Continuous Professional Development is the term used to describe the actions of an individual who is continuously reviewing and developing their professional skills and experience. During the course of CPD the HR Professional will work on a Personal Development Plan which encourages future learning. It does this by pinpointing your current learning state and identifying what skills and experience you need to develop to move forward. When you have identified your learning opportunities through your PDP, this encourages you to put actions into place which will help you to gain the experience you need or develop your skillset.
CPD is important because it is expected that as a HR practitioner you will have kept up with developments in the field of HR Management, as well as legislation and other social and economic changes. It ensures that you are competent within your role in HR.
The HR Profession Map is a tool that has been created by the CIPD which captures what successful HR people do across every aspect of the field. It sets out the required activities, behaviour and knowledge. Within the map there are ten professional areas and eight behaviours. It also sets out four bands of competence which range from Administrator level to Organisation leaders.
The HR Map is important because it is a vital tool for your CPD. Not only does the map show you the professional areas, behaviours and bands, but it helps you to identify where you currently sit within it. It also shows you what you need to do to get to the next band or personal goal that you have and gives you suggestions of actions you could put into place.
To give an example of how the Map works I will summarise three of the professional areas and how the map is helping me to develop.
Leading HR This is one of two core professional areas. The core of the HR Profession Map is the core of HR functionality regardless of what band you may be at or job role.
The core professional area of Leading HR says that great professionals are active, insight-led leaders – owning, shaping and driving, not just observing or facilitating. They develop across 3 main areas of leadership – personal leadership, leading others and leading issues. This is relevant to me because although I am not in a leadership role, it teaches me to be the best that I can be and strive for excellence within the role that I am doing. It encourages you to be proactive and creative in order to drive yourself forward and/or whatever project you are working on.
Insights, Strategies and Solutions This is the other core professional area.
This is described as underpinning the direction of the profession as an applied business discipline with a people and organisation specialism. HR can only deliver on its purpose of sustainable organisation performance if it works from a deep business, contextual and organisational understanding to develop actionable insight. This understanding – and resulting insights – allows us to create prioritised and situational HR strategies that make the most difference and build a compelling case for change.
Although I do not develop strategies at an organisational level, I do feel that this core area fundamentally outlines the work that I do on a day to day basis. I try to always feedback my insights on projects and solutions to problems that I have come across to colleagues and managers. This in turn helps to improve overall performance and feeds back in to the organisation’s success and helps with planning for change.
Employee Relations I chose this professional area because it most relates to my future goals for development.
The professional working in this area of HR ensures that the relationship between an organisation and its staff is managed appropriately within a clear and transparent framework underpinned by organisation practices and policies and ultimately by relevant employment law.
Although I help with the administration of ER cases and advise managers on process, I would like to be come an ER Consultant. The role of ERC is a band higher than where I currently sit within the map.
I used the self-assessment tool to go through the professional areas and behaviors. This will help me with my CPD because it has highlighted the areas I need to work on to progress through the bands.