Responsibility v Accountability


We use these words regularly in our lives but what is the difference?

As a parent we have responsibility to enable our child to

  • Be healthy
  • Stay safe
  • Enjoy and achieve
  • Make a positive contribution
  • Achieve economic well-being

Responsibility is bestowed on us when we take on the role of parent or carer, whether we like it or not.  Accountability is not the same; accountability is when we accept that responsibility and know that we are answerable for our actions, if only to ourselves and our children.

This made me think about the service providers and their responsibility and accountability.  Then I realised that this is how you distinguish between good and bad service providers.

I never refer to providers as professionals.  My definition of professional is “having or showing great skill; an expert” whereas some providers only define it as “Engaging in a given activity as a source of livelihood or as a career”. 

A good provider is professional and not only acts responsibly, they are also answerable for their actions.  They won’t use excuses such as “oh well, I told so and so, not my fault that they didn’t do it”.  They accept that as far as we are concerned, the buck stops with them, not their colleague, manager or another department.

I want more of the professional providers, the ones who are accountable, the ones who still want to make a difference and more importantly, the ones who still care.

I’m not interested in those who just fulfil responsibilities – also known as ticking boxes.

What about you?

 

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One response to “Responsibility v Accountability

  1. There are very few people when they say “OK, leave it with me”, I breathe a sigh of relief. When most people say it, I’m afraid I just think bother, this one will need watching.

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