2020 saw unprecedented challenges for Australians and their institutions. Faced with an unknown virus pandemic, the public and governments trusted the Chief Medical/Health Officers as professionals providing evidence-based and ethical thought-leadership and advice to survive this threat to lives and livelihoods.
We are celebrating our 50-year anniversary by declaring 2021 as the “Year of the Professions, Professionals and Professionalism“. We will use our anniversary to engage with the broader community and public to advocate for the purpose and value of the professions, professionals and professionalism.
With our member organisations we will plan, coordinate and convene events large and small throughout 2021 that will exemplify the value of the professions, their professionals and professionalism. We will also be working with exemplars of various professions to champion the importance of individuals and governments following the evidence-based advice of professionals in difficult times which includes leveraging the profile that the Chief Medical/Health Officers have gained over the last 10 months in the public eye as trusted advisers and leaders in the pandemic.
As we look into further strengthening our thought leadership in 2021, the Australian Council of Professions have engaged a key resource to help us deliver additional services to our members.
We would like to introduce you to Ruth Ferraro PhD Fellow ARPI GAICD who has joined our Office of the CEO.
Ruth’s interest in the phenomenon of professions and professionalism was sparked in the early 2000s where she undertook a “Can we Educate for Professionalism?” project for the emergent financial planning profession. Ruth then undertook PhD research at the Work-based Learning Institute, Middlesex University UK entitled “From the intransitive to the transitive – emerging the Australian tax profession as a profession in its own right” which she intends to utilise in a number of our projects. “With over 25 years in executive roles in education with 20 of those years spent in membership bodies for a wide range of professions: medical sub-specialisation, law, accounting, financial planning I have gained a deep insight into the life-cycle and maturity of professions.” says Ruth.
One of Ruth’s first activities will be to lead the Emerging Professions initiative, which we have created following conversations with existing and prospective members. This input has highlighted that new professions and professionals moving into new areas of practice have created interesting challenges. Ruth’s other activities will be to create and action high-level communications in the domain of professionalism as well as assisting ACoP in its thought leadership and engagement with high-level individuals and organisations.
“I am delighted that Ruth has joined us at a time where the purpose, value and maturity of professions has very much moved into the public eye. The emergence of the concepts of ‘alternative facts’ and ‘fake news’ as well as the healthcare and climate challenges in the last 12 months make the public’s clear understanding of the role and value of professionals, their ethics and professionalism to Australians in difficult time all the more important” said President Klaus Veil.
The main focus for the COVID-19 Business Recovery Council is to map a safe way forward for small/medium businesses as well as professional practices. This includes not only safe operating and trading but also enhancing online operation and goods/service delivery as well as ‘re-inventing’ businesses for the post-pandemic period.
The Council advises the National Cabinet through Nev Power’s National COVID-19 Coordination Commission (NCCC).
The Australian Council of Professions and the Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia are pleased and excited to announce the creation of a formal partnership through a Memorandum of Understanding.
The two organisations between them serve over one million small businesses through their member organisations. This partnership will provide a much greater reach to the community of small businesses and practices and provides both organisations with access to superior information from which to inform policy and comment.
The Australian Council of Professions (ACoP) is the unifying alliance of Professional Associations that represents more than 800,000 Australian professionals including engineers, healthcare and computer professionals, veterinarians and accountants. A not‐for‐profit organisation, they are acknowledged by the community, industry and government as the Thought Leaders advocating for the Professions, Professionals and Professionalism since 1971. Their members are professional associations and supporting organisations that share the mission of building and maintaining community confidence in all professionals.
The Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA) is Australia’s only peak body that exclusively represents the interests of small businesses and consultancies. COSBOA fosters an increased awareness and understanding of the role of the people who are sole traders or run small businesses in Australia and works with all parts of society and the business and policy sectors to achieve that aim. Through its member organisations COSBOA has a reach to over 500,000 small businesses.
Both Councils and their member organisations undertake activities in the areas of advocacy, policy development, education, professional development, information dissemination, communication, resource development and member support. In the MOU both Councils agree to identify and collaborate on opportunities, initiatives and projects, either existing or planned.
The President of the Australian Council of Professions, A/Prof Klaus Veil FACHI FH7, stated “It is in crisis times like the COVID-19 pandemic that we discover how many things are interconnected. As we worked more intensively with COSBOA on strategies to mitigate the effects of the pandemic, we realised that many of their members serve a similar constituency as do our professional association members, but from a different angle. So it seemed natural to formalise our collaboration so that both Councils can even more effectively contribute to maintaining and enhancing Australia’s well-being and prosperity.”
The Chairman of COSBOA Mark McKenzie, stated “The connection between all small businesses in Australian communities is a key part of the fabric of our society. The connection between professional and non-professional businesses is an everyday event that must be recognised. Professionals will need a haircut or a hairdo, they’ll need newspapers and magazines, petrol and fuel as well as everyday products and specialist products which they will often obtain from small businesses; and small business people will need expert advice on a whole range of complex matters which is when we go and see an expert, a professional. This partnership is empowering for COSBOA and now gives us a reach to over one million small businesses.
We look forward to working with COSBOA to support the Professions, Professionals and Professionalism in Australia.
As in previous years, the Australian Council of Professions celebrates the International Day of Women by acknowledging, promoting and celebrating the vital position and contribution of female professionals in the professions and professionalism.
We believe that equality is not only a women’s issue, but is essential for economies professions, businesses, economies and communities to thrive.
Through their research, AIPM have identified eight imperatives that Australian governments, society, professionals and industry need to urgently address to speed up the journey to gender equality in the workplace to the benefit of all Australians.
AIPM’s CEO Elizabeth Foley said that childcare reforms introduced in 2018 by the federal government presented significant disincentives to women from professional backgrounds returning to work after having children. “Under the current settings, if combined family income exceeds the set upper limits by just one dollar, the amount provided by the Child Care Subsidy Scheme plunges by at least half and in some circumstances by more than half,” she says.
ACoP CEO Lee Tonitto says “Our Diversity and Inclusion Portfolio Committee helps identify and develop best practice policies for broad-based diversity and inclusivity (e.g. gender, LGBTI, race, ethnicity, migration status, age, disability, etc.) of professionals, their professions and professional associations.“
The Australian Council of Professions (ACoP) believes that a gender-equal world can be healthier, wealthier and more harmonious – so let’s make it happen!
This initiative seeks to explore the future of learning and employability to support a fair, equitable, socially cohesive and prosperous Australia. Led by the Australian Council of Professions, it brings together educators, the professions and industry in a collaborative conversation of thought leaders from various vantage points to explore and draft a Statement of Principles. The Statement could inform thinking and policy about how Australia’s education ecosystem needs to adapt to accommodate industry needs into the future, promote social cohesion and enable citizens across the lifespan – regardless of their place or starting point – to find and create work.
As a result of the current coronavirus situation, our next face-to-face working session planned for April 2020 cannot proceed. We are now looking at other ways to hold this session.
Satellite Discussion Session
Our November 2019 Round-Table had brought together thought leaders who drafted a Statement of Intent for a National Strategy to evolve Australia’s education ecosystem to accommodate industry needs, promote social cohesion and enable citizens across the lifespan – regardless of their place or starting point. A follow-on session titled “Towards a National Strategy for Education and Employability for Australia’s Industry 4.0” (download Programme here) at the National Library of Australia in Canberra on 25 February 2020 was by all accounts highly successful with ~150 registrations.
Convened by our President Klaus Veil, the broad range of speakers elicited very interesting discussions and the session participants appreciated being able to “look at the topic through various prisms“. The resolution was that we were asked to keep the groundswell and momentum going!
The objective of these four sessions was to disseminate the themes discussed at the November 2019 Round-Table and to unpack these themes for those who were not able to attend as well as to garner interest and views from the broader community. Canberra: 4 Feb. 2020 (1:30 – 4:30pm) Melbourne: 11 Feb. 2020 (2:00 – 5:00pm) Sydney: 18 Feb. 2020 (1:30 – 4:30pm) Perth: tbc The consultation sessions were seen by the participants as very useful with the quality of the contributions and discourse as well as senior buy-in of the 46 participants most impressive. The unanimous view is that “Education and Employability” is a big challenge for the professions and professionals and no other organisation or govt currently has a policy for this.
The inaugural Round-Table on Education and Employability was held on 19 November 2019 in Sydney. Invited were higher education providers, the professions, industry, govt. regulators and related organisations. The initial focus was on exploring a common goal of the initiative in the context of the future of education, employability and work in Australia’s Industry 4.0. Inspired work by the Round-Table participants ably facilitated by Prof Beverley Oliver and Prof Sally Kift resulted in this Joint Statement of Intent:
“We in Education and Industry undertake to work together to create and drive an Integrated Continuous Learning Strategy to achieve a fair and prosperous Australia.”
The next steps that were agreed are to promulgate and validate this Joint Statement more widely. Stakeholder Consultation Sessions in Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra and Perth are envisaged.
We thank Navitas for their generous support of this event.
This initiative originated in 2018 in discussions of concerned educators, professionals and industry representatives involved with Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) regarding effectively implementing approaches and strategies that integrate theory with the practice of work within a purposefully designed curriculum. The overall aim was to improve the employability of graduates by giving them practical experience which is directly related to the courses they study.
It was felt that it would be useful to bring together national thought leaders from industry, professional associations and the higher education sector to identify current and future workplace needs. This conversation might be able to provide industry leadership and inform policy and regulatory settings to ensure the quality delivery of education to “Industry 4.o”.
The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) in 2016 commissioned an Independent Review of Accreditation Systems (ASR) to explore and address concerns about cost, transparency, duplication and prescriptive approaches to accreditation functions.
The final report was considered by the Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council (AHMAC) and publicly released in October 2018. We were invited to comment and submitted extensive comments from our Members in February 2019.
In December 2018/January2019 we collated your feedback on behalf of the Department of Education and Training (DET) for a Ministerial briefing on the posibility of increased regulation of higher education course accreditation. With our Members we researched and compiled a comprehensive briefing draft that we delivered to DET in January 2019. It is our understanding that the facts put forward in our briefing draft dissuaded the Minister’s office from rushing into new regulation of the accreditation of higher education courses.