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Professionalism is the behaviour exhibited by professionals in upholding the principles, laws, ethics, and conventions of a profession as a way of practice. It has changed over time with changes in society, and is linked to the standards set by the profession and its professional association.


Author(s): John Chellew, Justine Rogers and Dimity Kingsford Smith

The concept of professionalism is, of course, closely related to the concept of a profession. However, professionalism is less about the occupation as a social institution and more about what the profession does and, more importantly, should do. It is about professional standards and appropriate attitudes and behaviour suitable to the profession.

This article looks at some of the key issues and ideas within the concept of professionalism, namely:

  • What Is Professionalism?
  • Professional Expertise: Education and Training;
  • Professional Ethics and Codes of Conduct;
  • Enforcement: Complaints, Investigation, Disciplinary Sanctions and Exclusion;
  • Professional Associations; and
  • Emerging Professions and Professionalisation.


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