Mr. Simpungwe

Many people in our society still don’t understand the key differences between Academic and Professional
qualifications. Both academic and professional qualifications are indicative of some form of achievement, and
both entitle the bearer to use certain initials before or after their name, but beyond that they are quite different.
The essential difference between professional and academic qualifications is that professional qualifications are
‘warrants of competence or expertise’ whereas academic credentials are not. With professional designations,
the certifying body such as the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM); the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and
Supply (CIPS); the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA); the Chartered Institute of
management Accountants (CIMA); etc. is warranting that the certified person (tradesperson or professional) has
the essential knowledge and skills of a specified domain necessary for safe and appropriate practice of the trade
or profession. With academic credentials, there is no such ‘warrant of competence,’ an academic credential
means that someone has successfully completed a particular course of study not that one is competent to
practice a trade or profession.
Professional designations are always built upon a practice analysis which defines what certified individuals need
to know or be able to do. Academic credentials are rarely based upon formal and systematic practice analyses.
Academic institutions do not assume responsibility of the actions of their graduates. By contrast, professional do
have some ongoing responsibility for the behavior of their members. Professional associations and regulatory
bodies are accountable for their certification processes. Professional associations and regulatory bodies must
be able to demonstrate that they demonstrated due diligence in their certification process. This does not...