Professional behaviours and valuing people

Professional behaviours and valuing people

This unit focuses on how applying core professional behaviours such as ethical practice, courage and inclusivity can build positive working relationships and support employee voice and well-being. It considers how developing and mastering new professional behaviours and practice can impact performance.

CIPD’s insight

Rotten apples, bad barrels and sticky situations: unethical workplace behaviour (April 2019)

Workplace ethics has been an increasing focus for businesses, policy makers and regulatory bodies in recent years. In the wake of corporate scandal, talk often turns to how organisations can change their culture and manage unethical behaviour. But, to make a much-needed change, we need to understand why unethical behaviour occurs in the first place. With this knowledge, business leaders and people professionals can take meaningful action to tackle it.

This report Rotten apples, bad barrels and sticky situations: a review of unethical workplace behaviour, provides evidence-based, practical lessons that people professionals and leaders can use to minimise the likelihood of unethical behaviour in their workplace.

Gifford, J., Green, M. and Barends, E. (2019) Rotten apples, bad barrels and sticky situations: an evidence review of unethical workplace behaviour [online]. Research report. London: CIPD.


Diversity and inclusion in the workplace (May 2020)

Understand what diversity and inclusion mean in the workplace and how an effective D&I strategy can support business. Promoting and supporting diversity in the workplace is an important aspect of good people management – it’s about valuing everyone in the organisation as an individual.

However, to reap the benefits of a diverse workforce it’s vital to have an inclusive environment where everyone feels able to participate and achieve their potential. While UK legislation – covering age, disability, race, religion, gender and sexual orientation among others – sets minimum standards, an effective diversity and inclusion strategy goes beyond legal compliance and seeks to add value to an organisation, contributing to employee well-being and engagement.

Miller, J. and Green, M. (2020) Diversity and inclusion in the workplace [online]. Factsheet. London: CIPD.



Case study

You are currently you are working in the People Practice Team and are working on your CIPD qualification. Your Line Manager is running a break-out session at one of the CIPD Conferences, showcasing the work of various organisations.  The focus of the presentation is on how personal and ethical values can be applied, including the key role of people practice professionals in contributing to (if not driving) discussions to influence others with confidence and conviction. The presentation also aims to explore issues around the human and business benefits of inclusive behaviours ensuring that people are fairly treated at work. In addition, the presentation is designed to highlight examples of how this can build positive working relationships and lead to performance improvement.

Preparation for the Tasks:

  • At the start of your assignment you are encouraged to plan your assessment work with your Assessor and where appropriate agree milestones so that they can help you monitor your progress.
  • Refer to the indicative content in the unit to guide and support your evidence.
  • Pay attention to how your evidence is presented, remember you are working in the People Practice Team.
  • Ensure that the evidence generated for this assessment remains your own work.

You will also benefit from:

  • Completing and acting on formative feedback from your Assessor.
  • Reflecting on your own experiences of learning opportunities and continuous professional development.
  • Reading the CIPD Insight, Fact Sheets and related online material on these topics.


Task One – Conference Presentation on ethical practice in business

Your manager has asked you to prepare a presentation in readiness for delivery to colleagues on the importance of ethical practice and the business case for such people practices. Your Presentation Pack must include presentation slides, the evidence you have gathered, and presenter notes. It is expected that your presentation pack is aimed at the appropriate audience and is of business format.

You should ensure that your presentation includes a review of the various influences on ethical practice as well as details of a robust business case for the ethical people practices. You also need to provide a Briefing paper as a handout for delegates covering the main points of the presentation in an accessible, easy to read way.

Your presentation should include the following and should refer to the CIPD Profession Map wherever appropriate:

  • Define the term professional and explain the requirements of a people professional. (1.1)
  • To help explain what is meant by ethical values, give at least three examples of your own personal values and how this affects how you work and develop working relationships. (1.2)
  • Drawing upon work or personal examples, analyse how you could/have
  • Contributed to discussions to ensure people practices are applied.
  • How you can effectively communicate to engage and influence others.
  • How you might raise issues with situations such as organisational policies or the approach to leadership that conflict with legislation or ethical values. (1.3, 1.5)
  • Drawing on relevant theory provide a robust argument that includes both the business and human benefits of people at work feeling included, valued and that they are being treated fairly (2.1)
  • Identify a people practice initiative that has been put in place in response to some form of internal or external feedback, set out the purpose of this initiative and explain how you would evaluate the impact of this initiative paying particular attention to levels of engagement within the organisation. (2.2, 2.3)

Your evidence must consist of:

  • Briefing document (approximately 1,000 words, refer to CIPD word count policy)
  • Presentation pack (approximately 1,250 words, refer to CIPD word count policy)
  • Slide deck
  • Presenter notes



Task Two – CPD portfolio

The purpose of this task is to evidence your approach to Continuous professional development as a people practice professional in conjunction with the CIPD Profession Map.  The task combines a number of activities which should be presented as a CPD portfolio.

As an introduction to your portfolio it is important to set the scene to your personal learning journey.

Activity 1 – The Context of Professional Development (3.1)

Explain the following;

  • How the role of a people professional is changing?
  • What impact are these changes having on our CPD?
  • What are the key characteristics of a good-practice CPD?

Activity 2 – Self Assessment

The first stage of your CPD should be to understand where you’ve come from, where you are and where you want to be.

  • Using the Standards from the CIPD Professional Map, carry out a self-assessment of your competency against a minimum of five core behaviours you identify as being most relevant to your context and learning journey. This can be in any format, but evidence is required to support that this activity took place (an example template is provided in Appendix 1).
  • From this Self-assessment, plus other forms of feedback identify your strengths and weaknesses setting personal development objectives to be included within a Professional Development Plan (3.2).
  • You now need to consider how you can meet these development objectives, to complete your PDP. Consider the range of learning opportunities available to you and for each development objectives decide on the most appropriate initiative to support your learning journey. (3.3)

Activity 3 – Reflective practice

A key element of our PD is reflecting on our everyday experiences to learn from these, capturing what went well or mot so well and how we can learn from such situations.

Your reflections should focus on the following scenarios.

  • Identify times when you have taken responsibility for your work/actions, paying particular attention to recognising any mistakes you might have made, how you rectified these mistakes and what you believe you learnt from these experiences. (1.4).
  • Identify at least two examples that highlight your approach to working inclusively, plus how you have built positive working relationships with others. Your reflections need to focus on what you did, and the skills and behaviours demonstrated. (2.4)

Activity 4 – assessing the impact of your learning and CPD.

The final part of our CPD is to measure the overall impact of our learning.  To achieve this, you need to think about and capture the impacts, covering positive as well as negative. What was the impact on you, your team, your colleagues, your customers, your stakeholders, the organisation or your department?  To support this assessment, you will need to complete a record of your learning for the last 12 months (3.4).

Your evidence must consist of:

  • A CPD portfolio including a Personal Development plan and record of your learning. (approximately 1,000 words refer to CIPD work count policy).




Appendix 1

Task 1 – Self-Assessment against Profession map standard.

  Profession Map Standard Perform well

Score 30

Perform satisfactorily

Score 20

Requires further development

Score 10

Reason for judgement
1 Make responsible choices about your work, applying professional principles and values        
2 Consider the purpose and implications of actions, decisions and people practices for all stakeholders        
3 Raise concerns about people practices and policies which are not consistent with values or legislation        
4 Provide explanations and reasons for the choices you make and the advice you provide        
5 Demonstrate professionalism and consistency in what you say and do in order to build trust        


Assessment Criteria Evidence Checklist

Use this as a checklist to make sure that you have included the required evidence to meet the task. Please enter the evidence title and where it can be referred to. An example has been provided for you.

Task 1 – Conference Presentation on ethical practice in business

Assessment criteria

Evidence reference
1.1 Appraise what it means to be a people professional. Y Presentation deck – slide?
Briefing note (Section ?)
1.2 Recognise how personal and ethical values can be applied in the context of people practice.    
1.3 Contribute confidently to discussions in a clear, engaging and informed way to influence others.    
1.5 Recognise when and how you would raise matters which conflict with ethical values or legislation.    
2.1 Argue the human and business benefits of people feeling included, valued, and fairly treated at work linking to related theory.    
2.2 Design an impactful solution based on feedback and engagement with others.    
2.3 Evaluate the impact of the solution to influence and engage people within an organisation.    





Task 2 – CPD Portfolio

Assessment criteria

Evidence reference
3.1 Explore how the role of a people professional is evolving and the implications this has for the continuing professional development   CIPD Portfolio
3.2 Assess your strengths, weaknesses and development areas based on self- assessment and feedback from others.    
3.3 Formulate a range of formal and/or informal continuing professional development (CPD) activities to support your learning journey.    
1.4 Reflect how you have taken responsibility for your work/actions, including recognising and rectifying mistakes.    
2.4 Reflect on your own approach to working inclusively and building positive working relationships with others.    
3.4 Reflect on the impact of your continuing professional development activities on own behaviour and performance.    


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