Professionalism is a way of thinking and living rather than an accumulation of learning.
Professionalism cannot be taught by stating a code of ethics nor by memorising a set of rules.
A strong professional sense is of undoubted benefit to the profession concerned in terms of morale and vocational satisfaction.
It is also a fact that the community benefits when it is served by a professional whose standing is recognised, in terms both of status and rewards.
It is through the development of a strong professional attitude that the professional is motivated to give the biggest contribution to the community.
The marks of a professional are:
- Professional activity of a type carrying high individual responsibility, requiring application of special skills to activities that are predominantly intellectual and varied rather than routine and normal.
- Motivation for service takes first place over consideration of reward.
- Motivation for self-expression implies joy and pride in the work to be done, and self-imposed standards of excellence in its performance.
- Recognition of social duty, fulfilled through guarding the ideals and standards of the profession, by advancing it in public understanding and esteem, by sharing advances in professional knowledge, by rendering gratuitous public service, as a return to society for the advantages that flow from professional education and status.
from “Engineering Professionalism”, by B E Lloyd, Journal of the Institution of Engineers, Australia, Oct 1973