The New South Wales Council of Professions convened a meeting on 23 October 1970 with representatives of similar Councils formed in Victoria, Queensland and South Australia (plus representation by individuals from Western Australia) to address the possibility of establishing closer working relations. That meeting resolved that:

"a Federal Council of Professions be formed and that immediate steps be taken to implement that decision."

A constitution for the Council was approved on 12 November 1971.

The main objectives of the new Council were seen at that time as being to maintain and advance the standards and status of the professions in the community generally and to uphold and advance the honour and reputation of the professions and the integrity and standing of the members thereof.

On 16 November 1994, the Council was incorporated as a public company limited by guarantee. The Memorandum of Association cites the objects for which the Council had been established in terms similar to those adopted in 1971 but with the addition of an intention to promote the interests and welfare of the Australian community through the combined influence and expertise of the professions.

The Articles of Association make provision for the establishment of Branches of the Council in any State or Territory. At the time of incorporation, the then existing Councils of Professions in Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory became Branches of the Council; the New South Wales Council of Professions opted to retain its autonomy.

In 2002, the Council registered the business name 'Professions Australia' in every State and Territory to become officially the Australian Council of Professions Limited trading as Professions Australia. For most purposes, the organisation now goes by the name of 'Professions Australia' (PA).

In May 2003, the Annual General Meeting made a number of significant changes, including amending the Memorandum and Articles, now called the Constitution. The changes brought in a broadening of the membership base with new membership criteria and fee structure. The AGM agreed that, when votes were taken at PA meetings, small associations would have one vote, medium associations two votes, and large associations three votes.

Professions Australia's mandate is as strong today as when it was established, that is to promote the interests of the Australian community through the combined influence and expertise of the professions.