The Profession Map sets the international benchmark for the people profession and describes the knowledge and behaviours needed to make an impact in the changing world of work. You can use the new standards to inform and guide the development of other people professionals, identifying strengths and areas for future development to enable them to be their best. 

This step-by-step guide will help you support the development of other people professionals. This may include individuals within HR, L&D and OD, and others outside of the people function who have people management responsibilities. 

How to use the Profession Map to help a colleague

Step 1

Map your colleague's role to one of the four levels

Within the Profession Map, the standards sit at four levels, each describing a different level of impact people professionals have in the work they do. The Find your level section provides a summary and a more detailed description of the levels.

Read the level descriptions and decide which level best aligns to an individual's work, and therefore which level to review them at. If the individual is looking to progress and increase impact, they may wish to review themselves at the next level up as well. 

  • Foundation level: Tactical, day-to-day work, delivering immediate and short-term outcomes.
  • Associate level: Operational work, influencing colleagues and customers to deliver short-term value.
  • Chartered Member level: Thinking at a strategic level, delivering work that has complexity, and working with and influencing a range of stakeholders to create medium-term value for the organisation.
  • Chartered Fellow level: Thinking and working at a strategic level, influencing stakeholders across the profession to create long-term organisation value. 

Step 2

Read the standards for the chosen level

Read the standards for the level your colleague is reviewing themself against, and ask them to do the same. The standards at each level are split into: 

Step 3

Support the individual to identify strengths and development gaps

Coach and support your colleague to reflect on their current level of knowledge against the core knowledge standards, and their current approach and confidence against the behaviour standards at the chosen level. It may be helpful to prepare feedback and examples to support the discussion, and also to suggest that they seek feedback from other stakeholders in advance to gain a richer evidence base. If the individual is in a specialist role or looking to broaden or deepen their technical expertise, you should also explore the relevant specialist knowledge standards at the chosen level. 

The following questions will help:

  • Which standards are vital to their work or organisation now and in the foreseeable future?  
  • Which standards does the individual apply and demonstrate consistently to make an impact?
  • In which standards do others see this person as an expert or role model, and seek their support? 
  • Where does the individual have knowledge gaps which, if filled, would enable them to make a greater impact now and in the future?
  • Which behaviours does the individual feel less confident in? Which behaviours take conscious effort and hard work?

Ask the individual to use the insights from your discussion to create or inform their professional development plan. We suggest they identify up to three development priorities or objectives to focus on at any time. Remember to encourage them to maximise strengths and address any development gaps by using a range of development opportunities, particularly work-based and peer learning. Agree on ongoing support and how and when progress will be reviewed. 

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The Profession Map

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The Profession Map

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The Profession Map is for everyone in our profession – individuals and teams, members and non-members. Learn more about the Profession Map and how you can use it. 

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