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This content is taken from the CIPD - Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development's online course, HR Fundamentals. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 9 seconds Hello my name is David D’Souza and I’d like to welcome you to this course. We’re in the first week of what should be a really exciting learning event for you. I’ve been working in HR for over 15 years now and I’ve been working at the CIPD for three, and I’ll be with you throughout your journey as you both learn and build a community.

Skip to 0 minutes and 27 seconds It really is important but also exciting for you that you do get to build a community throughout this course, that you get to contribute and you get to explore with other people, and really make sure that you’re learning in a social way with them rather than just attempting to take on the challenge of learning on your own. One of the things that we will be covering over the coming week is about the perceptions of HR and how it fits into organisations. And what we’d like you to do is that first bit of community building, to just make your notes underneath here, about what you think about HR.

Skip to 1 minute and 2 seconds So what’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think the words HR and what it does in organisations? So have a great first week, have great first learning and meeting people, and I’ll look forward to speaking to you again next week. Thank you.


Welcome to the HR Fundamentals course. We believe that people professionals play a key role in creating better work and working lives and your participation in this course helps us achieve that. Thank you.

A word from our lead educator

Over the next five weeks, we are going to explore together the fundamental practices involved in HR. While you’ll be developing your knowledge of important tasks like recruitment and performance reviews you’ll also be learning through those exercises the core behaviours of a successful HR professional, so even if you never carry out a performance appraisal in your role, the ways of working will still apply to other things that you do.

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • Describe HR Professionalism and demonstrate an understanding of its importance to people and organisations.
  • Articulate the role of HR in supporting an organisation in meeting its strategy and objectives.
  • Apply basic principles of workforce planning, including recruitment and retention.
  • Demonstrate understanding of performance management and how to get the best out of people.

Our contributors

This course has been created by the CIPD’s experts from around the globe and with help from leading organisations, who have kindly volunteered their time and insight to help you get the most in-depth, engaging learning experience possible.

You can find out more about lead educator, David D’Souza, and the rest of the team by clicking on their names below:


We hope your participation in the discussions brings you a sense of belonging and helps you grow a community of learning. When you are contributing you’ll see David and the other Educators joining in some of the discussions. We also have Giles O’Halloran as your mentor and community manager who will be answering some of your questions, guiding conversations and pointing you towards other resources you might find helpful.

Giles is an experienced HR professional and Lead Tutor for the CIPD’s HR Business Partner Faculty. He is also a freelance HR strategist and a columnist for a leading career transition publication. He is passionate about the future of work, Agile HR, Digital HR and the development of self-centred learning practices.

The world’s leading HR institute

At the CIPD we see our members and all those who connect with us as a community of practice. This means everyone involved learns from each other, from thought-leaders and industry peers, and constantly develops in their expertise, skills, knowledge and behaviours.

This community runs through our courses into professional work and ensures that no-one studies or works alone. We’d encourage you to get involved in the discussion points in this course and register at the CIPD website to gain access to further material and resources which will support and guide you through your work in HR.

What does HR mean to you?

During this week we’ll answer some of the questions we know learners have and which will set up the learning, starting with the question ‘What is HR?’

Now, take a moment to reflect on what HR means to you. What’s the first thing that comes into your mind if you hear someone talk about HR?

Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

When you’re ready, click the Mark as complete button to check this activity as done and move to the next step.

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This video is from the free online course:

HR Fundamentals

CIPD - Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development

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Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join: