Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Eighth Report


Memorandum by the Department for Education and Employment

(S.I. 1999/67)

1.  The Committee has asked the Department for Education and Employment to explain what Community obligation or right is being implemented by regulation 2 of, and Schedules 1, 2, 3 and 4 to, the above-named instrument, so as to authorise its being made under section 2(2) of the European Communities Act 1972.

2.  These Regulations amend the European Communities (Recognition of Professional Qualifications) (Second General System) Regulations 1996 (S.I. 1996/2374) ("the principal Regulations"). The Committee's attention is respectfully drawn to regulations 1(3) and 2(1) and the opening paragraph of the Explanatory Note for confirmation on this point. By those Regulations, made under section 2(2) of the European Communities Act 1972, the United Kingdom sought to implement the Council Directive 92/51/EEC of 18 June 1992 "on a second general system for the recognition of professional education and training to supplement Directive 89/48/EEC".

3.  Article 13 of Directive 92/51/EEC requires the Member States to designate the competent authorities empowered to receive applications and take the decisions referred to in the Directive. Schedule 2 to the principal Regulations did this in respect of all those competent authorities whose status as such had been ascertained up to the point of making. Since that point other competent authorities have been identified and in order to fulfil the Community obligation to adopt all laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with the Directive it was necessary to up-date the lists contained there. This is the purpose of Schedule 2 to these Regulations. The Department expects the dynamic nature of professional regulation in the United Kingdom to give rise to further amendments in the future with a view to ensuring full conformity with Directive 92/51/EEC.

4.  Schedules 3 and 4 to these Regulations are consequential upon the additions made by Schedule 2, reflecting Articles 4, 7 and 12 of the Directive.

5.  Schedule 1 to the principal Regulations excludes from their application professions affected by other statutory measures which have as their purpose, or as part of their purpose, procedures for recognition of professional qualifications obtained elsewhere in the European Union. The exclusion serves to prevent duplication of rights of recognition. Schedule 1 to these Regulations up-dates the list to take account of changes since the making of the principal Regulations.

6.  Regulation 2(6) similarly reflects changes that have occurred in relation to the recognition of professional qualifications since the making of the principal Regulations, with a view to securing continuing compliance with Directive 92/51/EEC.

7.  Finally, regulation 2(2) of these Regulations amends Regulation 25 of the principal Regulations with the aim of improving implementation in the particular respect of appeals against the decisions of competent authorities. Article 12(2) of the Directive requires a remedy to be available against such decisions, or the absence thereof, before a court or tribunal in accordance with the provisions of national law. Regulation 25 of the principal Regulations sought to provide such a remedy but further consideration led the Department to conclude that it may have failed fully to reflect the Community obligation of non-discrimination against persons exercising a Community right. The amendment made by regulation 2(2) secures compliance by providing that any such person can avail themselves of whichever is the more favourable in any respect of, on the one hand, the right of appeal given by the principal Regulations, and on the other, where it exists, the right of appeal given by the competent authority to UK nationals.

28th January 1999

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