The ALT's CMALT prospects specifies a surprisingly limited list of only four values:
- Commitment to exploring and understanding the interplay between technology and learning
- Commitment to keep up to date with new technologies
- Empathy with and willingness to learn from colleagues from different backgrounds and specialisms
- Commitment to communicate and disseminate effective practice
The professional values expressed by the UK Higher Education Authority are:
- Respect for individual learners
- Commitment to incorporating the process and outcomes of relevant research, scholarship and/or professional practice
- Commitment to development of learning communities
- Commitment to encouraging participation in higher education, acknowledging diversity and promoting equality of opportunity
- Commitment to continuing professional development and evaluation of practice
Interestingly, neither the ALT or the HEA make any reference to ethical principles or standards, and consequently there is no comment on procedures if such standards are not met. There is also no mention of quality, or the aspiration towards it, for professional knowledge, application or behaviour.
Other organisations, such as the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) provide more detailed codes of conduct. For example, the IET has 22 rules of conduct, each of which are underpinned by one or more of 8 principles (honesty, integrity, fairness, confidentiality, competence, objectivity, environmental sustainability and health, safety and risk).
It is possible that the less prescriptive approach of the ALT and HEA are indicative of a teaching profession which has (until relatively recently) had considerable freedom in its own organisation. Conversely (and in particular for the ALT), it may be considered unsurprising that a fledgling profession (if indeed it is one) has not yet established the depth and rigour that underpin professions such as engineering or medicine. However, the fundamental principles such as honesty, integrity and fairness, as exemplified by the IET's code of conduct, might be considered to be universal, and so should be expressed somewhere.
Some organisations, such as the IET or the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), have a value set which further illuminates the key activities of the profession. For example, the BACP values include a commitment to:
- Respecting human rights and dignity
- Ensuring the integrity of practitioner-client relationships
- Enhancing the quality of professional knowledge and its application
- Alleviating personal distress and suffering
- Fostering a sense of self that is meaningful to the person(s) concerned
- Increasing personal effectiveness
- Enhancing the quality of relationships between people
- Appreciating the variety of human experience and culture
- Striving for the fair and adequate provision of counselling and psychotherapy services.