Succession planning focuses on identifying and growing talent to fill business-critical positions in the future. In the face of skills shortages and a lack of confidence in leadership potential, succession planning has gained popularity, and is now carried out in both large and smaller organisations.

This factsheet examines the typical roles covered by succession planning as well as the type of organisations who use it, and the difference between traditional and more recent approaches. It explores the relationship between succession planning and talent management programmes, investigating the balance needed when recruiting ‘insiders’ and‘outsiders’, and the process of nurturing internal talent. It also looks at the activities covered by succession planning programmes, providing guidance on identifying successors, and the role of HR throughout this process.

CIPD viewpoint

What is succession planning?

Links between succession planning and talent management programmes

Activities covered by succession planning programmes

Identifying successors

The role of HR


Further reading