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Title: Professionalism as explored through UK regulatory documentation
Authors: Bateman, Heidi Louise
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: Professionalism is a complex phenomenon. Nevertheless, there are common influences when considering ‘professionalism’ that apply across professional groups regardless of individual beliefs, experiences and drivers. One of these influences are the requirements set out by regulatory bodies; these affect how professionalism is developed in learners and influence the behaviour of ‘practitioners’. The aim of this study was to conceptualise professionalism using regulator-produced documents that articulate professionalism requirements and subsequently inform curricula. Qualitative methods were employed; their purpose being contextualisation, interpretation and understanding. Document and thematic analysis techniques, which were informed by the theoretical position of Pragmatism, were used to analyse the requirements for educational attainment of a range of professionals. The analysis identified that professionalism has been conceptualised by each regulator as a multi-faceted phenomenon. There were however, elements of commonality in thematic content and in the way regulators have conceptualised professional attributes: Patient/service user focus; Regulatory focus; Practitioner focus. Document analysis permitted problematisation of working with different educational goal formats in relation to professionalism. This included challenges in determining attainment and the risk of losing sight of the complexity and richness of complex phenomena in mechanistic compartmentalisation. Understanding themes identified from the documentation can inform the development of a framework that could be utilised to influence curriculum structure. The challenges created for education providers by the current format of educational goals are most likely a reflection of the complex nature of professionalism, rather than the failure to conform to accepted educational formats. A recommendation from the study would be adoption of a ‘standards’ format of educational goal, which may address the challenges that have been identified and be more appropriate for describing professionalism. This would however require wider collaboration in determining guidance for how providers may demonstrably satisfy quality assurance processes.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Dental Sciences

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