Professional Qualifications Bill completes passage through parliament
6 April 2022
The Professional Qualifications Bill returned to the Lords for consideration of Commons amendments in ‘ping pong’, on Tuesday 5 April.
Consideration of amendments
The bill was considered by the House of Lords between 25 May and 17 November 2021, before passing to the House of Commons for its consideration.
Explore further information
Find out more about the bill in the House of Lords Library Professional Qualifications Bill briefing.
Read the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee report on the bill (3rd report).
Royal Assent is yet to be scheduled.
What's happened so far?
Third reading: Wednesday 17 November
Third reading is the chance for members to ‘tidy up' a bill, making any small changes to ensure it is effective.
No changes to the wording of the bill were put forward ahead of third reading. Members discussed the progress of the bill through the House at the conclusion of Lords stages.
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Report stage: Tuesday 9 November
- ensuring the list of UK regulators of regulated professions is published on a statutory footing
ensuring the ‘assistance centre’, being set up to help those wanting to study professional qualifications in the UK, receives the consent of the devolved administrations
Committee stage day three: Tuesday 22 June
Members speaking discussed changes on a wide rage of subjects, including:
- the duty of regulators to publish information on requirements to practise on their website
the duty of regulators to provide information to other regulators within or outside the UK
- addition of a 'sunset' clause, meaning any regulations made under the Act would expire after four years.
Regulators of regulated professions list
Members were generally critical of the bill's drafting. They pressed the government on the purpose of the bill and urged it to provide a definitive list of regulators and professions covered by it before report stage.
Committee stage day two: Monday 14 June
Members speaking discussed changes on a wide rage of subjects including the implementation of international recognition agreements, and recognition of foreign auditors and foreign audit qualifications.
Committee stage day one: Wednesday 9 June
Members argued the independence of regulators from government is of vital concern.
They raised the issue of costs in dealing with overseas professional qualifications which fall short of UK standards, and said regulators should not be burdened with these.
Members discussed the maintenance of standards for priority professions, for example health and social care work, is particularly crucial.
They argued for a legal commitment in the bill to consult if regulators of these profession are required to open up their approval system further.
Second reading: Tuesday 25 May
Members debated the main areas of the bill at second reading. For example, a new framework for the recognition of professional qualifications gained overseas and international agreements on the recognition of professional qualifications.
Image: Artur Tumasjan on Unsplash
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