Promoting Professionalism (Digital) - Andy Friedman (2020)

Professions and professionalism are visibly under threat from many quarters:
• Populist denigration of experts and evidence based ‘facts’;
• Automation extending from unskilled tasks to potentially eliminate professional jobs;
• Internet and social media threatening to tip the balance of authority away from professionals;
• Young people turning away from professional careers, regarding celebrities and entrepreneurs as role models and viewing the professions as staid and elitist;
• High profile cases of professional misconduct undermining public confidence and the general decline in trust in traditional institutions.
This book has been motivated by PARN’s view that professions should be standing up for the value and social importance of professionalism in the face of these threats. Some professional bodies have been actively promoting professionalism, but this has been carried out sporadically and rarely referring to what others are doing, thereby weakening the impact of such efforts. Professional bodies define, support, administer and develop professional standards, and promote their own professions. Promoting professionalism has not been a particular focus. This we regard as a serious problem for the professions. Here we identify effective practice and encourage greater efforts by more professional bodies to promote professionalism. We raise the profile of the limited efforts that have been undertaken to promote professionalism. We aim for this book to encourage coordinated and common initiatives among professional bodies to meet the ways the professions are being challenged and promote professionalism.