The recent exposure by CTV of some Personal Trainers claiming to be Kinesiologists, when they are not, just to make a few extra dollars and the Occupy Vancouver/Major World city movement motivated me to seek further understanding about what it means to be a professional and how the financial markets have evolved or devolved.
We often hear of CEO’s being overpaid for underperformance or various people (not professionals) doing unethical things which have at times even been illegal, just to have “more”.
In his book “Enough” John C. Bogle describes mostly how the financial industry has gone from adding value to the investors to taking more value away from the investor as well as how professional standards have degraded. Through his vast experience and knowledge he also gives the reader a solid history of financial excess which has permeated CEO compensation in the USA. He also gives his own thoughts about how to turn this situation around.
On a sunny day in June 1999 I officially joined the working world to become a professional in the rehabilitation and health fields. Often the term professional is reserved for and only associated with lawyers, doctors, teachers, engineers, architects, accountants and others with similar designations. There are even special banking services for “professionals,” but only the previously described qualify. As a Practicing Kinesiologist with over 10 years of experience I consider myself to be a professional. Does having a particular degree and designation means you are a professional, while others with degrees are not? I agree with Bogle, who thinks that there is more to being a professional and that it is more about how you act than what your designations is that defines you as a professional or not.
Mariam-Webster Dictionary’s Definitions
“Characterized by or conforming to the technical or ethical standards of a profession.” or “Exhibiting a courteous, conscientious and generally businesslike manner.”
“A calling requiring specialized knowledge and often long and intensive academic preparation.”
6 Characteristics of a Profession
In Chapter 5, Bogle mentions how Daedulus examined professions in the 1940’s and then again in 2005. They go on to describe the six characteristics of a profession:
- A commitment to the interest of clients, in particular society in general
- A body of theory or specialized knowledge
- A specialized set of professional skills, practices and performances unique to the profession
- The developed capacity to render judgements with integrity under conditions of ethical uncertainty
- An organized approach to learning from experience, both individually and collectively and thus the growing of new knowledge from the context of practice
- The development of a professional community responsible for the oversight and monitoring of quality in both practice and professional educators
Is Kinesiology a Profession?
Yes, by the above definitions Kinesiology is a profession and I am a professional. Lifemoves was created to promote health, fitness and wellness opportunities for clients with medical conditions, disabilities and injuries. My inspiration was in 2000 when I noticed, during a volunteer practicum with an individual with a spinal cord injury that I noticed that there were very few fitness opportunities for individuals with medical conditions or disabilities. This has changed through the years, especially due to community centre revitalization projects however; there seem to be a very limited number of commercial centres with integrated facilities and programs. I stand by my professional ethics and place adding value to our clients’ lives at the forefront of what we do.
To become a practicing Kinesiologist we have a specialized knowledge and skill set that is obtained during a undergraduate degree as well by continuing our education throughout our career. I am connected with fellow professionals who take pride in what they do and who share their knowledge and opinions through discussions in various forums. I have contributed some of my knowledge by speaking at conferences and contributing to Kinnected, the BCAK’s member newsletter. The BCAK, which turns 20 years old this year, is our professional community that is responsible for oversight and monitoring of both those in practice and those who provide professional education.
What being a Professional Kinesiologist Means to Me
Kinesiology is not a job for me, nor is it a field that I intend to be in for a very short time. I chose a Human Kinetics degree for the specific reasons of helping others become healthier and improve their own physical performance. Lifemoves is my business and my full-time livelihood. Helping people move with greater ease is also my passion.
- Contributing to the wellbeing of Lifemoves clients, society and other Kinesiologist
- Sticking to my ethics and standards of practice
- Continuing to grow, challenge and improve my skills and methods of practice
- Ensuring that Lifemoves remains profitable so that we are able to grow and expand our services thus have the opportunity the provide more services to more people
- Respecting and valuing the members of our clients medical/health team – Doctors, Physiotherapists, Chiropractors, etc by maintaining open dialogue and communication
- Only recommending services and products that clients need while referring out when appropriate.
- Transparently communicating with clients and colleagues, which at times means admitting to my mistakes or the need for additional research
- Providing current knowledge and passing that on through communications with colleagues, team members and clients
- Providing timely communications, effective, innovative and efficient service delivery
- Taking care of myself so I can take care of others
Bogle, John C. True Measures of Money, Business and Life. John Wiley and Sons¸ 2009
Bogle’s Blog – John C Bogle Media