Questions we’ve been asked (number 2) .. Professional bodies – what are they?

Professional bodies – sounds mysterious and what do they have to do with future careers?  Sounds a bit scary?

All it means is that for many jobs there are organisations which provide a framework for that particular career; they may be the organisation which sets the standard for professional qualifications in that job and / or they may be an organisation that you can join either as a student member or once you are fully qualified.  Even more confused?

Let’s look at a couple of examples:

If you’re keen on working in HR, the professional body for HR is called the CIPD which stands for Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development.  If you undertake training after your degree to become qualified as a Human Resources Officer your training will be validated by the CIPD.

Similarly, if you want to become a fully qualified accountant, there are several professional bodies you can join or become qualified with, depending on what sort of accountancy route you follow.  Two of these are CIMA and CIPFA.  CIMA is the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and CIPFA is the Chartered Institute for Public Finance and Accountancy.

These are just two examples – there are hundreds of different professional bodies and they are a useful source of help and advice both while you are a student and when you are working in your chosen job.  They are also a useful potential networking resource to tap into.

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