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Forming and Exercising Professional Judgement

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Vocational Education and Training
Published14 Dec 2020


King's Authors


Any form of professional or occupational practice that requires independent agency has to rely heavily on the judgement of its practitioners. Yet the nature of professional judgement, like the nature of judgement more generally, is poorly understood. Almost as little understood is the nature of agential responsibility. The two are closely connected. A professional is held responsible for his/her actions and negative or positive judgements about those actions are closely related to the quality of the judgements made about those actions. The question is often further complicated in professional contexts when choices have to be made in constrained situations where there is little or no opportunity for leisurely decision-making. In the professional world, vocational and professional education has an essential role to play in the formation of deliberative judgement and its subsequent extension into contexts of constraint. Indeed, the development of deliberative judgement is a condition for the development of satisfactory decision-making in constrained circumstances. VET provides the opportunities and resources for the development of judgemental and deliberative powers across the range of professional activity. The resource of systematic knowledge underpinning an occupation is a key element in professional judgement and decision-making. The argument will be illustrated with practical examples.

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