Like many other professional associations, one of the main benefits Queensland Justices Association (QJA) provides its members is professional development.
We encourage our members and other honorary justices to take their role seriously and participate in necessary professional development.
Why should associations offer professional development?
It is necessary in all industries to keep up-to-date with new developments. As a peak industry body, it is crucial for an association to highlight the importance of keeping up-to-date with best industry practice. Therefore it’s only natural for an association to provide professional development for their members. This service is a key member benefit that not only improves the quality of workers in an association’s industry but also maintains their membership and serves to recruit new members.
Organising training sessions
QJA’s Annual State Conference and professional development workshops are supported by politicians, local media and business. The local branches form committees to organise a range of speakers on topics relevant to the administration of honorary justice. As there are a number of categories of honorary justices in Queensland, QJA structures the professional development to ensure that the first sessions are relevant for all the categories and the final ones are relevant for the higher level JPs.
Members and non-member honorary justices are often surprised when they attend QJA workshops how many gaps there were in their knowledge prior to attending.
Basic training emphasises the importance of good practice and provides practical tips to improve our members day-to-day working environment. Much good practice falls by the wayside when working careers begin, or are simply forgotten after initial training.
For example, it is considered best practice to keep a log book of the documents that are brought to honorary justices to witness. Yet, we are continually amazed at how many honorary justices fail to keep a record of the documents they witness. Honorary justices may be required to attend court to give evidence on the documents they witness and need to keep accurate records to assist with remembering details if they are to be a reliable witness. We remind our members of the need to keep a log book in our professional development sessions and also supply log books for sale at each QJA refresher workshop we hold.
Professional development through association publications
In addition to QJA’s branch meetings and professional development workshops, QJA has published a quarterly Journal since 1936. This provides a way for QJA kept in touch with its members on a regular basis and is the main product QJA provides for professional development. QJA’s Journal replicates many of the speeches given at our workshops and conferences, for those who were unable to attend, and also publishes other articles of interest and updates.
QJA has a self-published book called The Guide to JP Practice in Queensland in a loose-leaf format, which provides detailed information on the duties of honorary justices in Queensland. It is updated regularly when legislation changes or if new forms are developed by Government authorities. Our members who are registered owners of The Guide receive free email and/or hard copy updates so they are able to remove and replace updated pages.
Third Sector acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands where we live, learn and work. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.