Many professional bodies are involved in the development and monitoring of professional educational programs, and the updating of skills, and thus perform professional certification to indicate that a person possesses qualifications in the subject area. Sometimes membership of a professional body is synonymous with certification, though not always. Membership of a professional body, as a legal requirement, can in some professions form the primary formal basis for gaining entry to and setting up practice within the profession; see licensure.
Many professional bodies also act as learned societies for the academic disciplines underlying their professions.
A professional body or association is an organisation established for a particular profession to look after the professional and personal needs of their membership. They seek to maintain the honour and interests of the profession and promote the achievement of high quality professional practice.
They seek to be the voice for for their profession and to promote the interests of their professional membership by maintaining contact with ministers, government departments, administrations and many other influential bodies.
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They are also committed to keeping members in touch with the profession’s collective views and policies and may seek to set and maintain qualification standards and continual personal development for their membership. To this end membership of the body may provide professional indemnity insurance for the member and in some case membership of the body may be a legal requirement for a person to practice the profession in a country (e.g. legal and medical professions). In these cases the professional body may have processes to strike off or discipline members who do not comply with the rules or quality standards of the profession.
The roles of these professional associations have been variously defined: “A group of people in a learned occupation who are entrusted with maintaining control or oversight of the legitimate practice of the occupation; also a body acting “to safeguard the public interest;” organizations which “represent the interest of the professional practitioners,” and so “act to maintain their own privileged and powerful position as a controlling body.” This, in turn, places the burden of enforcing a Profession ban upon these associations as well.
FEATURED PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS IN ONTARIO
- College of Massage Therapist of Ontario
- Institute of Professional Bookkeepers Canada
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