Both Canada and the U.S.A. have accreditation bodies (CAB and ABET) which regularly appraise engineering programs at the universities in these countries. Both bodies carry out their functions by evaluating information on the various engineering programs and by actually visiting the institutions. This process is carried out every six years in the case of previously accredited programs, and on an as-required basis for newly introduced programs. The accreditation process is very thorough and involved, the end result being the identification of engineering programs which satisfy accreditation criteria and thus are acceptable for registration of professional engineers in Canada and the U.S.A.

There has not been a similar accreditation process in existence in any country outside of North America. About 1970, APEO and later CAB examined, in a cursory way, foreign engineering programs and developed as a working guide a list of foreign institutions and programs which were considered at that time to be satisfactory for registration purposes without examination. This listing became out of date in the later 1970's although it was used by provincial Associations since its inception as a guide for registration. It became clear that the unqualified continued use of the list by the Associations was an abandonment of their obligation to adequately determine the academic qualifications of applicants to the profession. It was also a double standard because Canadian and American programs are closely scrutinized and monitored and yet those of the rest of the world are not. If the Associations were to assess the academic qualifications of foreign applicants on a basis comparable to CAB, then a similar accreditation procedure would have to be devised for engineering programs throughout the world — an impossible task.

Because of the deficiencies in evaluating foreign programs the list of foreign curricula has been discontinued, and in lieu graduates of foreign (offshore) institutions will write a set of confirmatory examinations for registration purposes. Most of the provincial Associations, including APEGGA, have accepted these recommendations.

An immigration screening list of worldwide institutions, other than CAB or ABET accredited universities in Canada or the U.S.A., whose reputation in engineering education is considered to be good, although program detail is unknown, is now available. Persons graduating from such institutes will qualify under the professional point system to allow them to immigrate to Canada, but they will not automatically qualify for registration.

Applicants to APEGGA from institutions on the screening list are required to write three confirmatory examinations in their area of practice plus the Professional Practice Examination. Candidates with lesser qualifications, if immigrated in some occupation other than engineering are required to sit more examinations to qualify for registration. The policy was effective for applications received after January 1, 1982.