The Profession Map sets the international standard for the people profession.

Developed in collaboration with 20,000 people professionals worldwide, it defines the values, knowledge and behaviours that HR, L&D and OD practitioners demonstrate as experts in people, work and change.  

Discover how you can use our Profession Map in your organisation.

Build great people teams with the Profession Map

Organisations appreciate the vital contribution their people teams make to deliver talent, growth and productivity in a fast-changing world. In the last year we’ve partnered with 330 organisations globally to raise the capability, confidence and credibility of over 40,000  people professionals.

We have helped many organisations invest effectively in their people teams using the Profession Map standards. We can help you adopt the Profession Map as your professional standard too, working with you to:

  • provide clarity on the knowledge and behaviours required of your function
  • create a bespoke version that reflects your context and adapts to changes and emerging standards
  • assess your people teams and gain insights into how they are viewed across your organisation
  • understand where to focus development investment to enable your teams to make their greatest impact
  • endorse your organisation’s people competency framework or learning programmes.

Looking to use the Profession Map for your own development?

Read our how-to guide


Want to talk about the
Profession Map?

We’d be delighted to meet with you, understand your priorities and answer your questions.

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"Our recent work with the CIPD allowed us to consider the skills and behaviours we as HR professionals need in order to be fit for future. Using the CIPD Profession Map we were able to benchmark our People Partners against global external professional standards and reflect on where the development focus needed to be on both an individual and team-wide scale. We are now equipped to put in place the suite of learning which will secure our future success. A thoroughly professional and valuable experience!"

Louisa Clarke, Group Head of People, Chalhoub Group

Make the Map work for your organisation

Our purpose is to champion better work and working lives. One of the ways we advance this purpose is by setting standards for practice within our Profession Map. So we encourage you to read and use it. And we’re here to help you apply it in a way that supports your people strategy. These step-by-step guides help you use the Profession Map to build the best people teams.

Use the Profession Map to boost your people team’s capability. Use the Profession Map to design roles that do the job. Use the Profession Map to review, change or update your function Use the Profession Map to select, assess, interview and recruit. Use the Profession Map to commission or procure expertise.


Learn, improve and innovate as
a professional

Discover how you can use the Profession Map to progress your own career and learning pathway.

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Adapt the Profession Map

Our work with Network Rail shows how you can use the Profession Map to progress your business priorities and your people strategy, side by side. 

Together we’re building a bespoke competency framework based on the Profession Map. This approach is providing crucial clarity on skills development, across its 400-strong people function, within the context of the organisation’s business needs. 

Our work is also creating a compelling reason to discuss people, with strategic workforce planning now considered every bit as important as financial planning.

"The CIPD Profession Map has really helped us to take a fresh look at our people function, review the capabilities we have in our team and ensure we have the right skills for the future ahead."

Sinead Trudgill, Director of Human Resources, Network Rail

Trust our future-fit standards

We’ve designed the Profession Map to evolve in an ever-changing business context. It's part of how we equip people professionals to lead change and shape the future of work. 

The core values and purpose driving our professional standards remain constant. But as new roles, specialisms, priorities and opportunities emerge, we adapt the knowledge and behaviour standards to incorporate them. 

We do this twice-yearly by reviewing the latest research, considering what we’ve heard from our profession, and taking the pulse on what’s ahead to keep the Profession Map practical and future-fit.  

The Profession Map

Make the most of the Profession Map

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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Explore the Profession Map

Explore the purpose, values, knowledge and behaviours at the heart of our profession

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The Profession Map

How the international standard works for all people professionals

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Find your level with the Profession Map

Find your current level of knowledge and experience and the next step in your career

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The Profession Map FAQs

Check out our FAQs on the Profession Map, membership, and qualifications

The Profession Map overview