This programme provides up-and-coming leaders in the people profession with a structured opportunity to learn from senior leaders. As part of our commitment to driving greater diversity at the top of the profession, this programme will actively encourage applications from members from ethnic minorities.

What is the programme?

It matches aspiring HR directors (people professionals likely to be in a Head of HR/senior BP role and aiming to be in an HR director position within two-to-three years) with established and experienced senior leaders to share knowledge and provide support.

The nine to 12 month mentoring relationship is complemented by three virtual learning interactions, focused on the transition into a leadership position, and completed by each cohort together. These webinar modules will be run by renowned leadership and mentoring expert Professor David Clutterbuck and The Clutterbuck Partnership and all participants will receive related learning materials. In between each module, mentors and mentees will be expected to meet (virtually or face-to-face depending on local restrictions) at least once.

Through participating in the programme, mentees will come away with a better understanding of the transition required to move into an executive HR role, have the opportunity to learn from a senior leader and develop a network of peers.

The deadline, of 25 January 2021, has now passed for applications for our 2021 cohorts. To register your interest for future cohorts please email our Programme Lead, Leah De Silva. You may also wish to consider our Member to Member Mentoring scheme if you're looking to engage with a mentor sooner.

David D'Souza

Great leaders often benefit from great mentors. This new programme gives you the chance to make the next step in your career with guidance and wisdom from those who have already helped make an impact on the profession and wider business.

David D'Souza

Director of Membership

For more information, click on our FAQs below for mentors and mentees.


  • Develop a nine to 12 month relationship with a mentee or mentor, including regular communication and meetings (virtually or face-to-face depending on local restrictions).

  • Mentees commit to attending three virtual webinars delivered by The Clutterbuck Partnership.

  • Share feedback, learning and outcomes with the CIPD Programme lead on an ongoing basis.
  • To be a mentor we ask that you are an experienced and preferably practising HR Director who has held at least one HRD role. You will be experienced and skilled in working at executive and board level. We would also welcome applications from former HRDs who now hold NED or other business leadership positions. We are looking for progressive HRDs who are true role models for the profession.

  • To be a mentee you must be in a Head of HR/Senior BP role and not more than three years away from being able to step into a HR leadership position. A CIPD member, you will be operating at a senior enough level to be able to gain from this experience. We would particularly welcome applications from candidates from ethnic minorities.

The CIPD will be on hand to support you both through the process and will be capturing feedback, ideas and ways to improve throughout. The modules are structured but there will also be additional opportunities for support forums and discussions.

You will also have access to CIPD resources, including our Introduction to Mentoring webinar programme, hints and tips and contact with the team here at CIPD should you have any queries.

We understand that the matching process is a critical part of the programme and, as a new programme, we will work closely with both parties to ensure we get it right. It will be based on a variety of factors including skills, location, ambitions and motivations.

We hope that all participants will find their match works brilliantly and there will be plenty of opportunity to feedback. However, if the chemistry isn’t right, we will work with those involved to try and improve the process or re-match where possible.

No, this programme is fully funded by the CIPD. However, if you wish to follow the programme with an accreditation with the EMCC (European Mentoring and Coaching Council) that will be at your own expense.

Get involved

Applications for our 2021 programme are now closed. To register your interest for future cohorts please email our Programme Lead, Leah De Silva.