Learning and development

Review this technical professional area in conjunction with the Core areas.

We know from our research and experience that the L&D profession is a diverse one -

You could be working for a company or organisation in any sector, in any industry in an L&D role such as trainer, L&D Manager, Head of L&D, talent manager, training administrator or co-ordinator, learning consultant, Head of Organisation Development...you might work in the the wider HR function or team or you might be part of a separate function for learning.

Or you could be working as an associate or independant consultant...working with a number of companies and organisations on a regular basis.

Your responsibilities and capabilities are diverse too... spotting, managing and developing talent; making sure individualism teams and organisations have the right capabilities for their own success and so they achieve the organisation’s goals; career management and advice; coaching and mentoring; leadership development; induction training; developing learning solutions with external suppliers, to name but a few.

Which areas of the Profession Map will be most helpful to you?

The CIPD Profession Map has been designed to be flexible, so you can focus on the areas most relevant to your role, your next career steps, your organisation’s needs or just curiosity!  We recommend that initially you choose one or two Professional Areas and a couple of Behaviours.  Each area is set out in four bands of ‘competence’ so this can help focus your development planning even further once you have chosen your areas of focus.

The areas for L&D professionals to focus on are the core of the Map (Insights, Strategy and Solutions and Leading HR) Learning & Development, Organisation Development and the Behaviours
The Core professional areas set out the capabilities needed to focus your L&D activities on the right things at the right time: basing your plans and learning solutions on the insights you develop about the business or organisation you work for or with (products, services, culture, governance, success drivers and measures, values and vision, etc.) and the external world or context (economy, politics, social issues, legislation, competitors, etc.).  It helps you to focus your energy and plans in the right place.

The main two technical professional areas you will find most useful are Learning and development, and Organisation development.

Learning and DevelopmentProfession Map - Professional areas - Learning and development

The HR professional working in this area ensures that people at all levels of the organisation possess and develop the skills, knowledge and experience to fulfill the short and long-term ambitions of the organisation and that they are motivated to learn, grow and perform.

Includes these topics:
-Develop learning and strategy plans
-Design solutions
-Leadership development
-Talent management
-Evaluating learning impact

Organisation Development

Profession Map - Professional areas - Organisation development

You identify organisational and individual capability requirements and align strategy, people and processes to optimise effectiveness and achieve organisation goals. You design interventions to drive the appropriate culture, behaviours, skills, and performance and provide insight and leadership on change management strategy, planning and implementation.

Includes these topics:
-Define Strategy
-Assess organisational capability
-Build OD interventions
-Managing Change

You will also find the Behaviours useful.

Learning and development professional area download (PDF 1.87 MB)

Further information on using the Profession Map as a Learning and development professional

Full Profession Map Download

my CPD Map - online professional self-assessment tool for CIPD members

Profession Map overview

Resources relevant to the Professional area Learning and development


Interpersonal Skills




Learning and talent development (2011) (for the CIPD postgraduate module)

Leading, managing and developing people (2013)

Learning and development practic (2013)

Other books

Creating a learning and development strategy: the HR business partner’s guide to developing people (2004)

Everyone needs a mentor: fostering talent in your organisation (2004)