MRPQ (Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications) empowers European architects to practice outside their own nation without having to complete extra tests or professional training. Due to MRPQ, British architects now can seek overseas assignments without being required to re-qualify for their job; the standard has allowed architects from other areas of Europe to import their skills and talents to the UK.
Making sure that this system, needed for British practices to compete on an international basis for the best quality staff and enhanced British architecture, continues in the wake of Brexit is an important priority for the RIBA, who attest that the benefits reaped from the ability to hire talented, European-trained architects are incredible – both for them and for the architects.
One UK-based practice asserts that they have hired beginning architects and pupils from many EU nations, such as Germany, Italy, Spain, Greece and Portugal. Most remain in the UK, but some have gone home to put their internationally acquired knowledge to good use.
This program also proves a real support to those who might not have enough work at home.
John McRae, director at Orms Architects in London, explained that MRPQ has helped his practice enlist talented people and fill gaps in staffing, as well as develop profitable and long-lasting professional relationships; partnerships that can result in big international project contracts in the future.
Also beneficial is the technological exchange of information that becomes part and parcel of the MRPQ experience. People from different countries come together to create a veritable melting pot of technological and manufacturing expertise and innovation—things they learned in their native countries.
While most of the more than 8,000 European architects residing and employed in the UK are based in London, MRPQ has empowered practices around the nation to benefit from the hiring of skilled staff members from other regions. Tomas Millar of Millar + Howard Workshop, a smaller scale firm of 10 individuals based in Stroud in the Cotswolds, says that MRPQ has been a great tool in the finding of gifted and capable staff, even in isolated rural areas; and also in lending those staff members the confidence and qualifications they needed to advance their careers.
MRPQ also has been a big help for BDP London, now designing Ireland’s largest hospital in Dublin—with most of the labor being completed by London-based architects.
For BDP, currently expanding into Rotterdam and Paris, MRPQ is a necessity to the success of their firm.
RIBA is working to secure a Brexit plan that will serve to benefit MRPQ—and UK architecture as a whole.