This is the definition we have come up with as a group. This definition is included in our by-laws and is a requirement of membership.
Criteria for being termed "professional" include one or more of the following:
- Professional expertise utilized for subsistence - Expertise in a field or practice that is claimed to be a profession. Professional mastery in a specific field may be evaluated as practical, literary, or manual in nature. A professional is monetarily compensated for services. Performance of specialized capabilities without compensation does not qualify as professional.
- Exercise of skills only in areas of professional competence – Professionals must exhibit expertise in the field of practice that is claimed to be a profession. Performance of work must be of exemplary quality such that trust is instilled in that professional as a result of the work performed. This is the fulfillment of ethical conduct, but stands as a requirement for individual competence.
- Ethical conduct in matters both public and private – All professionals must have a consistent record of adherence to law, ethics, and professional best practices for their applicable field. Members shall act in professional matters for each employer or client as faithful agents or trustees, and shall avoid conflicts of interest.
- Maintenance of skills through practice and continuing education - Professionals shall develop throughout their careers, and shall provide opportunities for the professional development of professionals that may be under their supervision.