Skip to main content
Kent Academic Repository

Professional Expertise, Integration and Lifelong Learning

Gough, A.Martin (2009) Professional Expertise, Integration and Lifelong Learning. In: RWL6: The 6th International Conference on Researching Work and Learning, 28 June – 1 July 2009, Roskilde University, Denmark. (Unpublished) (KAR id:24476)


My concern is with the dynamics within and between content, delivery and infrastructural components (Hoskin & Anderson-Gough, adapted from Silver) of programmes of professional workplace learning. I use the current education and training systems within Chartered Accountancy in the UK as an illustration which both points to solutions to, and in turn raises further, problematic issues for successful learning. How might such an integrative framework for the ACA qualification be operationalised across higher education and the workplace? There is no one type of organization which constitutes the “educational institution”. There are different types of Accountancy practice, supported by respective professional institutes. The elite end of this field of knowledge enjoys in turn a peculiar relation to Accounting in higher education. To respond to this challenge requires enquiry into the ways in which workplace expertise may draw upon, and reconfigure, disciplinary knowledge. We might look first for integration at the level of content, for instance raising the profile of ethics in the formal curriculum. Depending upon how we do this, we might anticipate certain challenges to this project then from the system of delivery. In turn, we would find infrastructural obstacles to trying to make the system of delivery more integrative. Part of this is due to the field being transdisciplinary in the way emphasised by Gibbons et al., in that the Mode 2 knowledge component is very strong, with at the same time the profession owning the knowledge in important ways and keeping the Academy at arm’s length. The development of professional judgement goes beyond “social practice” and requires expertise that transcends a disciplinary specialism to become more adaptive, i.e. transdisciplinary in a further, richer and more integrative sense. It might appear that greater linkages across content, delivery and infrastructure between higher education and the profession would contribute to acceptable frameworks of lifelong learning. However, this is not as straightforward a solution as it may sound, as I shall explain through multiple interpretations of the training programme in this context.

Gibbons, M., Limoges, C., Nowotny, H., Schwartzman, S., Scott, P. and Trow, M. (1994) The New Production of Knowledge, London: Sage.

Hoskin, K. & Anderson-Gough, F. (2004) “The context of learning in professional work environments: a case study of the accountancy Profession” in H. Rainbird, A. Fuller, & A. Munro (eds.) Workplace Learning in Context. London: Routledge pp.71-88; also leading the project “Between Workplace and Qualification: Engineering Integrative Learning”, on which this paper draws.

Silver, H. (1998) “The languages of innovation: listening to the higher education literature”, Innovations in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, a project in the ESRC Learning Society Programme, Working Paper No.1

Item Type: Conference or workshop item (Paper)
Projects: Between Workplace & Qualification: Engineering Integrative Learning
Subjects: L Education > LC Special aspects of education > LC5201 Education extension. Adult education. Continuing education
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5601 Accounting
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BD Speculative Philosophy
Divisions: Divisions > Directorate of Education > Centre for the Study of Higher Education
Funders: University of Kent (
Depositing User: Martin Gough
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2011 14:08 UTC
Last Modified: 12 Jul 2022 10:40 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Gough, A.Martin.

Creator's ORCID:
CReDIT Contributor Roles:
  • Depositors only (login required):

Total unique views for this document in KAR since July 2020. For more details click on the image.