More than just a box tick
In many professions, accreditation is required as a sign that the professional or service provider meets certain standards. Accreditation is seen as a sign that the person who holds the accreditation is a reputable, upright member of the profession.
But is it always that way?
Depending on the profession, accreditation can be achieved through passing a set of minimum standards that say nothing about the quality of the professional. For instance, in many industries, achieving your qualification plus paying your association membership fee (and then renewing annually and satisfying your ongoing professional development requirements) is enough to get you accredited.
What sort of safeguard does this provide to the public? The fact is, it does not provide much of one at all.
Not all education or training providers are the same. We have seen that through the continued closure of providers who are not up to scratch and at least some who have not put the welfare and true education of their students first. We need to learn from this. It is very obvious that you can achieve a qualification and have the piece of paper/parchment to hang on your wall, and the association membership giving you the right to your business ‘shingle’ or claim to fame, but none of this actually guarantees quality. And that quality, or lack of it, is what the public receives when they come to see such professionals – in whatever industry they practice. The thing is the public deserves quality – not tick boxes.
And at the end of the day, quality does not come from a piece of paper.
Quality in a professional comes from the qualities he or she lives and therefore, as a result of them being lived, offers and represents. People are not stupid and we can discern – there is a very big difference between one who talks the talk and sounds great, has a fancy website and looks the part, and one whose talk comes from their body – their own lived experience, and who offers their clients true quality as a result.
There can never be true quality without integrity and without true purpose in service.
Integrity means putting the truth first – what is true and needed for the client, ahead of one’s own selfish needs for instance. (Many operate in reverse, at least some or even most of the time.) We can equate integrity with truth.
True purpose is achieved when we know why we are doing a particular career. Not to tick a box, earn an income or be the helper/pleasure/superior one (all of which are for us, not our clients), but as a genuine, humble service to one’s fellow human beings, and in so doing playing one’s part alongside all other equal parts that all the other human beings who make up our society play.
It starts with the quality of education, and it continues to the quality of worker that enters industry.
To our Team, meeting accreditation standards as they currently exist in many industries is not enough. If we want to see quality workers in every industry, then we need to nurture them and foster them in their learning to fully prepare them for what lays ahead in their work when they graduate. Above all, we need to know they are people – and that their development as people adds huge value to the industries in which they will work as well as the communities of which they form a part.