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Professional association

A professional association (also called a professional body, professional organization, or professional society) is usually a profession, the interests of individuals engaged in that profession and the public interest.

The roles of these professional associations have been variously defined: "A group of people in a learned occupation who are entrusted with maintaining control or oversight of the legitimate practice of the occupation;"[1] also a body acting "to safeguard the public interest;"[2] organizations which "represent the interest of the professional practitioners," and so "act to maintain their own privileged and powerful position as a controlling body."[2]

Many professional bodies are involved in the development and monitoring of professional educational programs, and the updating of skills, and thus perform professional certification to indicate that a person possesses qualifications in the subject area. Sometimes membership of a professional body is synonymous with certification, though not always. Membership of a professional body, as a legal requirement, can in some professions form the primary formal basis for gaining entry to and setting up practice within the profession; see licensure.

Many professional bodies also act as learned societies for the academic disciplines underlying their professions.

As a practical matter, most professional organizations of global scope (see United States. The U.S. has often led the transformation of various occupations into professions, a process described in the academic literature as professionalization.


  • Legal functions 1
  • Inter-professional associations 2
  • Business organization 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Legal functions

In countries where the law entitles defendants to a jury of their peers, the general public may not be considered sufficiently knowledgeable in a field of practice to act as a peer in some legal cases. For example, the professional associations do not always concern themselves with licensure or the equivalent or government regulations. In the United States, journalists seek to avoid government involvement in their work or "official" definitions.

Inter-professional associations

Inter-professional associations have been defined as private organizations, recognized by the State, that group together participants from all stages of the same agricultural

  • List of Professional bodies in UK
  • List of Professional bodies in Australia
  • List of Professional bodies in Canada
  • Anders Kjellberg Union density and specialist/professional unions in Sweden, Lund University: Studies in Social Policy, Industrial Relations, Working Life and Mobility. Research Reports 2013:2

External links

  1. ^  
  2. ^ a b  
  3. ^ Coronel, C.; Liagre, L. (2006). "Les interprofessions agroalimentaires en France" (PDF) (in French). Paris: Ministère Français des Affaires Etrangères. Retrieved May 16, 2011. 
  4. ^ Cadilhon, J.; Dedieu, M.-S. (2011). "Commodity associations : a widespread tool for marketing chain management". Analysis no.31. Paris: Centre for Studies and Strategic Foresight, Ministry of Agriculture. Retrieved May 16, 2011. 
  5. ^ Shepherd, Andrew W., Cadilhon, J-J and Galvez, Eva, 2009 [1] Commodity Associations - A tool for supply chain development? FAO, Rome
  6. ^ Fletcher, 1A Cyclopedia of the Law of Pirate Corporations §§97, 112.1 (1983).


See also

In the United States, PA (Professional Association), used in conjunction with a business name is a corporation formed by professionals such as barristers, engineers, dentists, and medical doctors. In the past, the so-called "learned professions" were not allowed to operate as corporations. A PA is attractive to professionals because it provides some of the tax advantages and liability protections of a business corporation.[6]

Business organization


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