Context: The Brazil's 'Ciência sem Fronteiras' (CsF) initiative has led to a phenomenal number of students from universities in Brazil experiencing engineering education in different parts of the world. Ireland has been very successful on a per capita basis of attracting CsF students with over 3,443 attending typically for a full academic year in the period 2013-2015. Purpose: While there are many benefits of the CsF initiative to all stakeholders, there are some important issues that have emerged. These include the direct relevance and usefulness of the engineering education experience gained while abroad. Credits gained in Ireland through the European Credits Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) are not necessarily recognised as part of the students' home degree programme in Brazil. This paper seeks to identify why this is the case and to propose some potential actions to enhance the mutual recognition of engineering education activities. Approach: The associated accreditation of engineering undergraduate and postgraduate programmes and routes to achieving legally recognised professional competence in Ireland and Brazil require some analysis and reflection. This paper outlines the current approaches to engineering education in both countries for degree and masters programmes, i.e. Bologna Cycles 1 and 2. It includes the alternative views on 'inputs' such as the appropriate number of contact hours, and 'outputs', such as the identification and attainment of learning outcomes and competences. Outcomes: The paper provides greater clarity on the similarities and differences between engineering education programmes in the two countries. The different roles that the governments and the relevant professional registration bodies take in directing the higher education institutions' engineering education programmes are also contrasted. Conclusions: The paper concludes with recommendations to facilitate improved mutual understanding and recognition between Ireland and Brazil in the context of facilitating global professional engineering practice.