Profession for the Future (PFF)

Our strategy

Profession for the Future (PFF) is the CIPD’s strategy to ensure we continue to fulfil our purpose as the world of work evolves. It begins with a programme of work to define what it will take for the HR profession of the future to meet its full potential to champion better work and working lives - for the benefit of individuals, businesses, economies and society.

We know that improving practices in people and organisation development will be central to ensuring that work creates sustainable and shared value for everyone. But, the rapidly changing world of work means so-called ‘best practice’ is increasingly irrelevant in many contexts. So our work begins by collaborating with a wide range of stakeholders within and outside HR to define and test a new set of principles that will help HR professionals make good decisions and advise business leaders what to do, no matter what the context and no matter what the future may hold.

Our goal

We’re creating a new definition of what it means to be an HR professional, described in a new framework of professional standards, that will ensure HR remains a trusted and credible profession that can have a real impact on work and working lives.

The framework will describe a new body of knowledge and practice for the HR profession and will be underpinned by a set of core principles to help HR professionals make good decisions that take into account a range of needs and interests. They’ll be broad and ambitious, describing desired outcomes rather than specific courses of action, and they’ll be relevant in any context.

From best to good practice HR: developing principles for the profession summarises the research that’s shaping our thinking as we develop the principles. It combines insights from a review of existing literature, focus groups and a survey of 10,000 business leaders, HR practitioners and line managers in the UK, USA, Asia, Middle East and North Africa.

As our work progresses we’ll continue to share our thinking and ask for input via these web pages. Join the debate about the evolving role of HR by following #changingHR on Twitter, or get in touch with us by email.

Further reading


Read our initial report, Ethical decision-making: eight perspectives on workplace dilemmas


Building a ‘culture-coalition’ by Ed Houghton

How do you define professionalism in HR? by Louisa Baczor

Ethics and professionalism are intimate bedfellows by Laura Harrison

How long is the long-term? By Ed Houghton

Is your business a force for good? by Ruth Stuart

Are business ethics HR’s business? by Ksenia Zheltoukhova

‘Let's not blow up HR!’ by Laura Harrison

Don't do away with CSR just yet by Ksenia Zheltoukhova

Putting the human into HR by Peter Cheese


View our infographic (86 KB) revealing a gap between ambition and practice

Other reading

View our Megatrends and find out more about the the trends shaping work and working lives

View our research on changing HR operating models 

View our Profession Map


Robots don't kill jobs, people do

"Technology and the digital world’s influence on work, and almost all aspects of our lives, is growing all the time."


From best to good practice HR: developing principles for the profession

This research provides an important insight into the priorities currently relevant to decision-makers, and the ways in which those may be challenged in the future.