The Profession Map sets the international standard for people professionals to make their greatest impact and thrive in a changing world of work.

The Map is designed to evolve in line with the shifting landscape. The core values and purpose driving the professional standards remain constant, but as new roles, specialisms, priorities and opportunities emerge, it will adapt to incorporate them.

It's part of how we're equipping people professionals to drive change and shape the future of work.

An evidence-based approach to change

All changes to the Map are evidence-based.

Profession Map review outcome - June 2022

We’ve made changes to two Map areas, click on the icons below to find out more.


Business acumen

Business acumen

Profession Map review outcome - November 2021

As part of our commitment to keep people professionals future-fit in a fast changing world of work, we review the Profession Map twice a year with the outcomes shared in June and November.

After going through our evidence-based approach to reviewing the Map, there will be no changes for this current review cycle.

We’ll share any updates from the next review in June 2022.

Profession Map review outcome - June 2021

We’ve made small adjustments to language, to what’s included within each Map area and to content.

These changes will increase clarity and better define the Map areas. For example, we’ve amended language across Reward to better reflect our global audience. We’ve highlighted that recruiting fits within resourcing and we’ve moved the standard on facilitation, coaching, consulting and mentoring to Culture and behaviour (from People practice).

We’ve also made more significant changes across the standards that reflect the latest research, the changing landscape and feedback from the profession.

These include:


  • We’ve used our latest research and feedback from the profession to review wellbeing and integrate it throughout the standards.

  • We’ve made changes which provide a holistic perspective on how individuals and organisations have a shared responsibility to work together to ensure that wellbeing is actively enabled and maintained.

  • Wellbeing in People practice provides the basis of understanding how to integrate wellbeing into people practices across the organisation.

  • In Culture and behaviour there’s a focus on the organisation’s responsibility to help individuals, teams and the workforce as a whole to build resilience and create a healthy working environment.

  • We’ve reflected the need for shared responsibility in Valuing people, and an individual’s responsibility for their own wellbeing in Commercial drive.

Flexible ways of working

  • As the world of work continues to change at pace, flexibility in ways of working and thinking, in responding to change and in continuous innovation and improvement are increasingly important.

  • Within People practice we’ve added two new standards that focus specifically on flexible ways of working: how to adapt people practices for workplace-based, hybrid and remote working, and how to support managers and leaders to integrate and enable those new approaches.

  • In Culture and behaviour we’ve adapted the standard on teams to focus on how teams can be structured flexibly to respond to business needs.

  • There’s also a new standard focusing on continuous innovation and improvement in Change.

Inclusion and diversity

  • We’ve changed the name of this area (previously Diversity and inclusion) and, based on our latest research and feedback from the profession, completely reviewed and rewritten this whole area to reflect the changes in work and society.

  • We consulted and validated the standards with experts including members of our own Board and our internal I&D groups, and with practitioners in a range of organisations.

  • Now included are standards that focus on understanding communities and society, workforce representation, meaningful I&D information, systemic bias and inequality, I&D issues, building capability, accountability, trust and transparency, I&D legislation and I&D reporting.

  • All standards in I&D embed a drive for action and change to support and equip people professionals in this vital area of practice.

Employee relations

  • We’ve made significant changes throughout this Map area based on feedback from experts in the profession and supported by research.

  • We’ve made some of the standards more practical, such as those on people policies, dispute resolution and employment / labour law.

  • We’ve added new standards that reflect the changing world of work around employee and worker relationships, and employee relations culture.

  • And we’ve also introduced standards on voice and engagement as well as consultation and negotiation which focus on the different aspects of the organisation’s relationship with its people.

Evidence-based practice

  • This area was previously called ‘Analytics and creating value’, and within it we referenced knowledge of evidence-based practice.

  • This area has been reframed to focus on the broad approach of evidence-based practice needed by people professionals, which includes using data and analytics, analysis and problem solving tools, research, and stakeholder insight. It also includes measuring outcomes and the value created by work.

  • All these standards taken together provide a comprehensive basis for people professionals to embed the evidence-based value in their day-to-day practice.

Technology and people

  • This area was previously called ‘Digital working’, and feedback from the profession suggested that ‘Technology and people’ was more meaningful, and more representative of the language used by many organisations.

  • We’ve recalibrated this area to reflect the expectations of the profession at the different impact levels, and to take more of a future-focus on the role of technology and the opportunities and challenges it presents for workforces and organisations.

  • We’ve also introduced a new standard to reflect the role that practitioners play in bringing the people perspective to the design of technology-enabled people practices.

To find out more, download the full standards

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