FIG Task Force on Mutual Recognition of Qualifications

Comité de Liaison des Géomètres Européens - 
The Council of European Geodetic Surveyors 

Enhancing Professional Competence of Geodetic Surveyors in Europe

A joint CLGE / FIG Seminar

held in association with the Department of Geodesy,
Delft University of Technology

Delft, The Netherlands
3rd November 2000

Dept. of Geodesy, Delft University of Technology

International Federation of Surveyors

The Delft University of Technology


AVHRR Satellite data processed by ERA Maptec Ltd., 36 Dame Street, Dublin, Ireland


The principle of mutual recognition has been established at European level, and this seminar aimed to develop a framework suitable for the surveying profession in Europe. This initiative also facilitated the enhancement of professional competence.

The background papers for this joint CLGE/FIG seminar are available on this web site. The final report including the two research projects financed by CLGE will be published in April 2001.

An article on the seminar is published on the home page of the Task force on Mutual Recognition and will be published also in the FIG Bulletin 72 in December 2000. The seminar that was by invitation only was attended by 45 participants from 17 countries. In addition 6 countries have appointed a correspondent participant. The list of participants as .pdf-file (Acrobat file 74 KB)

Background and Objective

The general EC Directive on the mutual recognition of qualifications established the concept of BAC + 3 (bachelor level) as a basic demand for the exchange of professionals between European countries. This concept of mutual recognition has faced some difficulties of implementation, because of restrictions imposed by domestic regulations in some countries. Both the sectoral and general EU directives are currently under review.

Mutual recognition should be based on the following three principles:

  • Transparency - of the procedures within the process of mutual recognition

  • Justification - of the need for restrictions

  • Proportionality - to ensure equivalent standards

  • The seminar aimed to develop a concept based on these three principles and suitable for the surveying profession in Europe. The seminar focussed on three issues

    • Threshold standards for professional competence - how to compare and assess professional competence in different areas of surveying?

    • The idea of a Core Syllabus - input versus output approach?

    • Models for curricula content - how to compare and assess curricula content between different countries?

    These three issues are currently being considered within FIG and CLGE. FIG established a Task Force on Mutual recognition in 1998, and CLGE established a Working Party on a Core Syllabus for Geodetic Surveying in 1998 and provided two research grants in 2000.

    These studies should provide:

    • Evidence and arguments to stimulate improvement of curricula in order to assist the convergence of standards across Europe.

    • Information to assist the determination of equivalence of qualifications to facilitate the mobility of professionals between countries.

    This seminar is widened the debate among the academic surveying community in Europe and provided an opportunity to include their opinions and ideas in the research projects.

    Programme of the Joint CLGE / FIG Seminar "Enhancing Professional Competence of Geodetic Surveyors in Europe"

      Chaired by Prof. Kirsi Virrantaus, Chairperson FIG Commission 2 – Professional Education
    by Prof. Stig Enemark, Aalborg University, Denmark & Mr Paddy Prendergast, Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland
    Methodology to Assess Professional Competence for the Different Areas of Surveying by Dr Frances Plimmer, University of Glamorgan, United Kingdom
    Background paper (37 KB)
    The idea of a Core Syllabus, input versus output approach?
    by Mr Rob Ledger, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, United Kingdom
    Background paper (33 KB)
    Methodology to compare Curricula Content and Curricula Delivery

    by Prof. Hans Mattsson, Stockholm Technical University, Sweden
    Questions to be discussed (6 KB)
    Background paper (201 KB)
    Two Breakout sessions
    • Comparison of Curricula Content Models
      Moderator Mr. Paddy Prendergast and Rapporteur Prof. Kirsi Virrantaus
    • Assessment of Professional Competence
      Moderator Prof. Stig Enemark and Rapporteur Prof. Frank Kenselaar
      Plenary Session

    Further information

    For further information please do not hesitate to contact:

    Markku Villikka
    International Federation of Surveyors, FIG
    Lindevangs Alle 4
    DK-2000 Frederiksberg
    Tel. + 45 3886 1081
    Fax + 45 3886 0252

    W. P. (Paddy) Prendergast
    The Council of European Geodetic Surveyors, CLGE
    Tel. +353 1 402 3838
    Fax + 353 1 402 3999


    The European Council of Geodetic Surveyors (Comité de Liaison des Géomètres Européens) (CLGE) was established at the FIG Congress in Wiesbaden in 1972 by the then 9 member States of the EEC to consider the implementation of the Treaty of Rome in relation to the profession of geodetic surveying.
    Today CLGE represents over 25,000 geodetic surveyors in 20 European states, which includes all 15 member states of the European Union, and the Czech Republic, Norway, Poland, the Slovak Republic and Switzerland. In addition Bulgaria, Estonia and Hungary have an observer status while preparing an application for membership.
    The main objectives of the CLGE are to represent the interests of the geodetic surveying profession in Europe to the Institutions of the European Union by active participation in the pertinent legislation processes at European level and co-operation with, and assistance to the Commission in the recognition of qualifications for academic and professional purposes; promoting the activities of geodetic surveying and aiding the development of the profession administratively and scientifically; and facilitating mutual recognition of qualifications by stimulating and facilitating the normalisation of standards of academic and professional qualifications.

    The International Federation of Surveyors (FIG) is a federation of national associations and is the only international body that represents all surveying disciplines. It is a UN-recognised non government organisation (NGO) and its aim is to ensure that the disciplines of surveying and all who practise them meet the needs of the markets and communities that they serve. It realises its aim by promoting the practice of the profession and encouraging the development of professional standards. 
    FIG was established 1878 and has now 76 member associations from 66 countries representing over 330,000 surveyors. In addition FIG has affiliates and correspondents in 20 countries and 20 universities and institutes as academic members.