Professionalism in the public service


Professionalism can be defined as the competence or skills expected of a professional. To be a professional a public officer not only needs to be competent and knowledgeable in their daily job but also requires taking on board other attributes such as:

• honesty and integrity
• accountability
• self-management
• professional image
Public officers must possess these attributes in order to maintain an accepted level of professionalism in their field of work.
The Code of Conduct and Ethics also provides a list of SHALLs that public officers are expected to follow in order to convey a high level of professionalism in the public sector.

These are:
• Public officers shall exhibit and must be seen to exhibit high degree of competence and best practices in their respective profession.
• Public officers must respond to all customers promptly and courteously and with fairness, according them empathy and respect.
• Public officers shall strive for professional excellence, strengthen individual capabilities and encourage professional development of others.
• Public officers should constantly renew their commitment to serve the public by continually improving the quality of service delivery.
Professionalism must be practiced in order for public officers to work towards higher standards of ethics and service delivery in the public sector.

Contributed by the Public Officers’ Ethics Commission