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Sophie Cameron

Features and Opinion Editor, Solicitors Journal

New funding to boost British exports of professional services overseas

New funding to boost British exports of professional services overseas


Regulators and industry bodies to be given help to develop international agreements

UK Business Minister Kevin Hollinrake has announced a second round of the Recognition Arrangements Grant Programme, which provides funding for regulators and industry bodies to help UK professionals, such as legal services providers and accountants, boost British services exports overseas.

The new funding aims to make it easier for UK businesses to export their services globally, by helping regulators and industry bodies finance the development of recognition agreements with their international counterparts so that qualifications held by UK professionals are recognised overseas.

‘Recognition arrangements’ describes a range of agreements that regulators and professional bodies can reach with their international counterparts, which includes mutual recognition agreements and memoranda of understanding.

UK organisations that are eligible to apply for funding are: regulators that control access to professions regulated in law (when access to the profession is limited by legislation, or by provisions made under and given effect to by legislation to individuals who hold specific qualifications or experience); and professional bodies that award professional titles and voluntarily regulate professions without underpinning legislation, for example chartered professional bodies.

According to the government, the first round of funding, which received substantial interest from UK regulators, was successful in supporting international partnerships to increase the presence of UK qualified professionals in countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and India.

The UK government’s Recognition Arrangements Grant Programme, which awards grants of up to £75,000 per financial year to UK regulators and industry bodies, will run until 31 March 2025. Final applications for the second round of funding must be received by 24 March 2023.

Hollinrake commented, “The UK’s professionals in sectors like accountancy, audit and legal services, are rightly recognised as some of the brightest and best in the world. This additional funding will further support UK qualified professionals to export their expertise overseas, winning contracts and scaling up their businesses.”