Future Pathways to Professional Standing Round-Table

Micro-Credentials, Experiential Learning, etc. are examples of some rapid developments in the pathways of becoming a professional.  Many of our member organisations are currently exploring and working on what progression to the membership of a Professional Association might look like in the future.

Our Round-Table will explore possible future pathways to professional standing and eligibility for membership of Professional Associations. If there is consensus on basic principles of potential future pathways to become a professional, we may capture these as possible guidance for the Professional Associations sector.


  • Opening, Introductions, Purpose and Rules of the Round-Table
  • ALIA’s work to date on Future Pathways to Professional Standing
    Sue McKerracher, CEO & Kate Bunker, Director of LearningAustralian Library and Information Association
  • Assessing Academic Qualification Equivalence
    Bernadette Foley FIEAust CPEng, National Manager Professional Standards – Engineers Australia
  • Adapting Professional Frameworks for Rapidly Evolving Specialisations
    Rupert Grayston, CEO and Jarred Stein, Operations Manager Skills Assessment – Australian Computer Society
  • Challenges of Professions without long-standing Tertiary Qualifications
    Jesu Jacob, Acting CEO – Australian Community Workers Association
  • Break
  • Open discussion on the topic
  • Identifying points of consensus
  • Next steps
  • Close

We thank our member organisation Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) for their support of the Round Table. For more information, please contact us on 1300 664 587 or CEO@Professions.org.au.

‘Guiding for Professionalism’ Project

There is a global crisis of trust and an increase in anti-professional sentiment globally. Despite economic success, Governments, Business, NGOs and the Media are not trusted due to a growing sense of inequity, availability and easy distribution of information from questionable sources and compromised
adherence to professional ethics. So how can professional associations support their members in discharging their duties ethically?

The 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer Global Report observed that despite what was a strong globale conomy prior to the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, Governments, Business, NGOs and the media are not trusted (Edelman, 2020). This crisis in trust is due to a growing sense of inequity, the wider availability of knowledge to which only professionals had access, as well as unethical behaviour of a minority of professionals (Susskind and Susskind, 2015).

Increasingly, concerns are being raised that professionalism is a tool for social control that is used by social groups that dominate professions to self-regulate, gatekeep and maintain power of a profession’s accepted behaviours and social boundaries (Frye et al., 2020).

It has been argued that trust is built on competence and ethics (Edelman, 2020), which are defining traits of professionals. One of the defining features of professions, and arguably the key to their ongoing relevance and survival, is adherence to codes of professional ethics (Susskind and Susskind, 2015).

Professionals and their organisations have many and varied opportunities to compromise their adherence to professional ethics, for example by pursuing private gain or personal advantage (Medical Professionalism Project, 2002) . Membership in a professional association plays a role in promoting a healthy respect for these codes of professional ethics. A membership benefit for such organisations may be the provision of guidance or advice about professional behaviour or norms. Improved awareness of this role of professional organisations may ease the rising concerns described above.

This project seeks to determine how professional associations currently support members in discharging their duties ethically and how professionals who are members perceive the value of such support. The objective is to establish how ACoP could best serve members by providing resources that enable Member Organisations and their member professionals to best discharge their professional duties.  An initial research activity is to conduct a survey and gap analysis in order to understand current resourcing by member organisations and the perceptions about the resources provided.

If you would like more information on this project, contact us on 1300 664 587 or CEO@Professions.org.au

Client Choice Awards 2020

As a sponsor of the prestigious Client Choice Awards since their inception in 2004, we are disappointed by the need to convert the 2020 ‘Best Professional’ Awards from a gala presentation night to an online event. However, we very much support the decision to be good global citizens and not encourage non-essential mass travel so as to reduce risk to all involved.

ACoP was looking forward to presenting and celebrating with all the Finalists the “Best Professional” Award at what was shaping up to be the biggest and best presentation night yet. However, in light of the recent developments in the international spread of the COVID-19 virus and continuing uncertainty about if or when it will be declared a pandemic, the organisers did not believe it would be responsible to hold the awards event in Melbourne.

Notwithstanding the COVID-19 lock-downs and travel restrictions, the clients have voted and selected both Finalists and Winners who will today be announced in the Australian Financial Review, on the Client Choice web site and on social media.

We were delighted to ‘virtually’ present the “Best Accountant”, the “Best Built Environment Consultant”, the “Best IP Specialist” and the “Best Lawyer” practitioner awards, see ClientChoiceAwards.net/client-choice-awards-2020-winners#category-target-8

Congratulations to George Beaton on maintaining the continuity of the annual awards for over 15 years, to the finalists for maintaining their professionalism in providing services in difficult times and of course to the 2020 winners!

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.

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%).

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

Our next Strategic Review and Refresh is planned for April 2020.

Professionalism and Ethics Forum 2018

A Members-Only Round-Table on Professionalism and Ethics was held by ACoP on 17 November 2018 in Melbourne. A keynote by Dr Wim VanDeKerckhove PhD, Co-Director of the Centre for Research on Employment and Work (CREW) at the University of Greenwich UK and a global leader in whistleblowing management standards was followed by presentations by A/Prof Eva Tsahuridu from RMIT and Barrister Philip Argy, Law Council of Australia.

A very comprehensive discussion ensued on how professionalism and its underlying culture of ethics (e.g. “Doing the Right Thing when Nobody is Looking”) defines our society and ensures its well‐being ‐ by professionals defending our citizens from the ill effects of “alternative facts”, “fake news”, “self‐appointed experts” and “profits before clients” conduct.

Our Professionalism and Ethics Commitee is planning to progress the outcomes of the Round-Table Forum at a larger event next year.

Vale Brenda Aynsley OAM

“On behalf of the Board of the Australian Council of Professions, I am saddened to advise of the passing last weekend of our former President, colleague and friend, Brenda Aynsley OAM FACS CP.
Brenda was respected by us all as a leader and mentor within the Australian Computer Society, the Australian Council of Professions and across the professions that our organisation represents.  She was fearless in her advocacy of the value of professionalism and the maintenance of the highest standards of professional and ethical practice.
Brenda served as our President in 2017-18 and as President of the Australian Computer Society in 2014-15.  She was chair and immediate past chair of the International Professional Practice Program (IP3).”

ACoP President Klaus Veil, 15 August 2018

Please see the tributes to Brenda Aynsley in the ‘InformationAge’ newsletter of our member, the Australian Computer Society ACS.

At the Tribute event for Brenda hosted by our Member Association the Australian Computer Society in Melbourne, we were honoured to announce the Brenda Aynsley Memorial Lecture on Professionalism.

Vale Brenda Aynsley OAM FACS CP