I was speaking to a group of youth work educators this week when the question of professionalising came up. I was interested to hear their perspectives on the current situation in Victoria.
Some of the issues that were brought up included:
- Why diploma and certificate four students would not be able to have full membership when in the field their work is generally the same as that of degree qualified workers.
- How a committee looking at professionalising can have good governance and oversight if they only have a select few people invested in the development of an association.
- That there has not been a thorough sector consultaton, particularly in rural settings; and
- That many students at certificate four and diploma level feel they are being left out of the discussion
Is it best practice to not involve the entire sector in the development of a “Professional Assocciation?”.
Western Australia had many issues in the inception of its professional association that Victoria seems destined to repeat. The sad fact is that not everybody will be happy if a professional association of Victoran youth workers is set up. However, Victoria’s committee should take a page out of WA’s book and consult the sector more widely and network more strongly so as to have more support for an association.
New Zealand spent a much longer time consulting and trialing the ideas of professionalising. To date it is working well. Maybe a longer and more thorough consultation is required.