I believe that a major part of my CPD is CIPD’s Profession Map. It benefits not only me but also the organisation, as it is coupled with my CIPD qualification and it provides me with the knowledge, skills and tools to deliver a sustained business success within the organisation.

Dominic Ceraldi

HR Manager

For the past few years we have worked with the CIPD to develop our own HR skills framework which incorporates the relevant elements of CIPD’s Profession Map and McDonald’s existing leadership competencies.


View their story

Here are some ways in which you can use the Map for your development and career:

  • CPD planning
  • seeking a promotion
  • building a case for development
  • interview preparation
  • preparation for an appraisal or review
  • looking for a new job
  • learning about the profession
  • developing specialist expertise

Use the CIPD Profession Map to guide your own development or that of your team members. Use it to get your bearings in a present job or to plan development for a future one.

Use this worksheet, downloadable below, to give you a start for assessing yourself against the Profession Map.

Completing a self-assessment against the CIPD Profession Map can help you identify the knowledge and skills needed to achieve your HR career goals. Further, by involving your employer in the conversation, you can align your development in a way that will increase your value and relevance to your employer. Then, using The Map, you can learn about the specific behaviours required for success in the roles that align to your career path.

This information can be the basis of discussions with a mentor, coach, or boss about your professional development and career planning.

If you are a training manager or supervisor, you can apply the same process to members of your team.

Here are some ways in which you can use the Map for your organisation:

  • identify skills needed to make change happen
  • identify teams' capability
  • build a competency framework
  • build a case for development programmes
  • develop career pathways
  • focus on behaviours needed for success
  • build role profiles
  • identify areas for development

For examples of how companies are using the Map, download the case studies below:

This guide shines a spotlight on the areas of the Map that are most relevant to people who have responsibility for delivering great people management in SMEs. We highlight the key knowledge and behaviours that you need to develop to best support your business. It has been designed for those with responsibility for people management practices within an SME and also for consultants whose remit is people management advice and support for SMEs.

CIPD research identifies how all SMEs are different. However, what is clear from our research is that good people management is essential to support achievement of business goals, whether you’re striving for growth, great customer service, innovation or increased productivity, to name just a few.

At various stages of development of the organisation, the role and potential contribution of those responsible for people practices and approaches will be different. Sometimes these activities will be undertaken by non-specialists at the heart of the organisation, supplemented by external experts/advisers and/or under the close direction of the owner/manager. As the organisation evolves, more can be done in-house and developing people management expertise and confidence means that a professional business-partner relationship with the owner/founder and other managers is achieved.

This guide will help you to:

  • work out what people management practices your business needs and how to develop them.
  • identify areas of the organisation for development.
  • focus on behaviours which the business needs for success.
  • identify the HR skills that you need to focus on for maximum effect when delivering HR activities.
  • make a case for adopting new practices to support growth and build sustainable performance.
  • influence business leaders in order to grow effective people management activities.

This guide draws on our SME research, highlighting the most relevant areas for you in CIPD’s Profession Map. Our research has revealed four stages of organisation growth, maturity or transition, each associated with different people management practices and approaches.