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Professional values

Professional values make up the ethical convictions, principles and norms that provide the reasons for having specific codes and explain why certain types of duties are required and others are not.

Overview

Author(s): Hugh Breakey and Charles Sampford

Professional values are the ethical principles that lie behind professional codes, explaining and justifying the specific duties that professionals bear. Ideally, these are values that all professionals will understand and cherish, allowing them to perform their duties conscientiously, rather than out of fear of punishment or other external pressures. This title will:

  • Explain the relationship between professional values and professional codes;
  • Distinguish descriptive and prescriptive values;
  • Overview the content of professional values;
  • Discuss the four main approaches to professional values; and
  • Explain the relationship between these approaches and mainstream ethical theories from the academic discipline of philosophy.