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In this series, we explore key qualities of education. In Part 1 of this series, we looked at the fundamental aspect of professionalism.

In this article, we look at another important part of education – which is the concept of service.

Students should gain an awareness through their education of the importance of service and what they give back to their community.

To gain a qualification is a wonderful thing, if the education is delivered with quality, and a student should be rightfully proud of their achievement. A qualification enables us to do a job and gives us a premise from which we can perform that job, hopefully in a very competent manner. This is a great thing and very needed. However there is more to it than that.

Why do we work? Yes, we need a job to pay our bills, pay our mortgage/rent etc and do all we need to do in life. However, if we approach our work with that as our parameter, then what we need to see is that we are very, very limited by this.

We should not educate, and we should not then go out and work, from a functional perspective alone. Function is not quality. It is based on ability to tick a box. Quality in our society, and quality of life in general, do not come from ticking a box.

What is needed – for us to realise our full potential as a society, is higher than this. We need to bring this attitude and approach to the way we teach/train/deliver (as a training organisation), the way we study (in the case of students), and the way we work (as workers in all fields of life).

The fact is, our work – irrespective of what we do, should never be just about function. The truth is, all jobs that we do, are a service.

We are either developing a product or performing a service, that is used by others. Therefore, the purpose of every job, irrespective of what it is we do and whatever our chosen field may be, is to provide a product or a service to others.

We all rely on the products and services provided by others. We use them in every aspect of life. The quality of those products and services affects us all – we either receive something that enhances us and truly supports us, or we receive something far less. We all know as a fact that what we are used to receiving in our current society, is something far, far less than what it could and really should be.

When we study for a qualification, or if we are on the training side delivering a qualification, the most important thing is quality. This supports and develops the student and helps them to grow, and it also means that the quality of service they will be able to offer at the end, will be so much more.

Whatever work we end up doing in life, we never operate as silos (whether we realise this or not). We are not individual units that have no impact or effect on any one else. Quite the opposite, we all affect each other, all of the time.

This is where we start to see that the quality of education someone receives, actually affects not only the student, but everyone that student performs work for in the future – and this touches many, many people. Therefore training organisations have a responsibility to quality, knowing that they are training a worker of tomorrow who will either add real value to the industry in which they work, or they will detract from it.

This too is the opportunity for students, to embrace all that is on offer, and bring a fulsome commitment to their study in the knowing that their study has a purpose – a purpose that will benefit themselves (and rightfully so) but alongside this is a greater purpose that is for all those they will serve in their area of work.

Beyond this is the great contribution any worker will be making to their profession as a whole, by choosing to operate within it from true quality, and the consequent benefit to our communities and the society in which we live, of having workers in industries across the board who live and work in this way.

In Part 3 of this series, we look at the importance of integrity.

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