General FAQs

What is the new Profession Map and what is its purpose?

The new 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 new 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 professional CIPD member or someone just starting out on their HR, L&D or OD&D journey.

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

See more FAQs below.

The new Profession Map is ready to use 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 new 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, FAQs, webinars that you can sign up to, as well as links to further information, resources and support.

People professionals told us that they wanted something more dynamic that can keep pace with the world of work, and we’ve responded.

The world of work has moved on since we launched the 2013 Profession Map. New specialisms, ways of working and priorities have emerged as roles have diversified – and with them, the role of the people profession has changed forever.

Today, we are creating meaningful value for people, organisations, society and our profession. The new Profession Map has been created to guide you in doing exactly this.

The new Profession Map:

  • is both an evolution of and a step-change from the 2013 Profession Map, making it more robust than ever
  • now ties professional knowledge and behaviour to the overarching purpose of the people profession – to champion better work and working lives
  • shifts the focus from generic best practice to values-based decision-making. It won’t tell you what to do, but it will show you how being principles-led, evidence-based and outcomes-driven leads to better decisions in any situation.
  • will evolve in line with the world of work, updating when the landscape shifts, keeping you future-fit for years to come
  • is clear, easy to understand and ready to apply to your daily work
  • was developed with people professionals, for people professionals – created in consultation with business leaders, industry experts, CIPD members and partner organisations internationally
  • was developed to work for all people professionals, from those just starting out in their careers to the most senior people directors, and from broad people generalists to those who have chosen to specialise.

The focus of the new Profession Map shifts the focus from generic best practice to guidance for values-based decision-making. This will prepare people professionals for uncharted territory, steering judgement where no obvious solutions, rules or precedents exist.

By making it clear what’s expected of people professionals regardless of the context in which they operate in, we’ll help build trust, credibility and esteem in the profession, so that every CIPD member – from HR administrators to OD&D directors – finds themselves more highly regarded by the businesses they work in.

This trust and credibility will have a huge impact on the profession’s ability to make a difference to work and working lives, which will make careers in the people profession more rewarding than ever.

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 D&I, HR, L&D, OD&D professionals, and those working in other people specialisms, whether they are members or non-members, worldwide.

From November 2018, the new Profession Map will replace all previous versions as the international benchmark for excellent people practice. However, the 2013 Profession Map will still remain a robust, relevant and useful point of reference, which is why it will continue to play an important role for the next couple of years.

For the time being, the 2013 Profession Map will remain the foundation of all CIPD qualifications, CPD tools and membership standards.

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