Skip main navigation
We use cookies to give you a better experience, if that’s ok you can close this message and carry on browsing. For more info read our cookies policy.
We use cookies to give you a better experience. Carry on browsing if you're happy with this, or read our cookies policy for more information.

Skip to 0 minutes and 8 secondsThere's lots of different perceptions of HR and ways of describing what it means, but perhaps a better question to ask is, what it should mean? At the CIPD we believe that the HR profession has an important role to play as the experts on people, work and change, and we've developed three fundamental principles that underpin HR professionalism. These have been developed through extensive research with business leaders, HR professionals, policy makers and educators. Firstly, work matters. Work can and should be a force for good, for individuals, economies, organisations and societies. Secondly, people matter. People are fundamental to businesses, they are worthy of care, understanding and investment.

Skip to 0 minutes and 50 secondsAnd thirdly, professionalism matters, that we must act with integrity, and champion better work and working lives in everything we do. By applying these principles, we can achieve better outcomes for businesses and for the range of voices we represent, and this is particularly important as the world of work continues to evolve, with all of the complexities involved.

The professional principles

In this video Ruth Stuart, Head of Strategy at the CIPD, talks about our professional principles for HR.

These principles give us a foundation for approaching situations we may not have encountered before, and underpin the way we work as HR professionals:

Work matters

  • Work can and should be a force for good – for organisations, workers and the communities, societies and economies they’re part of.

  • Good work is purposeful; it is designed to help everyone use their skills and talents effectively and find personal meaning in the work they do.

  • Good work is safe and inclusive; it recognises contribution in a fair manner and values human connection.

  • Good work exists for the long-term benefit of individuals, organisations and society, and balances economic needs with social accountability.

People matter

  • People are fundamental to businesses and organisations; they are unique and worthy of care, understanding and investment.

  • People should have access and opportunity to work, and be provided with the support, development and resources to be effective; in turn, individuals have a personal responsibility for their work, development and behaviour.

  • People deserve to be treated fairly and have a meaningful voice on matters that affect them, in addition to their rights and protection under law.

Professionalism matters

For the people profession this means:

  1. being ambassadors for the profession by acting with integrity and championing better work and working lives in all we do.

  2. a commitment to continually develop, and to make decisions which are principles-led, evidence-based and outcomes-driven.

  3. bringing our expertise on people, work and change, together with our understanding of how business creates value for all, to balance the risks and opportunities inherent in any organisation and understand the implications of our decisions beyond the interests of our own organisations, for the good of wider society.

Share this video:

This video is from the free online course:

HR Fundamentals

CIPD - Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development

Get a taste of this course

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

Contact FutureLearn for Support