Define a professional...

Mr E

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We're renewing our 10-year-old's passport, which was queried by out local Post Office during their Check and Send (which I didn't end up paying for).

I had the form countersigned by a musician / singer - well known by many - as he happened to be at "Chez E" this weekend. As a chap with a 40+ year career in the music business it didn't even occur to me that there might be a problem. It transpires that singers, musicians and entertainers are not "professionals" in the eyes of the IPS. Qualified travel agents are, which leaves Mrs E somewhat bemused as she now wants to know what qualifications you can get to become a "Travel Agent" (having had 25 years experience in the travel industry).

I don't qualify either - if I was a member of the BCS or a managing consultant organisation I'd be OK, but as I'm not (I've never seen the merit) I'm not a professional.

At the end of a very surreal - albeit friendly and amusing - conversation with a nice lady at the IPS, I'm not sure I actually know any "professional" persons.

So a heads-up if you need a countersignatory for your passport - the lady at the IPS said that a significant number of rejections are due to the countersignatory not meeting their requirements. They have no criteria as such, just a list that they work from, and if you're not on the list you ain't a professional.
 

wemorgan

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It's all a nonsense really and seems a legacy of a bygone age.

I'm buying a house with a covenant on it, where the only professions allowed to run a business from the property are; solicitor, doctor, surgeon & dentist, but crucially not engineers.

The list of professionals and then respected professionals was surely written by civil servants who had little knowledge of the wider world.
 

davidjpowell

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It's all a nonsense really and seems a legacy of a bygone age.

I'm buying a house with a covenant on it, where the only professions allowed to run a business from the property are; solicitor, doctor, surgeon & dentist, but crucially not engineers.

The list of professionals and then respected professionals was surely written by civil servants who had little knowledge of the wider world.

Not that daft really. At one time an engineer would have visions of noisy machine's in sheds etc...

Still I would guess that whoever was to have benefited from that clause is long gone, and it should be pretty unenforceable now.

We had issues with my Stepson when we first moved up from Bristol. My mother signed in the end - she was a Professional because she was a teacher 25 years previous...
 

Charles Morgan

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Journalists are....

I think from the list on the DirectGov website, someone in good standing is a euphemism for not a member of the working classes.

I think you can seek to remove a covenant Will, but looking at that list, I would be inclined to believe it is meant to cover people receiving customers at the property, working from home should not be an issue.
 
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Mr E

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Yup it's a bit hit and miss. We generally get a teacher to do it, there's a (non-exhaustive) list of 'acceptable' occupations here:

Who can countersign your application? : Directgov - Travel and transport

That's the list they refer to. I pointed out that it said "examples" and they came back and said that if it's not on the list it's not professional...

We had checked the list, but the criteria seems to be all over the place. Especially when a well-known and respected musician is excluded, but a NOTW journalist would be fine...
 

Mike Walker

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Structural Engineer with professional qualification - seems like I am no longer working class then?
Form a queue for signatures please.......
 

BTB 500

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I know of a plumber successfully signing applications as a "heating engineer".
 

grober

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While an anachronism in the era of digital information I reckon this stems from an era when the best way to check on an individuals identity address etc would be if written records of some form or other existed which involved said individual. This would be more likely they held professional qualifications or were involved in activities where their name address signature and place of work were recorded on paper somewhere?
 

wemorgan

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I think you can seek to remove a covenant Will, but looking at that list, I would be inclined to believe it is meant to cover people receiving customers at the property, working from home should not be an issue.

That was my interpretation too. I'll just keep quiet about it with regards to my solicitor. Most of my time is spent on client sites anyway.

Back to the topic. I was able to get a colleague, another 'professional' engineer, to witness my mortgage application.

Why a witness who's an engineer should be more honourable than a musician is beyond me.
 
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Charles Morgan

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I think Derek is close to the mark, the notion of a professional being someone who had had to meet certain standards of competence and integrity, enforced by some external body with registration requirements.

They have clearly expanded the list to the point where it is pretty close to meaningless.
 

Spinal

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I just get my mother to do it... she's a teacher which works well...

As a member of the BCS, apparently so can I! Cool!

M.
 

Ade B

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I've signed loads as a lettered up harchitect.

Most of the people I knew beforehand ;)
 

davidjpowell

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The application for a shotgun certificate is not dissimilar either....

A countersignatory must also be a Member of Parliament, Justice of the
Peace, minister of religion, doctor, lawyer, established civil servant, bank
officer or person of similar standing. Serving police officers, police​
employees and registered firearms dealers cannot act as contersignatories.
 

finisterre

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They are all people with a reputation to lose.

?whereas a musician is basically a scoundrel.
 
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Mr E

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They are all people with a reputation to lose.

?whereas a musician is basically a scoundrel.

So what does that make a journalist...?

TBH it's not a great deal - write out a new form, get someone else to sign it, take it back in tomorrow - but the process has become so painful and picky.
 

st4

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A professional is someone who belongs to a professional body.

Eg a Lawyer, The Law Society
Accountant - Chartered Insitute of Accountants
Banker - Chartered Institute of Bankers Scotland (I am not one as I do not belong to this)

Trade unions/bodies don't count.

Its an old age thing, tend not to pay regard to it.

I guess I must be working class, someone else tells me my hours of work, and I don't monitor other peoples hours of work, or decide that for them.

One less thing to do. Good.
 

developer

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I've signed many passport applications without issue, based upon my quals (BA, MBA) but I haven't had a professional "job" since 2001, the last time I worked for someone else :dk:.
 

MOCAŠ

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I just get my mother to do it... she's a teacher which works well...

Has she disowned you? I thought relatives were a no-no.
 

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