In 1992, Dr Robert Hess first popularized the phrase as a multidimensional organizational characteristic that includes the structures and processes by which professionals direct, control, and regulate goal-oriented efforts of one another. Professional governance, NOT a synonym for shared governance, encompasses a continuum from traditional to shared to self governance. In 1994, Hess further promoted the phrase by creating and copyrighting The Index of Professional Governance and The Index of Professional Nursing Governance. These survey instruments remain the only valid, reliable, contemporary means of specifically quantifying professional governance, including shared governance.
Shared governance in a managerial innovation that gives healthcare professionals control over their practice, while extending their influence over supporting resources that were previously controlled only by managers; it also reconciles sometimes competing roles of being a professional and an employee. The IPNG/IPG measures what is being controlled in an organization, to what extend and by whom. Organizations that reach the shared governance threshold are eligible for free accreditation by the Forum for Shared Governance.