People professionals are faced with complex workplace decisions and need to understand ‘what works’ in order to influence organisational outcomes for the better. 

Evidence-based practice helps them make better, more effective decisions by choosing reliable, trustworthy solutions and being less reliant on outdated received wisdom, fads or superficial quick fixes. 

At the CIPD, we believe this is an important step for the people profession to take: our Profession Map describes a vision of a profession that is principles-led, evidence-based and outcomes-driven. Taking an evidence-based approach to decision-making can have a huge impact on the working lives of people in all sorts of organisations worldwide.

This factsheet outlines what evidence-based practice is and why it is so important, highlighting the four sources of evidence to draw on and combine to ensure the greatest chance of making effective decisions. It then looks to the steps we can take to move towards an evidence-based people profession. 

In search of best
available evidence

The reasons why evidence-based practice is so important, the principles that underpin it, how it can be followed and how challenges in doing so can be overcome.

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This factsheet was last updated by Jake Young: Research Associate, CIPD

Jake’s research interests cover a number of workplace topics, notably inclusion and diversity. Jake is heavily involved with CIPD’s evidence reviews, looking at a variety of topics including employee engagement, employee resilience and virtual teams.


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