations, nor do we recommend evaluation services. Please refer to the appropriate state licensing board for information about acceptable evaluation services.

    Graduate Attributes & Professional Competencies

    International accrediting, regulatory, and educational organizations develop statements of graduate attributes and professional competency profiles. The International Engineering Alliance, which administers the Washington Accord for engineering, the Sydney Accord for engineering technology (4-year), and the Dublin Accord for engineering technology (2-year), has prepared a document that details the background of these statements, their purpose, methodology, and limitations; and describes the graduate attributes and professional competency profiles for engineers and engineering technologists.

    Is Your Program Recognized?

    These questions will help you determine whether your program is recognized by the Washington Accord.

    Learn More

    If you have questions about this MRA, please contact our Senior Manager – International Relations. You will also find helpful information at the following links:

  • Engineering Technology: Sydney Accord

    Overview

    The Sydney Accord is a mutual recognition agreement (MRA) which pertains to four-year engineering technology programs accredited by its signatories in their jurisdictions since 2001. Signatories to the Sydney Accord are organizations responsible for accrediting engineering programs in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

    The Sydney Accord assists in determining if a bachelor-level engineering technology program in one signatory’s jurisdictions is recognized for purposes of licensure and registration, employment, or admission to graduate school in another jurisdiction.

    Jurisdiction

    The Sydney Accord only recognizes bachelor-level engineering technology programs accredited within the signatories’ own jurisdiction. Signatories to the Sydney Accord may accredit programs outside of their jurisdiction, but only those programs accredited within their jurisdictions are recognized by the Accord. For example, although we accredit programs in countries outside of the U.S., the Sydney Accord recognizes only ABET-accredited programs within the U.S.

    Recognition Dates

    The year in which the signatory joined the Sydney Accord determines recognition. For example, ABET became a signatory of the Sydney Accord in 2009. Graduates of U.S.-based ABET-accredited bachelor-level engineering technology programs beginning in 2009 are covered by the Sydney Accord. Other signatories are under no formal obligation to recognize ABET-accredited bachelor-level engineering technology programs or their graduates prior to 2009; however, individual signatories may recognize graduates prior to 2009 at their own discretion.

    Please see the list of Sydney Accord signatories to check the year in which each signatory joined the Accord.

    Graduate Attributes & Professional Competencies

    International accrediting, regulatory, and educational organizations develop statements of graduate attributes and professional competency profiles. The International Engineering Alliance, which administers both Washington Accord for engineering, the Sydney Accord for engineering technology (bachelor-level), and the Dublin Accord for engineering technology (associate-level), has prepared a document that details the background of these statements, their purpose, methodology, and limitations; and describes the graduate attributes and professional competency profiles for engineers and engineering technologists.

    Is Your Program Recognized?

    These questions will help you determine whether your program is recognized by the Sydney Accord.

    Learn More

    If you have questions about this MRA, please contact our Senior Manager – International Relations. You will also find helpful information at the following links:

  • Engineering Technician: Dublin Accord

    Overview

    The Dublin Accord is a mutual recognition agreement (MRA) which pertains to two-year engineering technology programs accredited by its signatories in their jurisdictions since 2002. Signatories to the Dublin Accord are organizations responsible for accrediting two-year engineering technology programs in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, South Korea, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

    The Dublin Accord assists in determining if an associate-level  engineering technology program in one signatory’s jurisdiction is recognized for purposes of licensure and registration, employment, or admission to graduate school in another jurisdiction.

    Jurisdiction

    The Dublin Accord only recognizes associate-level engineering technology programs accredited within the signatories’ own jurisdiction. Signatories to the Dublin Accord may accredit programs outside of their jurisdiction, but only those programs accredited within their jurisdictions are recognized by the Accord. For example, although ABET accredits programs in countries outside of the U.S., the Dublin Accord recognizes only ABET-accredited programs within the U.S.

    Recognition Dates

    The year in which the signatory joined the Dublin Accord determines recognition. For example, ABET became a signatory of the Dublin Accord in 2013. Graduates of U.S.-based ABET-accredited associate-level engineering technician programs beginning in 2013 are covered by the Dublin Accord.

    Other signatories are under no formal obligation to recognize ABET-accredited two-year engineering technician programs or their graduates prior to 2013; however, individual signatories may recognize graduates prior to 2013 at their own discretion.

    Please see the list of Dublin Accord signatories to check the year in which each signatory joined the Accord.

    Graduate Attributes

    International accrediting, regulatory, and educational organizations develop statements of graduate attributes and professional competency profiles. The International Engineering Alliance, which administers both Washington Accord for engineering, the Sydney Accord for engineering technology (bachelor-level), and the Dublin Accord for engineering technology (associate-level), has prepared a document that details the background of these statements, their purpose, methodology, and limitations; and describes the graduate attributes and professional competency profiles for engineers and engineering technologists.

    Is Your Program Recognized?

    These questions will help you determine whether your program is recognized by the Dublin Accord.

    Learn More

    If you have questions about this MRA, please contact our Senior Manager – International Relations. You will also find helpful information at the International Engineering Alliance Dublin Accord FAQ.

Guidelines for Engaging in MRAs

Overview

In keeping with our vision “to provide world leadership” in encouraging the highest quality collegiate programs in applied science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology education, our Global Council (GC) establishes processes for mutual recognition of ABET-accredited programs in the United States and corresponding programs in other countries through Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs).

The Global Council receives frequent requests from organizations outside the United States, seeking technical assistance in developing or gaining recognition for their accreditation systems. Our services to help higher education agencies or organizations outside the U.S. in developing quality assurance processes are formalized under Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs). Often the underlying goal of these requests is to prepare an accrediting agency or higher education authority for entrance into an international MRA, such as the Seoul, Washington, Dublin, or Sydney accord.

What MRAs Recognize

MRAs (also known as “accords”) recognize the substantial equivalence of mature accreditation systems and programs accredited by signatory organizations within their jurisdictions. Signatories of MRAs agree that the graduates of programs accredited by the accord’s signatories are prepared to begin practice of the profession at the entry level.

Why We Engage in MRAs

We enter into MRAs with appropriate higher education agencies/organizations in other countries as a mechanism to promote the quality improvement of applied science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology education around the world.

Joining in MRAs

Through our Global Council, we may enter into an MRA with recognized higher education authorities or quality assurance organizations outside of the United States. We also sponsor such organizations’ membership in the Washington Accord, Sydney Accord, Seoul Accord, and other accords to which we are a signatory, subject to the following conditions:

  1. The organization has an on-going, profession-controlled, peer-review accreditation system for applied science, computing, engineering, or engineering technology degree programs at institutions of higher education within the country.
  2. The organization has completed a minimum of five (5) accreditation cycles prior to their request for entry or sponsorship into the MRA.
  3. The organization has received recognition, approval, and/or authorization of operating status from a national educational ministry, legislative mandate, or other appropriate authority (governmental or non-governmental).
  4. The organization provides a mechanism whereby the professions related to the programs accredited have representation within its governance structure, and professional peers are involved in a voluntary manner in the accreditation process, including formulation of accreditation criteria, policies and procedures, and decisions about accreditation actions.
  5. The organization has goals, objectives, criteria, policies, and procedures in educational quality assurance consistent with the practices we recognize.
  6. The organization demonstrates a willingness to share studies, proposals, discussions, minutes of board/commission meetings, and accreditation policies and procedures; and, by mutual consent, agrees to participate as observers in meetings and site visits, and contribute to the understanding of other signatories’ systems of accreditation.
  7. Each party to the MRA adjudges accreditation decisions by the other party to be acceptable and substantially equivalent based on evidence that graduates demonstrate acceptable educational preparation for entry into the practice of the discipline for which the program is being accredited.
  8. The organization recognizes and agrees that ABET may enter into other MRAs with other entities within the same country or region when judged appropriate by ABET.
  9. The MRA is in effect for a mutually agreeable finite period of time and includes an exit clause that allows either entity to withdraw from the agreement with appropriate written notice.
  10. The MRA does not preclude ABET from accrediting a qualifying program if requested to do so by an institution, regardless of geographic location.

Procedures for Developing & Implementing MRAs

We follow the procedures below in developing and implementing MRAs:

  1. The Global Council conducts a preliminary review and evaluation of a candidate organization’s accreditation system through exchange of pertinent documentation.
  2. A positive outcome enables the Global Council to arrange for the exchange visit of appropriate representatives. A negative outcome terminates the review, unless the candidate requests ABET assistance in further development of its accreditation system.
  3. The MRA must have appropriate procedures for on-site reviews of candidate organizations, and ABET reserves the right to participate in these reviews. The visits should include opportunities for interviews with appropriate authorities, observance of decision meetings, and allow an assessment of the cultural setting in which the system operates.
  4. The reports of the review teams of candidate accrediting organizations are presented to the Global Council for consideration and approval. When a recommendation includes the possibility of establishing an MRA, a draft MRA document accompanies the recommendation from the Global Council. Any financial commitment related to the implementation of the MRA must be specified in writing. In addition, any manpower required to implement the MRA must also be specified on an annual basis.
  5. Any evaluations or consultations to be undertaken as a result of an MRA will be completed in accordance with established ABET policies and procedures, insofar as possible. Due recognition is given to different economic, cultural, environmental, political, and societal factors, as well as purely technical/educational matters.

Learn More

Please contact our Senior Manager – International Relations for more information about MRAs.