Chief Professionalist Round Table

The last 12 months have seen unprecedented challenges for Australia and a driving question has been “Who can we trust?“.  Many professionals have stepped-up to that challenge and shown that science-based, deeply considered expert guidance helps us successfully navigate the threats to our lives and livelihoods.  Our Chief Professionalist Round-Table will start a nuanced conversation about halting the trust-erosion and redefining the authority and value of professional advice.

Prof Deen Sanders OAM

Following repeated requests to elevate professions by seeking to influence the policy and decision making environment in Australia, our Board in mid-2020 commenced planning the “Year of the Professions, Professionals and Professionalism” initiative, which seeks to champion the importance of individuals and governments following the evidence-based advice of professionals in difficult times.  One path to achieving this in a technologically advanced, sophisticated and humane society is to always demonstrate trustworthiness by decision- and policy-making based on science, evidence and ethics.  Professionals who display the highest levels of professionalism supported by their professional associations will ultimately allow our society to honour that trust.

We have now further stepped-up to this challenge with the creation of innovative role of the Chief Professionalist. Our Chief Professionalist Round-Table on 13 May 2021 will enable our members and guests to discuss these challenges with our inaugural ACoP Chief Professionalist Prof Deen Sanders OAM and the experts in our newly-created Office of the Chief Professionalist:

  • Tanya Stephens BVSc MSc (IAWEL) MANZCVS FRCVS – Expert in ethics research, etc.
  • Philip N Argy BCom LLB FACS FRI – Barrister and Expert jn business cases for professionalism and ethics, etc.
  • Angelina Pillai BA (International Politics) Grad Cert (Harvard) FAIM – ACoP Head of Diversity, Culture and Inclusion

The Round-Table will be facilitated by our Head of Professionalism and Ethics Dr Ruth Ferraro PhD Fellow ARPI GAICD.

Our Round-Table breaks new ground through conversations that explore which aspirations and possibilities for halting the trust-erosion and redefining the authority and value of professional advice Deen and the Experts can assist with .” said ACoP President A/Prof Klaus Veil. “We are keen to hear from our Member Organisations the challenges and maybe even ‘pain-points’ that their profession and its professionals have experienced during and coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

For more information on the Chief Professionalist Round-Table, please contact the Office of the Chief Professionalist on 1300 664 587 or at!

Micro-Credential Round Table

The role of micro credentialing within the education ecosystem is increasing significant, yet there continues to be no commonly agreed standard within professional association accreditation practices. Many of our member organisations are grappling with the ways in which they might incorporate accredited micro credential programs into their current and future CPD/CPE offerings and how this might in turn attract advanced standing within the education ecosystem.

In order to promote dialogue around this important concept, ACoP is hosting a Round-Table for its Member Organisations on Thursday 29th April 2021 to hear from leaders discuss and debate:
How will Professional Associations address higher-education micro-credential offerings within their current accreditation standards?

The Round Table program is:

Opening, Introductions, Purpose and Rules of the Round-Table
Dr Ash Jones – Head of ACoP Education and Accreditation Portfolio
Professional Profile

Overview of CA-ANZ’s Professional Accounting Micro-Credentialing Journey
Lisa Thomas – General Manager Learning Initiatives, Chartered Accountants Australia NZ
Professional Profile

Professional Practice Credentials: An outcome-based Assessment Approach
Glenn Campbell – CEO, DeakinCo.
Professional Profile

Reverse-Engineering cross-sector Skills Transferability through Micro-Credentialing Initiatives
Dr Simon Eassom – Executive General Manager Education, CPA Australia
Professional Profile

RMIT Digital Credentials: a Case Study in Building Industry-Relevant Digital Certification for Future-Proofing the Professions
Dr Darien Rossiter – Principal Advisor to the DVC Education, RMIT
Professional Profile

Micro-Credentialing Capability in the ICT Industry
Louise Smith – Director Education & Workforce Development, ACS
Professional Profile

The Engineering Credential Journey to Date
Emmanuelle Wintergerst FIEAust CPEng – National Manager Credentials Development, Engineers Australia
Professional Profile

Open Discussion on the Topic

Next Steps and Close

For more information on this Round-Table, please contact us on 1300 664 587 or

Sydney Uni Researches Professional Ethics

Professionals encounter ethical challenges in their work.  Sydney University PhD student Anne Quain is seeking to find out what support is accessed by professionals when navigating these situations, and what kind of support is offered by professional associations.

As part of her research, Anne has developed in consultation with ACoP a survey for members of professional associations around the ethical challenge of noticing suspected ethical misconduct by a colleague: The survey is completely anonymous and will take 5-10 minutes.

The findings will be used to inform ACoP and professional associations how they can best support their members who are experiencing ethically challenging situations.

If you would like more information about the survey or the underlying ‘Guiding for Professionalism‘ project, contact us on 1300 664 587 or

Emerging Professions Round-Table

Well-established professions occupy a position of privilege and inclusion in the provision of services and lawmaking machinery of societies. It is a desirable position to which communities of practice aspire, however realising this status presents a dilemma for the entities representing neo-professions, emerging professions, sub-specialisations, occupational groups and para-professions.

In fulfilling our remit to explore this challenge with our Members and invited guests, we are holding a Round-Table on this topic.

The programme is:

  • Opening, Introductions, Purpose and Rules of the Round-Table
  • The Story so far – Mark Lowy M.Sc MPM MBA, Imm Past President Project Management Institute
  • Demystifying Professional Schemes, Advances for Occupational Groups – Roxane Marcell-Shaw, CEO Professional Standards Authority
  • The Route to Professionalisation – Dr Ruth Ferraro, Fellow of ARPI GAICD
  • Open Discussion on the Topic
  • Identifying Points of Consensus
  • Next Steps & Close


Roxane Marcelle-Shaw
CEO – Professional Standards Authority

Professional Profile

Dr Ruth Ferraro Fellow ARPI GAICD
Head, Professionalism Portfolio – ACoP

Professional Profile

Mark Lowy M.Sc MPM MBA
Imm. Past President – Project Management Institute

Professional Profile

For more information, please contact us on 1300 664 587 or

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

ACoP joins Asia-Pacific Federation of Associations

The ACoP Board is delighted to announce that our organisation is now part of the regional associations body Asia-Pacific Federation of Associations (APFAO). As a member of the Asia-Pacific Federations been accepted as a member of the …

advocating towards the betterment of the sector and professionals working in these associations.

‘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

COVID-19 Road to Recovery Education/Training Needs

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on employment, required workplace skills and the nature of jobs of many Australian employees and workers. We are seeking your help to establish which and how new skills should be provided, funded and acquired more quickly to ensure all Australians can participate and benefit from Australia’s successful business recovery during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our research team seeks to find out what has changed for working Australians regarding:

  • The technical and generic skills you or your team members need, or need more of, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The optimal ways to address these skills needs in the next 12 months, including innovative approaches and possible government support packages.

We need the views of a broad range of Australian workers including: professionals who work in large or small organisations; small business owners; sole traders and micro business owners; contractors; consultants; and others. If you are an Australian worker over the age of 18, you are invited to share your views.

This survey has been approved and is conducted independently by Deakin University. This study has received Deakin University ethics approval (reference number: HAE-20-087). The research project is endorsed and overseen by the COSBOA/ACoP “COVID-19 Business Recovery Council” which directly advises the Prime Minister’s National COVID-19 Coordination Commission.

For more information on the survey, please contact the Office of the CEO on 1300 664 587 or at!

ACoP shares Accreditation Experience with Irish Regulator QQI

Irish higher education regulator Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) has invited us to share our experiences with the creation and implementation of our Joint Statement on Higher Education Course Accreditation with their member organisations.

ACoP is increasingly being asked to share and advise other organisations worldwide based on our experiences in our areas of policy and advocacy. Recently we were approached by Ireland’s national regulator of education and training services Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) to share our experiences in developing and implementing national standards for higher education course accredition.

Founded in 2012, QQI develops and maintains the Irish National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ), a 10-level framework for the development, recognition and awarding of qualifications similar to our AQF. QQI also approves programs offered at a variety of schools, colleges and further and higher education and training institutions at the respective NFQ level. QQI members include many Irish professional associations such as Engineers Ireland, Chartered Accountants Ireland, the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland, the Veterinary Council of Ireland, etc.

At QQI’s May 2020 ‘Finding Common Ground: Aligning Accreditation and Adapting to Crisis‘ meeting of Ireland’s professional associations, the more than 30 attendees participated in a live presentation on our learnings from the experience of developing and implementing our Joint Statement on Higher Education Course Accreditation. During the subsequent Q&A session, they discussed with the presenter Klaus Veil the benefits, challenges and lessons learnt during the process. ACoP’s recent work on the Joint Statement of Principles for Higher Education during the COVID-19 pandemic was also discussed.

If you want to find our more about our collaboration with QQI, please contact us on 1300 664 587 or