Our strategy

Profession for the Future 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.

Watch our video introducing Profession for the Future

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We will explore the implications for HR, people management and related disciplines like learning and development (L&D) and organisation development (OD).

All of these disciplines are fundamental to the CIPD’s core purpose, because by improving practices in people and organisation development we can create better work and working lives for everyone. To keep things simple throughout these web pages, we use the terms 'HR' and 'people development' in their broadest sense to refer to all of these disciplines.

How is the world of work evolving?

As the world of work evolves and becomes more diverse, traditional models of working are giving way to more flexible forms of organisation and employment. Technology, globalisation, changing workforce demographics and new expectations about work are driving innovative new ways of working. As widely accepted norms for managing the employment relationship change, HR and L&D professionals have a huge opportunity to play a greater role in developing organisations that are fit for the future.

How has the HR profession evolved?

The role of HR has developed significantly since the CIPD was first founded in 1913 and business leaders increasingly recognise that people are the biggest drivers of both risk and value in an organisation. As the world of work evolves, fundamental questions are being raised about the purpose of business, and these in turn raise questions such as ‘who is HR there to serve?’ and ‘should employees ever be treated as a means to an end?’. The answers to these questions are what will define the next phase in the evolution of the HR profession.

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