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H808 – Professional values (second go)

November 30, 2010

Here my (500-word) report – An assessment of differences (respectively similarities) in the professional values in Higher Education (HE) contary to those of the medical and counselling/psychotherapy profession.

Like mentioned in the course material does codes of practice evolve over time, but also terminology changes. The BACP e.g. state that codes changed into ethical framwork, rules to guidance, compliance to accountability.

The medical, including counselling/psychotherapy profession places great emphazise on the following values and ethics, the whereby the boundaries between values and ethics are not clear cut.

Medical practitioner shall


  • be dedicated to providing competent medical care,
  • promote the image and status of their profession by maintaining high standards in their professional practice
  • provide medical care for all, patient care is paramount
  • seek consent and capacity
  • keep professional boundaries and dual releationship
  • careful attention to cultural appropriateness
  • with compassion and respect for human dignity and rights
  • respect the law, rights of patients, colleagues, and other health professionals
  • safeguard patient confidences and privacy within the constraints of the law
  • maintain a commitment to medical education
  • participate in communities, share their knowledge with colleagues and promote learning
  • take responsibility for their professional acts
  • practise safe work procedures at all times to ensure the safety of patients and co-workers and the protection of the environment
  • prompt and appropriate response to complaints

There are some similarities compared to the value and ethics applied in HE. Learning technologist do also have to respect the law, e.g. in regard to accessiblity or copyright issues. They also have to take responsibility for their PDP or CPD (Professional Development Planning / Continuing Professional Development). Another similarity is to participate in communities, to share knowledge with colleagues and promote learning. Though not mentioned in the source I used,  is reflectivity also a professional value that is practiced in both professions. Both profession require/recommend accredition of their professionals before they are allowed to practice. Quite similar is also the respect for individual learners and acknowledging diversity and promoting equality of opportunity in HE with the careful attention to cultural appropriateness and the respect of human rights and dignity. Learning technologist should be also dedicated to providing competent work and working with learners mean to keep boundaries and appropriate relationships. Effective communication skills are in both professions required, though a learning technologist requires more online communication skills.

Well, actually I see more similarities than differences between the two professions. They both try to apply high standards for their practice, try to represent their profession in the best possible way, respect their learners/patients, take responsibility for their CPD and participate in different communities of practice and they evaluate their practice and they try to keep up with recent developments and research in their working field. It is also a common professional value to share knowledge with colleagues by publishing academic articles and/or maintaining academic blogs to push reputation and credibility. It is common practice to articulate ideas, proposals and argument for differeing audience and contexts.

However, according to ALT (The Association for Learning Technology) do values and codes of practice differ between institutions, disciplines and roles, and may evolve through time.

I found this blog entry about professional values and ethics which I found quite interesting.


British Association of Councelling and Psycholtherapy (BACP) (2010), Ethical Framework of Presentation [online], (accessed 29.11.2010).

Britical Medical Association (BMA), (undated) Medical Ethics [online], (accessed 29.11.2010).

American Medical Association (AMA) (2001) Principles of Medical Ethics [online], (accessed 29.11.2010).

Association for Learning Technology (2006) Documents (online). Available from: (accessed 30 November 2010) –

Higher Education Academy (2006). UK Professional Standards Framework for Teaching and Supporting Learning in Higher Education, Higher Education Academy, UK. Available from (accessed 30 November 2010).

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