The Concepts of Professionalism and Dual Professionalism in Education and Training

Last Updated on 02/09/2023 by James Barron


This document delves into the concept of professionalism, highlighting the attributes and qualities that typify individuals trained in professional roles. Drawing from various sources, it outlines recognises professions and investigates different models for defining a profession, particularly Millerson’s “Model of Professionalism” and Hoyle’s “Model on Professionality”. Special emphasis is given to the dual roles of educators, emphasising their need to be proficient both in teaching and in their specific field of expertise. The article also discusses the evolving regulations and standards for teachers in England, highlighting the implications of these changes on the teaching profession. The role and transition from the Institute for Learning to the Education and Training Foundation as a body providing professional standards in education is also touched upon.


Professionalism is the attributes and qualities that are associated with those that are trained and skilled at a professional role. (GOV.UK, n.d.) states a list of 47 recognised professions, including those such as accountant, nurse, teacher or lecturer. While particular roles are deemed to be filled by professionals, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the individuals holding these roles will act with professionalism.

Criteria for Defining a Profession

In order to define what a profession is, several models have been produced that allow assessment of a role to judge if it is indeed considered a profession. (Millerson, 1964) states in his Model of Professionalism that a profession must include the following:

  • A skill based on theoretical knowledge
  • Intellectual training and education
  • The testing of competence
  • Closure of the profession by restrictive organisations
  • A code of conduct
  • An altruistic service in the affairs of others

When analysing the roles provided by (GOV.UK, n.d.) the majority comply with each of these requirements, although some roles, while normally meeting these requirements, do not necessarily, e.g., director of a limited company.

Hoyle’s Model of Professionalism and Professionality

Another model is Professionalism and Professionality, in which two types of professionality exist, ‘restricted’ which refers to skills developed from introspective experience, perceived in isolation with value placed on autonomy while involvement in non-immediate professional activities, reading of professional literature and involvement in professional development is limited. This is in stark contrast with ‘extended’ professionality which refers to skills derived from mediation between experience and theory, with actions compared with those of colleagues in relation to policies and goals. There is a high involvement in non-immediate professional activities with considerable involvement in professional development and regular reading of professional literature. (Hoyle, 1975, p. 315) states that these extended professionality’s are “strategies and rhetorics employed by members of an occupation in seeking to improve status, salary and conditions”.

The Role of a Dual Professional in Teaching

When working as a teacher or lecturer you must normally act as a dual professional, as you must be professional while teaching but must also be professional within the field that you teach. “The best vocational teaching and learning is a sophisticated process; it demands ‘dual professionals’ – teachers and trainers with occupational expertise and experience, who can combine this with excellent teaching and learning practice.” (Commission on Adult Vocational Teaching and Learning, 2013, p. 8) Teaching establishments have always “recruited people with experience in industry/occupations relevant to the courses being delivered. These practitioners may bring new knowledge and understanding to the teaching team” (Education & Training Foundation, 2018) but unless they are effective teachers, they may not be able to effectively pass this knowledge to students, meaning they are not functioning as a dual professional.

Regulations and Expectations in Education

The Department for Education defines the Teachers’ Standards, “the standards define the minimum level of practice expected of trainees and teachers from the point of being awarded qualified teacher status (QTS).” (Department for Education, 2013) The “QTS is required in England to teach in a state school that is under local authority control and in special schools.” (TES Institute Team, 2016) “You can become a further education (FE) teacher without a teaching qualification” (AGCAS, 2017), the required qualifications are related to the specific area that is being taught; normally at least one level higher than what is being taught. Although it is not a requirement, it is normal that new lecturers are expected to study for the relevant teaching qualification, in this case the Level 5 Diploma in Education and Training which is recognised as the full teaching qualification for further education. “In 2013, the Government lifted the requirement for newly-appointed teachers to have undergone formal teacher training before working in FE.” (Pynn, 2017) “The teaching profession suffers from a vicious circle of low status, lack of competitive resources, inability to control their own selection, training and qualification, divided and consequently ineffective organisation and a degree of state interference and control suffered by almost no other profession all leading to low bargaining power, low remuneration and low status.” (Perkin, 1985, p. 8)

The Evolution of Professional Standards in Education

The Education and Training Foundation is a professional body that provides professional standards for the sector. It was established in October 2013, replacing the Institute for Learning (IfL) that ceased operating a year later on 31 October 2014. The professional standards define common expectations that should be met by teachers within FE.


Professionalism remains a cornerstone in various occupations, ensuring not just skill and expertise but also integrity and ethical conduct. As outlined by various models, the definition of a profession extends beyond mere job titles, demanding rigorous theoretical knowledge, competence testing, and adherence to codes of conduct, among others. Particularly in the realm of education, the concept of the ‘dual professional’ underscores the multifaceted responsibilities educators hold. While regulatory bodies and standards, such as those established by the Department for Education and the Education and Training Foundation, provide a framework for professionalism, the true essence of a profession lies in the confluence of expertise, ethical conduct, and continuous learning. The ongoing evolution of standards and qualifications underlines the dynamic nature of professions, emphasising the need for professionals to adapt and evolve in their roles.


Education and Skills Funding Agency. (2019, February 13). 16 to 19 funding: maths and English condition of funding. Retrieved from GOV.UK

AGCAS. (2017, December). Further education teacher. Retrieved from Graduate Prospects:

Commission on Adult Vocational Teaching and Learning. (2013). It’s about work… Excellent adult vocational teaching and learning. Coventry: Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS).

Department for Education. (2013). Teachers’ Standards. London: Department for Education.

Education & Training Foundation. (2018). THE DUAL PROFESSIONAL TOOLKIT. London: ETFOUNDATION.

ETF. (2018, June 20). Professional Standards for FE Teachers. Retrieved from Education & Training Foundation:

GOV.UK. (n.d.). Accepted occupations for counter signatories. Retrieved from GOV.UK

Hoyle, E. (1975). Professionality, professionalism and control in teaching. London: Ward Lock Educational in association with Open University Press.

Millerson, G. (1964). The Qualifying Associations. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

Perkin, H. (1985). The Teaching Profession and the Game of Life. London: University of London, Institute of Education.

PHP-FIG. (2019). PSR-2: Coding Style Guide. Retrieved from PHP-FIG:

Pynn, K. (2017, Aug 22). Teacher Training on the Job: Working as an Unqualified Teacher in FE. Retrieved from College Jobs:

TES Institute Team. (2016, November 29). QTS, PGCE or EYTS: which teaching qualification is right for me? Retrieved from TES:

Further Reading

The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think In Action by Donald A. Schön.

This book delves into the decision-making and thought processes of professionals, providing insights into their everyday actions.

The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher’s Life by Parker J. Palmer.

Palmer explores the emotional and spiritual landscape of teaching, emphasising the importance of identity and integrity in the profession.

Professional Capital: Transforming Teaching in Every School by Andy Hargreaves and Michael Fullan.

This book offers a detailed exploration of the teaching profession, analysing what motivates teachers and how to elevate the status and effectiveness of the profession. Hargreaves and Fullan delve into the concept of “professional capital” and provide strategies for educators, administrators, and policymakers to elevate the teaching profession by drawing on the strengths and expertise of educators.


This site offers resources, strategies, and insights for teachers. It’s geared towards modern educators looking to improve and adapt their teaching methods in the contemporary world.

Website URL:

Education Week’s Teacher

This website provides news, information, and resources on teaching, professional development, and education policies.

Website URL:

The Chartered Institute for Educational Assessors (CIEA)

The CIEA promotes excellence in assessment, offering support, training, and guidance for professionals in education.

Website URL:


What are the key points of dual professionalism?

Dual professionalism emphasises the importance of educators possessing expertise in both the subject they teach and the pedagogical skills required for effective teaching. It demands that educators be updated with developments in their field of expertise while also continuously refining their teaching methods. This concept underscores the multifaceted responsibilities of educators, ensuring they deliver content knowledge while also employing best practices in teaching and learning.

What are the 3 core values of professionalism?

The three core values of professionalism are integrity, which entails adhering to ethical principles and honesty; accountability, which involves taking responsibility for one’s actions and decisions; and excellence, which requires continual learning and striving for top-quality performance in one’s profession.

What are the 4 P’s of professionalism?

The 4 P’s of professionalism refer to Pride in one’s work, Punctuality in delivering tasks and commitments, Preparation to ensure readiness and competence, and Positive attitude towards challenges and collaborative efforts. These elements emphasise the importance of self-respect, timeliness, thoroughness, and a constructive mindset in professional settings. Embracing these attributes helps individuals excel in their professions and fosters a conducive work environment.

What are the 4 C’s of professionalism?

The 4 C’s of professionalism are commonly understood as Competence, indicating the necessary skills and knowledge for a job; Communication, emphasising effective interactions and clarity; Commitment, denoting dedication and persistence in one’s profession; and Conduct, referring to ethical behaviour and adherence to professional standards. Together, these attributes guide professionals in maintaining a high standard of work and behaviour in their respective fields. Embodying these qualities ensures individuals uphold the trust and respect of their peers, superiors, and clients.

What are the 5 E’s of professionalism?

The 5 E’s of professionalism are not as universally recognised as some other models, but in various contexts, they can be referred to as Expertise, indicating mastery in one’s field; Ethics, emphasising moral integrity and uprightness; Engagement, denoting active participation and commitment to one’s profession; Effectiveness, which means delivering results consistently; and Efficiency, referring to the ability to achieve results with optimal use of resources. Together, these attributes help professionals deliver quality service and maintain credibility in their fields. By embodying these principles, individuals can ensure excellence, trustworthiness, and value in their professional endeavours.

Author Profile

James Barron
My first experience of teaching was in 2016, when I was asked to
deliver a talk to a group of 16-year-olds on what it was like to start
your own business. I immediately knew I wanted to become more
involved in teaching but I didn’t know where to start as I had not
previously considered a career in education. A few weeks later I
agreed to teach a class of Chinese students from the Shanghai
Technical Institute of Electronics and Information, who had travelled
to the UK to learn English and Software Engineering, after that I was
hooked. Within the next few years, I taught hundreds of students of
many different nationalities, aged from 16 to 60, and from
levels 2 to 6. I focused my time teaching with Bath University and
Bath College for several more years until I felt a change was in order.
For the last few years, I have taught remotely with several private
training organisations, provided dedicated one to one coaching
sessions, provided consultancy on teaching and assessment practices
and written about my experiences as a teacher. I plan to continue
with my current activities for the foreseeable future but I’m always
open to new teaching experiences.

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