The Professional Standards Councils have published their combined 2019-20 Annual Report. The annual report is a consolidated volume of the Councils’ achievements and performance over the past financial year, in regulating for better consumer protection in the delivery of professional services across Australia.
The data shows over 82,000 professionals now participate as members of 16 occupational and professional associations, representing greater consumer protection. A 5.5% increase in participation has been achieved during the year due to improved compliance of associations in the operation of professional standards schemes.
The Professional Standards Councils also:
- Engaged with all regulated associations to consult on risks to their compliance and regulatory objectives arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic, sharing leading practices to ensure consumer protection
- Approved new schemes for three associations – Association of Consulting Surveyors National (a new association), New South Wales Bar Association and Western Australian Bar Association
- Provided advice and assistance to the Building Ministers’ Forum on the professional standards regulatory system and encouraged participation by building and construction occupations
- Published a new Stakeholder Engagement Framework
- Joined with Griffith University as a major research partner in successfully applying for an Australian Research Council grant for a three-year Linkage Project – Constructing Building Integrity: Raising Standards Through Professionalism
- Delivered a Professional Standards Forum on ‘Complaints as a Risk Management Tool’ and how associations can better use their intelligence holdings to facilitate and promote consumer protection through improvement in professional standards
- Launched a project to modernise the scheme application framework and to make applying more user friendly, more efficient and faster, with a strong focus on consumer protection and the public interest.
Professional Standards Councils’ Chair, John Vines OAM, said, “the Councils’ work with regulated associations and their risk management systems is key to assuring responsible Ministers and communities that the objects of our national system of professional standards regulation are being served and delivering public confidence in professional services across Australia”.