Anyone can call her- or himself a ‘teacher’, ‘trainer’, ‘educator’, ‘mentor’. Profession labels in education are not protected or safeguarded. Admission to the profession is still regulated by having a proper diploma or certificate, completed by a hiring procedure of an institution having an open position. But this is changing. A call for gatekeeping the profession (1) has been made in professions adjacent to education. Again the health professions set the example. To be admitted as counselor, or therapist gatekeeping is set in place. Entry to the profession becomes a careful profession based (not program based) monitoring process of evaluating personal and professional qualities of applicants. Assessing professional readiness in addition to an academic diploma is favored for remediation and development purposes to prevent potential misconduct in the profession later on.
A strong plea for setting up gatekeeping procedures is to be found in the referred article. The authors state that “failing to do so could result in global consequences for the profession”. (p. 29). Of course, admission and gatekeeping procedures are there for the benefit of good practice.
Gatekeeping the profession is here to stay; it seems inevitable. The ‘Thatcherism” inspired management turn (2) made professions and professionals painfully aware that autonomy comes with a price (i.e, installing accountability measures to control service rendered). Decisions on entry to the profession, certainly, need assurance (meaning: standards, requirements and procedures). But what if turns back on you and starts to function as an impediment? Consider the possibility of a β error (i.e., the incorrect dismissal of a positive instance); that is, not selecting a talented applicant to the profession. Most entry procedures once set in place are not scrutinized or critically examined afterwards anymore. They become ‘norm’-al acting as inert, uncontested bodies with a conserving impact. It becomes increasingly hard to question them. However, from time to time one needs to ask “are you sure you are not keeping out who should be in?
The Gatekeeping Imperative in Counselor Education Admission Protocols: The Criticality of Personal Qualities. By Ann M. McCaughan & Nicole R. Hill. © Springer Science+Business Media, New York 2014.
Published online: International Journal for the Advancement of Counselling, 2015 37:28–40.
Link: www. DOI 10.1007/s10447-014-9223-2