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.
For more information on the Year of the Professions, Professionals and Professionalism, please contact us on 1300 664 587 or CEO@Professions.org.au!
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
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.
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 Learning – Australian 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
Open discussion on the topic
Identifying points of consensus
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.
We are pleased to announce that the Board of Directors has appointed Dr Julie Strous as a Director of the Australian Council of Professions. A veterinarian and executive director of the Australasian Veterinary Boards Council, Julie fills the casual vacancy created by the resignation of Catherine Garvey in April.
Prior to her twenty years with the AVBC, Julie worked in veterinary practice and also pursued her interest in natural and agricultural environments by establishing the Methodist Ladies College wilderness campus near Mallacoota.
Julie has been a co-chair of our Professionalism and Ethics Portfolio Committee since 2018. As a plenary speaker on ethics at the World Organisation for Animal Health 2016 conference in Thailand, Julie outlined the emerging pressures on professionals to put business interests before public interest. As such, her focus and passion for the ethical conduct of professionals is on-going and will be a well-regarded voice on the ACoP Board. “I am delighted that Julie is joining the Board – in a time of ‘alternative facts’ and ‘fake news’ our focus and advocacy of evidence-based policy-making has become vital to ensure that Australians survive challenges such as the disastrous bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic” said ACoP Board President Klaus Veil.
A graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Dr Strous has several career strands that come together for her role on the ACoP board: governance, professionalism and achieving change through managing people. “I believe that culture is core in ensuring a board maintains its integrity. Board members need the curiosity and courage to delve into issues and ask questions whilst maintaining a collaborative team environment.” says Julie, “And in a rapidly changing environment, this enables a Board to effectively respond to the challenges facing professionals and their professionalism.” Julie’s term runs through to the 2021 Annual General Meeting.
We are delighted that a further well-regarded leader of a professional accreditation body has joined us in taking our organisation forward in a time when higher education and the accreditation of professional courses is facing ongoing COVID-19 pandemic-related challenges.
We welcome Michael Carpenter BEng(hons) MBA GAICD, CEO of the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council, who joins Lynette Harris M.Ed (Director – Navitas Professional), Dr Ash Jones (Head – ACoP Education & Accreditation Portfolio), Dr Nick Tate FACS CP CEng (Chair – ACoP Strategic Advisory Council) and Mark Lowy M.Sc MPM MBA (Imm. Past President – Project Management Institute, Melbourne) as co-opted members of our leadership team, separate to our elected Directors.
Michael joined APAC as its CEO in September 2017. Prior to that he was the Director of Accreditation at the Australian Dental Council and the Director of Regulation and Review at TEQSA, the Federal Government’s Higher Education Regulator. He has also worked at the British Psychological Society, in international leadership development and management consulting.
Michael’s valuable expertise will assist the Australian Council of Professions in achieving the strategic goals and projects that our Member organisations have recently re-affirmed us to focus on:
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).
We are delighted that three well-regarded leaders of professional and educational organisations have joined us in taking our organisation forward to be even more widely recognised and influential as the Unifying Alliance of Professional Associations in Australia.
We welcome Julie Strous BVS GAICD (Executive Director – Australasian Veterinary Boards Council), Lynette Harris M.Ed (Director – Navitas Professions) and Mark Lowy M.Sc MPM MBA (Imm. Past President – Project Management Institute, Melbourne) who join Dr Nick Tate FACS CP CEng (Chair – ACoP Strategic Advisory Council) and Dr Ash Jones (Head – ACoP Education & Accreditation Portfolio) as co-opted members of our leadership team, separate to our elected Directors.
They will help steer the Australian Council of Professions to achieve the projects and activities that our Member organisations have requested us to undertake:
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!