Could industry accreditation help your career?

Managing people

25 August 2016

Professional bodies exist for almost all industries in the UK to provide standards, information and accreditation.

If you’re newly qualified, or just haven’t got round to investigating the professional organisations that represent your industry, read on for a guide to these bodies and how they could boost your business.


Not every industry has a professional body. However, GOV.UK  lists hundreds of approved organisations and societies spanning dozens of sectors, so it's easy to find your representative if there is one.

To join, you'll normally need to pay a subscription fee and sign up to a code of conduct, you may also need to have professional indemnity insurance cover too. Tests are applied in some industries too, for example the Association of Professional Landscapers conducts a rigorous inspection that's repeated annually.

Trust and reputation

The benefits of inspections and codes of conduct are that customers and clients have a set of standards they can expect you to meet, and can trust that your indemnity policy and business practices have been checked.

Some industries require membership of a professional body, for example accountancy. In other sectors, members simply benefit from showing customers a level of professionalism. Tradesmen can display accreditation on third party sites like to enhance their reputation and attract more customers.


As part of their remit, many professional bodies also provide new information and tools. This can be through an online news feed, industry magazine or research paper, or it could be via live events like trade shows and talks.

Many associations also advertise jobs and host networking events to help expand your contact book.


Professional indemnity insurance can be combined with other measures provided by industry bodies to better protect your business. For example, many organisations offer mediation services. If a client has an issue with your service, or refuses payment, professional bodies like the Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association can help solve the dispute.

Organisations also offer training and qualifications to help push your career forward and, in the case of the Construction Industry Training Board, even offer grants and funding.

Then there's advertising and PR. Architecture body the Royal Institute of British Architects, for example, hosts an annual awards ceremony to celebrate members' achievements and draw attention to their work.

The benefits of membership could well outweigh the burden of regulation and the costs for your business. So explore your options and research the best option for you before making a decision.