Meaning & Functions of Professional Associations

You must have severally heard of the term “Professional Association”. I suppose you know what it means. However, even if you do not have an understanding of what it means, do not worry. Our focus is to show the full meaning and functions of professional associations. There are many professional associations that exist the world over today. But first, let’s move on.

Some of the professional associations we have in the world in different countries today include

  1. Legal associations
  2. Labour unions
  3. Health association
  4. Business Associations
  5. Agricultural Associations
  6. Academic associations etc.

Each of these associations play vital roles. Membership requirements differ as well as their modes of operation. Let’s get down to the business of the day.

Also See: Top Major Differences Between Career & Profession

Meaning & Functions of Professional Associations

We will start by understand what a professional body is.

Meaning Of Professional Association?

According to Wikipedia, a professional association seeks to further a particular profession, the interests of individuals engaged in that profession and the public interest. In the United States, such an association is typically a nonprofit organization in the tax code, sense. It went further to explain that a professional association can also be called a professional body, professional organization, or professional society. 

According to the a post by the total professionsProfessional bodies are organisations whose members are individual professionals. In some professions it is compulsory to be a member of the professional body, in others it is not. This usually depends on whether or not the profession requires the professional to have a ‘licence to practice’, or to be on a professional register, in order to do their job. This is related to how the profession is regulated i.e. who is responsible for making sure that professionals are doing their jobs properly.

So, from the above, we can see that professional associations is first and foremost of a group of people of a particular profession. The membership of a particular association is dependent on your being under that very profession. So, let’s go on and see the functions of a professional associations.

Also See: List Of Professional Health Associations In Nigeria

Functions Of Professional Associations

Below are the general functions of professional bodies. We said “general” because each professional association performs different roles. However, their roles are mostly categorized under these functions below.

  1. Set and assess professional examinations
  2. Provide support for Continuing Professional Development through learning opportunities and tools for recording and planning
  3. Publish professional journals or magazines
  4. Provide networks for professionals to meet and discuss their field of expertise
  5. Issue a Code of Conduct to guide professional behaviour
  6. Deal with complaints against professionals and implement disciplinary procedures
  7. Be enabling fairer access to the professions, so that people from all backgrounds can become professionals. Find out more at our Fair Access section.
  8. Provide careers support and opportunities for students, graduates and people already working.
  9. Furthermore, hey provide regulatory functions.
  10. Most professional bodies offer a way to climb up the membership ladder towards being a ‘Fellow’ or in some cases a ‘Chartered’ professional.

From these, we can see that these professional societies play vital roles in their very sectors. However, when you study each association, you will be exposed to the more specific functions they perform.


Although we always hear of professional associations, few persons know the full Meaning & Functions of Professional Associations. That has been settled today. We are open to your comments and contributions.


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