This week we celebrate becoming a Chartered body, but what does it mean to be Chartered for individual APM members and the profession at large? This central question will be the subject of a series of thought-leadership papers released over the forthcoming months, aimed at exploring the opportunities and obligations facing the newly Chartered APM.
“The papers aim to give members and other interested stakeholders a greater insight into what becoming Chartered means,” said David Thomson, APM interim head of external affairs, who is responsible for overseeing the development of the Road to Chartered series. “They will also help explain the transformation APM is experiencing as it evolves into a fully-fledged Chartered body.”
In the introductory paper, 21st century professionalism: the importance of being Chartered, the history of Chartered and the step change to a Chartered body is set out in more detail, including importantly, the obligations of a modern project professional.
“The award of Chartered status to APM is tremendous recognition for a relatively new profession that now makes such a significant contribution to social and economic well-being. I hope you enjoy and contribute to the debate through this and subsequent papers we publish, and help to set the direction of travel for our new Chartered body,” commented APM chair, John McGlynn.
The paper states that Chartered bodies are above all bound to protect the public interest, which means that members must uphold the rules of the Charter – including complying with any continuing professional development (CPD) requirements, and abide by a code of professional conduct.
It adds anyone engaging with or using the services of a Chartered professional can expect that the person meets the requisite qualifications for that profession; that standards are monitored and kept up to date through CPD; and that there is a robust process in place if things go wrong.
Put simply, Chartered is seen by professionals and the public alike as a hallmark of trust and quality.
Over the last 50 years professional bodies have transformed and modernised, but the Chartered philosophy, above, still holds true. Quoting Professor Andy Friedman from the Professional Associations Research Network (PARN), the paper says there have been great strides in the professionalisation of the professional body sector, including more dedicated staff, greater transparency and an emphasis on lifelong learning.
Now, 80 per cent of professional bodies have a CPD scheme, and the scheme is compulsory (for at least some categories of members) for 53 per cent of these, with participation monitored and sanctions for non-compliance.
These themes will be explored in future Road to Chartered papers, including the role of volunteering, ethics and behaviours, nurturing talent, developing the next generation of project managers and the importance of continuing professional development.
“We want these papers to act as a springboard for debate as we evolve as the Chartered body for the project management profession,” David concluded.