In May this year PARN developed a Manifesto for the new government, calling upon it to create a single point of contact for the professions to recognise and support the crucial role the professions play in society and ensure the expertise and advice they offer does not go unused. We sent the draft manifesto to the whole of our database of professional bodies in the UK and after some modifications in response to suggestions received, we issued the Manifesto in June to all MPs of the current government. The Manifesto carries the logos of 41 professional bodies who have agreed to support it in this public manner.
Mindful of the deficit crisis we emphasised that such a contact point would help prevent wasteful duplication between government agencies and would avoid government initiatives which ignore expertise and structures already established by professional bodies, contributing to policies such as widening access to the professions and supporting volunteer effort by professionals. It would encourage research to evaluate effectiveness of professional standards regulation by investigating client/patient outcomes and encouraging the spread of best practice. Overall it would nurture an environment that encourages a thriving professional sector.
During the summer months we have had acknowledgements of the Manifesto from
• The Office of the Prime Minister
• The Deputy Prime Minister
• Minister of State for Business and Enterprise (BIS)
• Minister for Housing and Planning
• Parliamentary Undersecretary of State, Department of Health
• Parliamentary Undersecretary of State, Department for Transport
• The Direct Communications Unit of the Home Office
• A number of MPs in the government from both parties to the Coalition.
Currently our Manifesto is being considered by Francis Maude in the Cabinet Office.
In addition we have had
• an invitation to contact the Big Society Programme Team in the Department for Communities and Local Government
• an appointment to meet with BIS in September
• an offer from Patrick Mercer, MP to table a Parliamentary Question concerning the Manifesto soon into the Autumn session of Parliament
We are encouraged by the interest so far shown in the Manifesto in government circles. If these contacts lead to an indication of a positive response from the government, we will call a meeting of those professional bodies that have indicated their support for the Manifesto to discuss in detail possible remits for such a single point of contact for the professions.
If you have any questions or comments on the development of the Manifesto, please feel free to contact PARN Director Andy Friedman by email [email protected] or telephone 0117 928 1933.