professional

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professional

a person with a recognized set of skills and knowledge which qualifies them to practise a certain occupation. Usually this knowledge is gained from lengthy TRAINING and is certified by examination, often by a professional association. This pattern of entry to an occupation is similar to that of apprenticeships; however, the professions are usually understood to be those occupations which are located at the top of the occupational structure in terms of status, for example doctors, architects, lawyers etc. In so far as professional associations (for example the Law Society) stipulate the form and content of training and examination, they define the nature of the job tasks and the work standards that should be achieved and they control entry into the profession. Once individuals have been admitted to the profession it is customary in most instances for them to join the association. Professional associations are similar to craft unions (see TRADE UNION) in that they seek to maintain high incomes for their members by restricting entry to these occupations. Some associations (especially those governing public-sector professionals) are registered as trade unions and have become more similar to other unions in recent years, in that they have felt forced to mount industrial action or publicity campaigns to influence government and management policy decisions.

The notion of professionalism, i.e. that professional workers are special by virtue of their knowledge, has been much criticized in recent years. Critics have claimed that it is used to advance sectional interests, for example high income levels, and to prevent regulation by government or employers of the way tasks are carried out. Attempts have been made to weaken the power of certain professions; for instance, the recent trend in the UK Health Service for the allocation of resources to be determined on grounds of efficiency and effectiveness by management teams rather than on medical grounds as defined by doctors and consultants.

MANAGEMENT per se has generally not been viewed as a profession in the UK because there has been little agreement on the skills and knowledge which are integral to management, and no professional body has been able to enforce mini-mum standards. However, numerous associations concerned with particular aspects of management, for example the INSTITUTE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT, have identified training requirements and hold examinations in an attempt to achieve professional status. Recently the MANAGEMENT CHARTER initiative has attempted to identify core ‘competencies’ of management as a first step to creating a profession of management.

References in classic literature ?
Would a man who wanted to make another a flute-player refuse to send him to those who profess to teach the art for money, and be plaguing other persons to give him instruction, who are not professed teachers and who never had a single disciple in that branch of knowledge which he wishes him to acquire--would not such conduct be the height of folly?
Does not the previous argument imply clearly that we should send him to those who profess and avouch that they are the common teachers of all Hellas, and are ready to impart instruction to any one who likes, at a fixed price?
Of all the people who profess that they know how to do men good, do you mean to say that these are the only ones who not only do them no good, but positively corrupt those who are entrusted to them, and in return for this disservice have the face to demand money?
There are not many things which I profess to know, but this is most certainly one of them.
These drawing-room astronomers professed to explain the charred aspect of the moon-- a disaster which they attributed to the intensity of the solar heat; only, on being reminded that comets have an atmosphere, and that the moon has little or none, they were fairly at a loss for a reply.
The Christianity professed by the Abyssins is so corrupted with superstitions, errors, and heresies, and so mingled with ceremonies borrowed from the Jews, that little besides the name of Christianity is to be found here; and the thorns may be said to have choked the grain.
Furious at his perversity, and especially indignant that he professed to be ignorant of my sex, I retorted in no measured terms, "Besotted Being!
It is remarkable that what we call the world, which is so very credulous in what professes to be true, is most incredulous in what professes to be imaginary; and that, while, every day in real life, it will allow in one man no blemishes, and in another no virtues, it will seldom admit a very strongly-marked character, either good or bad, in a fictitious narrative, to be within the limits of probability.
Hem's theory, in so far as it professes to be an adequate explanation of "mysterious disappearances," is open to many obvious objections; to fewer as he states it himself in the "spacious volubility" of his book.
"You'd better say Alec's great girl," said Uncle Mac, who professed to be madly jealous of his brother.
The merry old soul professed herself immensely flattered by his admiration, and the boys declared she "set her cap at him," else he would never have dared to catch her under the mistletoe, and, rising on the tips of his own toes, gallantly salute her fat cheek.
Stryker's PROFESS Navigation System has been gaining attention from Surgical Products' readers.