The Development of Self-Regulation in Four UK Professional Communities
Professional self-regulation is often conceptualised as involving the delegation of state powers to professional groups. An examination of four groups in the United Kingdom provides examples of self-regulation that have developed, with one partial exception, without the support of any statutory framework. Some common aspects of self-regulation are identified along with some differences that relate to how the professions have evolved, and to their operating contexts. Significant influences include how the profession is situated among adjacent groups, the degree of demand from clients and employers for qualified practitioners, and potentially whether the occupation is suitable as an initial career or requires a measure of maturity and prior experience. An argument is made for greater recognition, both through practical examples and in academic discourse of self-regulation that is initiated and furthered voluntarily through negotiation between professions, their members and their clients rather than via legislative powers.
Copyright (c) 2016 Stan Lester
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