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Professional Standards Research

Why professionalism is still relevant

In this paper, Dr George Beaton argues that professionalism is more relevant today than it was when the concept first emerged centuries ago – despite the threats it faces from the internet, the decline of self-employment, and the erosion of public trust.

His essay examines professionalism from multiple angles, including:

  • Historical and modern perspectives
  • How professional associations and professional services contribute to it
  • The impact of culture, economics, technology and government on the concept.

Dr Beaton concludes by asking whether professionalism will survive globalisation as knowledge “goes viral”, and offers suggestions as to why it should.

About the author

Dr George Beaton is an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Melbourne, Executive Chairman of Beaton Research + Consulting, Partner at Beaton Capital and Chairman of Wellmark. He is a specialist in the structure and dynamics of professional services industries, with a particular emphasis on the intersection between regulatory form and purpose.