General FAQs

What is the Profession Map and what is its purpose?

The Profession Map defines the knowledge, behaviours and inherent values underpinning today’s people profession. It is the most effective way yet for people professionals globally to make sound decisions and embrace change in the modern world of work.

By articulating clear standards, the Profession Map supports people professionals to make good decisions, to develop in their careers, and, ultimately, to champion better work and working lives - whether they’re a CIPD member or someone just starting out on their HR, L&D or OD&D journey.

The Map provides a firm foundation for the rest of the CIPD’s work, including membership, qualifications and our employer solutions consultancy; it supports our members as they develop throughout their careers, ensuring membership of the CIPD remains relevant and valuable.

See more FAQs below.

Use the Profession Map to benchmark knowledge, behaviours and values against a new industry standard. People professionals can use it to start making better decisions and maximising their impact straight away.

The Profession Map can help you to:

  • Increase impact and drive positive change
  • Work at the cutting edge of the profession
  • Navigate complexity and uncertainty
  • Develop and demonstrate your expertise in people, work and change
  • Stand out as a relevant and credible practitioner
  • Understand evidence and work from a solid foundation
  • Challenge and act with confidence
  • Plot your own professional development
  • Plan your team’s professional development.

When you visit the website, you’ll find some useful guides to get you started, learning content based on the Profession Map, downloadable guides and case studies, as well as links to further information, resources and support.

The Profession Map has been developed to reflect the changing world of work; the focus has moved from activities and generic best practice to impact and outcomes using values-based decision making that’s context agnostic. It's more inclusive of different disciplines (Equality, diversity and inclusion, People analytics and Employee experience); it reflects our profession’s latest research and thinking and will continue to do so as the Map evolves to remain relevant and future-fit.

Simple and reflective language is important, so we’ve moved from referring to 'professionals working in HR and L&D' to talking about 'people professionals'. This reflects the fact that people are at the heart of what people professionals do. It’s also more inclusive of the wide range of specialisms that make up our profession today and may join it in the future.

This term includes all EDI, HR, L&D, OD&D professionals, and those working in other people specialisms, whether they are members or non-members, worldwide.