Each of the eight behaviours is described at four bands of professional competence. Contra-indicators illustrate the negative manifestations of each behaviour.

Future-focused, inquisitive and open-minded; seeks out evolving and innovative ways to add value to the organisation.


  • Fails to see relevance of wider organisation issues, sector trends or contextual developments to organisation or role.
  • Takes immediate information at face value and fails to ask questions when unclear.
  • Needs to know all the answers, rather than the right method of enquiry.
  • Rejects ideas quickly or spontaneously without reflection or adequate insights.
  • Is focused on the present and the past and has a low interest in emergent or future issues.
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Demonstrates the ability to analyse and understand data and information quickly. Uses information, insights and knowledge in a structured way to identify options, make recommendations and make robust, defendable decisions.


  • Avoids long-standing, difficult or sensitive issues.
  • Focuses on symptoms rather than causes.
  • Makes fundamental errors in data analysis.
  • Accepts data or analysis without evaluating the meaning or source.
  • Fails to understand organisation decision-making processes (explicit or implicit) and how these translate into personal authorities.
  • Takes a narrow focus, taking decisions in the interest of their own department, team or self.

Demonstrates the ability to influence to gain the necessary commitment and support from diverse stakeholders in pursuit of organisation value.


  • Does not prepare adequately for meetings or interactions.
  • Tends to over-rely on a single, previously reliable strategy for all eventualities.
  • Takes interactions at face value.
  • Fails to understand or appreciate impact on others; does not consider situation from others’ viewpoint.
  • Fails to appreciate need to engage the support of stakeholders.
  • Takes a manipulative approach, using influence in a negative way.

Builds and delivers professionalism through combining commercial and HR expertise to bring value to the organisation, stakeholders and peers.


  • Does not possess required technical depth and breadth.
  • Focuses on development of HR knowledge at expense of wider understanding of the organisation and its context.
  • Applies HR knowledge without considering how it fits within the organisational context.
  • Offers advice beyond boundaries of knowledge or experience.
  • Spends little time on personal and professional development activities.
  • Is unwilling to share expertise with others.
  • Gives little time to the development of peers and colleagues.

Works effectively and inclusively with a range of people, both within and outside of the organisation.


  • Consistently works in isolation, pursuing own solution without involvement of appropriate stakeholders.
  • Fails to build contact with people beyond own work area.
  • Shows little consideration or respect for other colleagues.
  • Withholds relevant information, expertise or knowledge from others.
  • Does not contribute willingly to the team and adopts a passive role.
  • Fails to listen, showing little interest in the views of others.
  • Fails to recognise the value of diversity.
  • Does not understand the importance of relationships and so fails to nurture them.
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Demonstrates determination, resourcefulness and purpose to deliver the best results for the organisation and its people.


  • Unwilling to recognise, or deal with, capability or performance issues in self or others.
  • Works in an unfocused way, failing to prioritise or keep track of progress.
  • Fails to adapt approach when deadlines, targets or standards are threatened or changed.
  • Gives up in the face of obstacles and does not demonstrate a sense of personal responsibility for delivery.

Shows courage and confidence to speak up skillfully, challenging others even when confronted with resistance or unfamiliar circumstances.


  • Avoids difficult conversations and confrontation.
  • Shows stubbornness in the face of opposition, even when proved wrong.
  • 'Caves in’ when challenged or questioned.
  • Shows lack of confidence in own knowledge, abilities and judgements.
  • Tends to apportion blame and accountability to others when things go wrong.
  • Sits on the fence rather than taking a clear stand.

Consistently leads by example. Acts with integrity, impartiality and independence, balancing individual, organisation and legal parameters.


  • Does not lead by example or stand by own principles or espoused beliefs.
  • Is preoccupied with own agenda rather than the needs of the client or organisation.
  • Acts inconsistently or overlooks inappropriate behaviour with regard to the company’s processes, values and expected behaviours.
  • Enforces organisational and HR processes without considering impact on individuals and the interaction with personal values.
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Professional areas

The professional areas describe what you need to do (activities) and what you need to know (knowledge) for each area of the HR profession at four bands of professional competence

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