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The CIPD Professional Map

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1.0 This report reviews the CIPD HR Professional Map. In this section, it explains how the CIPD HR Professional Map (HRPM) areas and bands define the HR profession. It will also look at why the HRPM behaviours are essential to being an effective HR professional.

The CIPD HR Professional Map was introduced in 2009. It is a members-only resource designed to help professionals understand the relevant skills needed to fulfil an HR role. Detailed research within the HR profession was undertaken to create the map and it provides a framework of core skills, knowledge and behaviours for the HR function. The map has been adopted by many organisations as it can be used by all HR professionals, regardless of the size and type of organisation for which they work and whether they are in a generalist or a specialist role.

The map has three key elements:
Professional areas – what HR practitioners need to know and do; Behaviours – how they carry out activities; and Bands and transitions – how to move from one role to another.

The behaviours element, as well as the bands and transitions, are divided further to allow for competence and hierarchy within HR roles.

The map consists of ten professional areas and eight behaviours, which are then split into four bands. The bands represent the various levels within the profession, such as administration/process, advisory/manager, consultant/business partner and finally director/leader responsible for delivery of the HR strategy.

The professional areas describe the knowledge a person needs for the types of activities that are completed within the four bands of competence. The behaviours describe how the activities should be carried out, again across four bands of competence.

As an individual’s career progresses, the bands and transitions are used to describe the professional competence required for their new role/band. It also recognises that there are challenges when moving from one band to the next.

Bands and transitions
The knowledge and activities required in each of the professional areas are contained within four bands. The behaviours associated with these professional areas are also identified. The bands define the contribution made at all stages of an HR professional’s career in key areas such as: client relationships;

services provided to clients;
focus of activities completed by an HR professional; and  how their contribution and success is measured.

Using the information within the bands will give clear focus to supporting the development of individuals or HR teams.

As an HR professional develops in their career they will naturally move between the bands. The map acknowledges there are challenges with this transitioning and sets out clear advice and guidance for moving through the bands by focusing on new skills required for the higher band. It advises on where time should be spent and what is important in the new, higher, band. It identifies what an HR professional should relinquish from their previous band as they transition to the next band.

Professional areas
There are ten professional areas in total:
Insights, strategy and solutions
Leading HR
Service delivery and information
Organisation design
Organisation development
Resource and talent planning
Learning and development
Performance and reward
Employee engagement
Employee relations

The design of the map allows for two areas to be at the heart of the profession as these are applicable to all HR professionals; Insights, Strategy and Solutions and Leading HR. These core areas underpin the direction of the profession, which began changing in the last century. These areas support HR’s relevance as a key strategic area of business and will aid its continuing movement to a strategic level within an organisation, rather than at a technical or operational level.

There are a further eight professional levels covering the main specialisms within the field of human resources.

2.0 This section of the report looks at why the CIPD HR Professional Map behaviours are essential to being an effective HR professional.

There are eight behaviours within the CIPD HR professional map which are essential for an HR professional at any level within an organisation. These behaviours are intended to describe how an HR professional should carry out their activities to make a positive contribution to the business at each of the he four bands of professional competence, and also helps an individual to understand the expectations that will be had of them from other areas of the business.

The eight behaviours identified are detailed below.

Being open-minded and interested in the organisation as a whole, and external factors affecting the organisation, will allow an HR professional to add value to the organisation through their role.

Decisive thinker
In the HR profession, the ability to analyse information quickly and then use this data to make robust decisions that have a positive outcome on the organisation, whilst managing risk, is an essential part of the role.

Skilled influencer
As the HR function moves to a more strategic role, the need to influence key stakeholders increases due to the function having a greater impact on the overall effectiveness of the organisation.

Personally credible
It is vital that those within the HR function demonstrate professionalism through both commercial and HR expertise to add value to the organisation.

The HR function must work inclusively with a range of people, both within and outside the organisation.

Driven to deliver
Covering a number of other behaviours, this behaviour demonstrates a can-do attitude with determination to deliver the best results for the organisation.

Courage to challenge
Those in the HR function often manage risk therefore the ability to speak up and challenge others, even when circumstances are unfamiliar or there is resistance from others, is a behaviour that is essential.

Role model
HR professionals often play a key part between the employer and employees therefore leading by example and acting with integrity and impartiality helps to balance this relationship.

As the HR function moves from an operational/technical role to a strategic role within an organisation, these behaviours should give confidence to HR professionals in terms of how they carry out their role and how they can act as a role model for others within the organisation.

Overall, by following these behaviours, an HR professional should succeed and grow in their role with credibility. This should then lead to a successful HR professional, working in a successful HR function, being employed in a successful organisation where the HR function is seen as a department that adds value to the organisation and is key to the overall strategy and success of the business.

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