COVID-19 Statement

The Australian Council of Professions has been carefully monitoring and assessing the corona virus (COVID-19) situation since early February.

In these unprecedented and difficult times, our thoughts are with professional associations and their professionals in Australia and around the world.  We in particular acknowledge the health professionals around the globe who are working tirelessly to keep us safe and save those of us who are victims of COVID-19.

Fortuitously, ACoP transitioned to a virtual organisation three years ago.  Our staff and volunteers all work remotely so avoiding the possibility of any contribution to the spread of COVID-19.  All our operational business records are held online with global IT service provider organisations.  Your Board therefore has assessed the risks to our continued operation as minimal.

Our CEO Lee Tonitto has converted all scheduled face-to-face meetings with member organisations and stakeholders to tele-meetings and your Board is now considering how to best hold the various sessions and summits planned for later this year.  We continue to be passionate about the importance of the Professions, Professionals and Professionalism in these difficult times and are determined to progress our main activities that you have encouraged us to undertake:

We appreciate your continued support and strength during this unprecedented time, as we collectively and collaboratively continue to work with you and other stakeholders on these important topics for the professions and their professionals in our country.

Please contact us on 1300 664 587 or at CEO@Professions.org.au if you have any questions or concerns.

We are now Professions.org.au

Our migration from professions.com.au to the Professions.org.au domain is now completed.

Implementing the decision at our 2017 Strategic Review and Planning Day we undertook a ‘soft’ and staged migration that commenced with email addresses, then moved to our email lists and has now concluded with the migration of our web site content to a more user-friendly content management system at the Professions.org.au domain.

Thank you to all who helped with the transition – your patience was much appreciated!


Please contact WebMaster (at) Professions.org.au if you have any comments. Thank You.

International Womens Day 2020

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.

In this context we note the “8 Imperatives for Gender Equity in the Workplace” research report recently published by the Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM):

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!

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA) held a crisis meeting in Canberra two days ago to discuss a response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) to inform small businesses and consultancies on the issues facing them due to the impending corona virus pandemic.  The Australian Council of Professions (ACoP) was a key participant with their reach to over 800,000 professionals including ~500,000 who operate their own business.


Peter Strong, CEO of COSBOA, said today “the small business community is made up of many sectors and millions of people with over 4.5m employees between them. Each industry sector has their own peculiar needs and their own ways of communicating. The professionals of Australia are a key part of the small business community – from engineers, architects, medical specialists and expert consultants to those in the sciences and education – they run their own businesses as sole traders or as employers providing income and activity for many other professionals and support staff. As we face the COVID-19 challenges we will often look to this sector for information, advice and confidence.

The meeting investigated scenarios where a high level of illness creates staff shortages; where geographic areas are impacted heavily for short periods, creating low consumer and client activity with a resulting lack of business and loss of jobs across that sector of the Australian economy; where the forced closure of public transport creates a crisis for small business; and where employees and/or business owners are forced into quarantine, affecting the viability of the business.

Klaus Veil FACHI FHL7, President of the Australian Council of Professionals, stated “Professionals are disciplined individuals with inherent ethical standards who can be relied upon in times of stress and worry.  We and our professional member associations will work closely with other COSBOA association members to add value to responses to the COVID-19 crisis and also better inform our own members on actions and activities that will assist professionals deal with whatever difficulties the virus brings to local communities. Professionals will have expertise in many areas that are vital to managing current and future community needs.

Education & Employability

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.

Next Steps

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.

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!


Stakeholder Consultation Sessions

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.


1st Education & Employability Round-Table

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.

Call 1300 664 587 or contact CEO@Professions.org.au to find out more!


History

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.

In 2015, a National Strategy on Work-Integrated Learning had been published to increase opportunities to participate in WIL, recognising the benefits to students, employers, universities and the economy.

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”.


Relevant Background Documents

Future Skills Report (AlphaBeta)
Australian Jobs 2019 (Dept. of Jobs and Small Business)
Skilling – A National Imperative (AIG)
Making Micro-Credentials Work (DeakinCo)
The Best Chance for All – Student Equity 2030 (NCSEHE)
AQF Review 2019 – Final Report (Dept. of Education)
Accelerating Skills Acquisition in the Age of Intelligent Technologies (Accenture)
Accelerating Skills Acquisition in the Age of Intelligent Technologies (Deloitte)
Path to Prosperity. Why the Future of Work is Human (Deloitte)
‘Enabling Excellence through Equity’ Conference 2019
Credentials and the Future of Learning (UAC)
Case Study: 3D Virtual Workplace

Celebrating 100 Years of Engineering

Celebrating the centenary of representing their profession, our member association Engineers Australia co-hosted the World Engineers Convention 2019 with the World Federation of Engineering Organisations in Melbourne last week.

The World Federation of Engineering Organisations is the peak body for engineering institutions internationally, representing more than 90 countries and 20 million engineers around the world. This is the first time that Engineers Australia and World Federation of Engineering Organisations have co-hosted a convention in Australia.

Engineers Australia is one of the largest professional associations for engineering in the world, representing all engineering disciplines and active in accreditation and setting international standards for engineering education.

Engineers Australia is a proud Member of the Australian Council of Professions. EA Executive General Manager, Professional Standards & Practice Ron Watts CompIEAust FAHRI said “The World Engineers Convention is a great example of how professions in Australia showcase all that is great about how the professions contribute to the communities they serve and a reminder that we are part of a global community. Over 75 nations were represented at WEC.

The Australian Council of Professions congratulates Engineers Australia on their work to help shape, regulate and represent the profession. ACoP President Klaus Veil FACHI FHL7 said “Engineering is a profession that is integral to every field of human endeavour and touches the life of every Australian.  From the professionals that enable us to be mobile by designing our roads, railways and airports, the experts that keep us healthy and safe designing and testing medical equipment to those that push the boundaries beyond the earth designing telescopes and spacecraft – all are part of the community of over 100,000 professionals in Engineers Australia.  The Australian Council of Professions thanks Engineers Australia for 100 years of service to the Australian community.

AQF Final Report Released

The Final Report of the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) Review was released by the Australian Government today.

In 2018 we had held an AQF Review Terms of Reference Session and then very actively participated in the Review lead by Prof. Peter Noonan who had also keynoted at our inaugural National Summit on Micro‐Credentialing and Accreditation in Melbourne. We supported targeted review sessions for Professional Associations and submitted a formal Submission on behalf of our Member Organisations: https://submissions.education.gov.au/Forms/AQF2019/Documents/109-Professions-Australia.pdf.

Read the AQF Review Final Report here.


Note: On 9 December the Australian Government accepted all the recommendations of the review in relation to higher education and accepted the aims of the recommendations of the review in relation to vocational education, contingent on further discussions with state and territory governments.

The Most and Least Trusted Professions in Australia 2019

Not all jobs are equal.  A poll released today reveals that doctors are considered the most trustworthy profession in Australia, while scientists are the most trusted globally.  People would put their lives in your hands if you were in certain professions, whereas other occupations would see you treated with suspicion:

Australians don’t seem to put much trust in their politicians, with politicians generally ranking as the most untrustworthy profession, followed by advertising executives.

The 2019 Ipsos Global Trust in Professions Survey, completed online by adults aged 16-74 in 22 countries, showed that in Australia, Doctors are the most trustworthy profession (69%), followed by Scientists (62%), Teachers (60%), Armed Forces (58%) and the Police (56%).
The occupations most likely to be considered untrustworthy were politicians (64%), Government ministers (55%), Advertising executives (55%), Bankers (52%) and Clergy/Priests (42%).

Web Site Refresh

We have recently started refreshing and updating our website.
This follows the ‘soft’ and staged migration that commenced with email addresses and email lists as decided at our 2017 Strategic Review and Planning Day. The final step is the migration of our web site content to a more user-friendly content management system at the Professions.org.au domain.

Thank you for your patience with the transition.

Please let us know at WebMaster (at) Professions.org.au if you have any comments or experience any problems!

2019-20 Strategic Plan

Our Strategic Plan for 2019-20 was released today.

The development process had started with the 2019 Strategic Review and Planning day on 25 June 2019 in Melbourne. Members were invited to participate and two facilitators assisted the review and planning process.

In summary, our overall Purpose, Vision and Mission were re-confirmed with the goal of becoming “the Meeting Place” for Thought Leaders on all things Professional.

Stategic Plan 2019-20 Overview

A Strategic Review and Refresh Day is planned for April 2020.