MEMBERSHIP OF PROFESSIONAL BODIES
Academic qualifications and experience are basic requirements to practise in organised sectors. But in several other
systems, membership of professional bodies is an added requirement mandatory for one to possess before being accepted to practise.
Qualifying examinations are set by some bodies and years of service are also considered as prerequisite for full membership
of some of these bodies. For instance, an intending practitioner must pass some examinations before becoming a chartered accountant.
The institutes of Chartered Accountant of Nigeria (ICAN) and Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN) are the
bodies registered by law to regulate the practice of accountancy in Nigeria. The Nigerian Institute of Public
Relations too, has the same mandate on public relations practice in the country.
Apart from being a statutory authority to license practitioners and to sanitise the image of the profession, NIPR is
empowered to make byelaws on accreditation of sectoral groups like Association of Corporate Affairs Managers of Banks (ACAMB)
and Public Relations Consultants Association of Nigeria (PRCAN)
Aside enhancing one’s
career and also being a basic requirement for employment in top positions in the field, other benefits of professional membership
include the following:
Management Development: Knowledge is power
which needs regular improvement on the trends and changes in managerial skills, especially in the face of advancement in technology.
It is based on this that professional bodies organise training programmes for their members and interested public to broaden
their scope of knowledge for optimum professional development. It promotes and
advances the standards of the profession and provides members with career development opportunities. Some of the programmes include organised workshops, seminars, courses and conferences.
Publication: Informative materials are published and circulated to registered members to update them about happenings that are of
relevance to the body and as practitioners. They keep them abreast of new developments and techniques in the profession and
other related matters. Notable publications in this regard are newsletters, bulletins, journals, magazines and even books.
Job Opportunity: Many organisations that require the services of professionals always prefer
to enquire from the body that regulates the profession which has a data bank containing the resume of its members who may
be interested. The body therefore, creates job opportunities for its members by way of serving as referee to them.
Recognition: It acknowledges the contributions
of members through the conferment of awards and fellowship and offers other special services to deserving members. It encourages
and strengthens members to utilise their potentials in the field. It also provides the ultimate symbol of achievement and
competence through the special abbreviation of membership after members’ names.
Special Discount: As a marketing strategy,
some profit making organisations associate with the body by giving special discount to its registered members on their products
and services. This is very popular in the developed countries where companies offer such discounts for car rentals, hotel
rooms’ rates, postage service, restaurants and special credit card given to members.
Discipline: Members adhere strictly to the code of professional conducts which is a guide for observance of the high ethical standards.
Meeting Point: It affords members the opportunity
of rubbing shoulders with professional colleagues and seniors and benefit from their vast experiences, ideas and views of
veterans, especially on how to succeed. It is a melting point for healthy interaction.