Stan Lester (December 2008)
A major function of many professional bodies is awarding the qualified status or licence-to-practise for the occupation that they govern or represent. Requirements for becoming qualified vary between professions, as do the routes available to would-be practitioners to reach qualified level. This book reports on research undertaken during the autumn of 2007 to investigate qualifying processes in a selection of UK-based professions.
The book starts by outlining some of the main influences that can be expected to affect how professions qualify their members. It continues with a discussion of qualified status and professional recognition, then goes on to compare routes and requirements for becoming qualified and discuss how they are changing. Further chapters examine the role of degrees and external qualifications, professional courses, and the practice-based aspects of qualifying. Links between professional qualifications, national qualification frameworks and occupational standards are briefly explored.
The findings indicate that qualifying requirements are becoming more rigorous, while the routes available for meeting them are increasing in flexibility.
Many professions have made significant advances in recent years in among other things the assessment of professional practice and the widening-out of entry routes, but there is still room for improvement in areas such as integrating theory and practice, developing more robust professional practising standards, making use of recent developments in higher education and supporting events through non-conventional or minority routes.
About the Author
Dr Stan Lester is a consultant, researcher and systems developer in professional and vocational development and accreditation. More information about his work can be found at www.devmts.co.uk