Overview of the role

Improve people practices in organisations in order to drive organisational performance and effectiveness.

Details of standard

This standard has options. Display duties and KSBs for:

Occupation summary

This occupation is found in small, medium and large organisations which sit within any of the public, private or third sectors. Senior People Professionals are found in all industries and are a key component of virtually all types of business model where there is a workforce to support and manage.

The broad purpose of the occupation is to improve people practices in organisations in order to drive organisational performance and effectiveness. Senior People Professionals are the in-house experts in people, work and change. They champion the people agenda to create working environments and cultures that help get the best out of people, delivering great organisational outcomes. They may be involved in the transitions of an organisations workforce to a sustainable, ethical, or net carbon zero focused model in order to fight climate change. 

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with a range of stakeholders across their organisation, creating medium to long-term value for a wide audience. In larger organisations, they may be part of a wider specialist team. They may also lead a team of HR/L&D/OD consultants/advisers. In smaller organisations, they might be solely responsible for the entire people agenda and report directly to the organisation lead. At this level, Senior People Professionals are ambassadors for their organisations and will typically have wide-ranging networks and need to interact with a wide range of internal and external senior stakeholders.

An employee in this occupation will be responsible for applying their knowledge and expertise to lead the design, implementation and evaluation of people policies and practices aligned to the needs of the organisation and its employees. They will be responsible for leading people projects and/or playing a key role in larger organisation-wide programmes, managing their own work with a high level of autonomy. Senior People Practitioners have to keep up to date with relevant legislation and regulation and make timely interventions to ensure their organisation’s relations with its people are effective and compliant.

Senior People Professionals engage with a wide range of stakeholders, including developing and maintaining strong relationships with senior stakeholders to facilitate engagement on people issues. Keeping up to date with key trends and developments in the profession is critical to this occupation. They may need to analyse the transferability of skills in the current workforce and devise strategies that enable a just transition for staff into the green economy.  Analysis of future workforce trends and providing insight around people analytics is an essential responsibility which enables Senior People Professionals to influence senior stakeholders and make recommendations for change. Senior People Professionals are increasingly responsible for seeking out, evaluating and utilising technology to deliver the people strategy. Typically, Senior People Professionals have some budget responsibility and will be expected to employ continuous improvement approaches to maximise the use of limited resources.

Senior People Professionals may specialise in either Human Resources (HR), Learning and Development (L&D) or Organisation Development (OD). This Apprenticeship Occupational Standard takes a core and options approach. All apprentices will complete the core and must select the one most appropriate option to their role from HR, L&D and OD.

Core occupation duties

Duty KSBs

Duty 1 Lead the design, creation, implementation and review of people policies and practices aligned to the needs of the organisation, Critically evaluate a range of people practices to ensure fit for purpose and review as appropriate.

K1 K3 K8

S1 S4 S9

B1 B3 B6 B7 B8

Duty 2 Using critical analysis and evaluation of internal and external factors contribute to the development of the wider organisational people strategy and lead on the implementation of a workstream (e.g. HR/L&D/OD) relevant to the role.

K3 K4 K8

S4 S5 S9

B2 B3 B6 B7 B8

Duty 3 Manage and lead people projects and lead the people element of broader organisation wide projects and programmes. Critically analyse, interpret and evaluate complex information, concepts and problems to develop business cases for change and evaluate and apply appropriate change management methodologies.

K6 K11 K12

S7 S12 S13 S15

B1 B2 B3 B4 B6 B7 B8

Duty 4 Assess both current and future workforce needs, building future capability and talent and actively contribute to the organisation's strategic workforce planning or talent management processes for example, they may need to analyse the transferability of skills in the current workforce and devise strategies that enable a just transition for staff into the green economy.

K5 K7 K8 K9

S6 S8 S9 S10

B3 B7 B8

Duty 5 Proactively develop and maintain relationships with senior stakeholders in order to communicate, engage, influence and challenge effectively in order to achieve the people strategy and represent the organisation externally.

K3 K9 K10

S4 S5 S7 S10 S11 S14

B1 B2 B8

Duty 6 Bring together the right people to ensure resource availability to drive sustained commercial success and value for people. Manage a budget and people metrics, review and forecast spend relating to the workforce.

K4 K7 K10

S3 S5 S8 S11

B6 B8

Duty 7 Select and implement appropriate technology to deliver the people strategy, policy and practices, taking into account the risks, opportunities, impact and value of technology. Seek out, critically evaluate and utilise technologies to drive a continuous improvement approach.

K4 K5 K6

S5 S6 S7 S13

B6 B8

Duty 8 Review and critically evaluate current and future trends to ensure organisation effectiveness and commercial awareness. Interpret people analytics to provide insight, make recommendations, and to influence senior stakeholders regarding organisation decisions.

K3 K4 K10

S4 S5 S11 S14

B2 B6 B8

Duty 9 Proactively shape and drive the organisation's culture and role model the organisations core values and beliefs, creating working practices that reflect the organisation's culture, core values and beliefs.

K2 K8

S2 S9

B1 B3 B4

Duty 10 Integrate diversity and inclusion into people and wider organisation approaches.

K2 K8

S2 S9

B1 B3 B4

Duty 11 Proactively keep up to date with external trends and developments, both in the people profession and wider context (relevant to your role) and take responsibility for the development of other people professionals, managers and leaders, including providing coaching and mentoring where appropriate, for example, the current and potential impacts of the transition to net carbon zero emissions by 2050.

K5 K9

S6 S10


Duty 12 Keep up to date with and interpret relevant legislation and regulation, such as employment law, ethics, equality and diversity and critically evaluate relevant organisation people policies and practices to ensure compliance and mitigate risk.

K1 K6

S1 S7


Option duties

Senior Human Resources (HR) Professional duties

Duty KSBs

Duty 13 Lead and advise on complex HR and employment issues & practices to mitigate risk and maximise effectiveness.

K1 K23 K24

S1 S14 S15 S26 S27

B1 B2 B3 B4 B7

Duty 14 Create and sustain a positive employee relations climate to ensure the relationship between the organisation and its people is managed through its practices and relevant law.

K1 K2 K12 K23 K24

S1 S2 S12 S15 S26 S27

B1 B2 B3 B4

Duty 15 Critically evaluate, develop and implement approaches to maximise employee engagement within the organisation.

K2 K8 K12 K21

S2 S9 S12 S15 S24

B3 B4 B6

Duty 16 Champion, design and implement approaches to employee well-being across the organisation.

K2 K8 K12 K21

S2 S9 S12 S15 S24

B3 B4 B6

Duty 17 Critically analyse, design and implement people reward strategies to attract, motivate and retain employees.

K3 K22

S4 S9 S25

B1 B6 B8

Duty 18 Critically analyse and review approaches to managing performance across the organisation, design and implement changes where appropriate.

K1 K8 K9 K24

S1 S9 S10 S27

B2 B3 B6 B8

Senior Learning & Development (L&D) Professional duties

Duty KSBs

Duty 19 Critically analyse and evaluate the formulation and implementation of the learning and development strategy ensuring it is underpinned by the full learning cycle, ensuring the creation of an organisation learning culture that shapes and ensures continuing professional development. .

K4 K17 K19

S5 S20 S23

B5 B6

Duty 20 Critically evaluate, select and apply a range of approaches and processes to establish learning and development needs at an organisational, group/team, occupational and individual level in collaboration with relevant senior stakeholders.

K3 K4 K18

S4 S5 S21

B2 B5 B6

Duty 21 Critically evaluate a range of learning design theories, channels, methods and approaches in order to select the appropriate solutions which will meet organisation wide development needs.

K5 K17 K18 K19

S6 S20 S21 S23

B5 B6 B7

Duty 22 Initiate and drive an appropriate coaching and mentoring strategy and culture to enhance the effectiveness and capability of the organisations people. Critically analyse and develop the coaching and mentoring capability and capacity to ensure it drives performance and/or supports the culture of the organisation.

K2 K9 K17 K18

S2 S10 S20 S21

B4 B5

Duty 23 Select and use complex or sophisticated facilitation techniques in order to facilitate complex events, development interventions and discussions to support senior colleagues, groups and teams to achieve a desired successful outcome.

K17 K18 K20

S14 S20 S21 S22

B2 B3 B5

Duty 24 Design and implement appropriate evaluation strategies and methods to assess the effectiveness of learning plans and interventions.

K4 K10 K17

S4 S11 S20

B5 B6 B7 B8

Senior Organisation Development (OD) Professional duties

Duty KSBs

Duty 25 Critically evaluate overarching organisation strategy and establish organisation development needs through using a range of consulting processes, styles and diagnostic tools and methodologies.

K2 K10 K12 K14

S2 S11 S12 S17

B4 B6 B7

Duty 26 Lead the design, creation and review of a range of organisation development interventions in order to improve organisational effectiveness and performance.

K2 K6 K11 K15

S7 S13 S14 S16 S18

B3 B7 B8

Duty 27 Actively measure organisation culture and critically analyse, select and implement different approaches to culture development.

K2 K6 K13

S2 S7 S16

B3 B4 B6 B7

Duty 28 Apply models of systemic thinking to a range of people practices.

K1 K4 K5 K16

S5 S6 S19

B6 B7 B8

Duty 29 Critically evaluate and implement appropriate organisation design structures to align with business needs and improve performance.

K2 K14

S2 S17

B1 B2 B4 B7 B8

Duty 30 Critically evaluate and apply work design choices (who does what/how work is done).

K5 K6 K7 K14 K21

S7 S15 S17

B1 B3 B8



K1: The employee lifecycle and the range of people practices that underpin it, including relevant regulation, compliance, governance and relevant law and how to develop policy in line with this. Back to Duty

K2: Organisational culture, theories and concepts, organisational behaviour, models and theories of human behaviour, ethics, values and beliefs. This may include approaches to sustainability. Back to Duty

K3: Business acumen, including organisational strategy creation, strategic planning tools (including business cases) and trends in the wider business context as well as drivers of organisational performance and methods of measuring organisational data. Knowledge of financial and commercial information and value for money principles. This may include the impacts of the transition to a green economy and net carbon zero emissions by 2050. Back to Duty

K4: Methods of measuring value and impact and types of analytical tools relating to creating value for an organization as well as methods of evaluating opportunity costs including qualitative and quantitative metrics. Back to Duty

K5: Ways in which technology supports the delivery of people practice and enables collaboration and the risks, opportunities and impact of technology on ways of working, both in the wider organisation and in the people profession, including how social media fits with the organisational communication strategy. Back to Duty

K6: Change methodology and tools and the psychology and impact of change on the workforce and the organisation. Back to Duty

K7: The elements that make up strategic workforce planning, such as talent management, succession planning and resourcing. This may include approaches to ensuring a just transition for employees within the high carbon legacy economy to the low carbon economy by 2050. Back to Duty

K8: How to integrate diversity and inclusion into wider organisational approaches. Back to Duty

K9: Strategies, tools and techniques to build management, coaching and mentoring capability across the organisation. Back to Duty

K10: A range of consulting processes and styles as well as diagnostic tools appropriate to the role. Back to Duty

K11: How projects fit as part of wider programme management and how to use project management methodologies in order to deliver a project. Back to Duty

K12: Worker voice tools and approaches and how these potentially impact on worker engagement and performance. Back to Duty

K13: (OD) How to critically evaluate and apply models and measures of culture and behaviour in organisational development. Back to Duty

K14: (OD) Organisational design theories, principles, models, structures, good work design and job design. Back to Duty

K15: (OD) Organisation development theories, principles, models, tools, interventions and scenario planning. Back to Duty

K16: (OD) Essential concepts of systems thinking. Back to Duty

K17: (LD) How to critically evaluate and apply theories, concepts and the value of learning, coaching and mentoring cultures. Back to Duty

K18: (LD) The psychology of learning as well as current and future trends in adult learning and motivation and how to integrate into an organisations learning approach. Back to Duty

K19: (LD) Learning design principles and methods aligned to learning strategy. Back to Duty

K20: (LD) Complex facilitation techniques and when to use them. Back to Duty

K21: (HR) Strategies and drivers of employee well-being and engagement and how to integrate into wider organisation approaches. Back to Duty

K22: (HR) How to create remuneration and benefit approaches that are aligned to current and future organisation needs and market conditions such as equal pay. Back to Duty

K23: (HR) Employment law, (including associated case law), different theories and perspectives on employee relations and employee body relationships, and the implications on people policies and practices. Back to Duty

K24: (HR) The impact of performance management approaches and how performance management data can be used to drive improvement. Back to Duty


S1: Design and implement a range of people policies, processes, approaches and practices in line with the organisations strategic plan, culture and values. Back to Duty

S2: Identify and recognise the interventions an organisation needs to create the desired culture and behaviours. Back to Duty

S3: Create and manage relevant budgets (for example HR and projects) and make balanced commercial decisions, recording them appropriately. Back to Duty

S4: Design and contribute to the formulation and shaping of the People strategy and ensure alignment to organisational strategy. Back to Duty

S5: Devise, analyse, interpret and offer insight into data and metrics and the insights they provide to the industry and organisation for the purpose of creating value. Back to Duty

S6: Evaluate, identify and where appropriate select a technological/digital solution that will enhance current ways of working. Back to Duty

S7: Question accepted practices and articulate the need for change, implementing change programmes where required (including diagnostics, options and methodologies). Back to Duty

S8: Develop and implement people plans and integrated people practices in line with organisational and people strategy. Back to Duty

S9: Ensure that people policies and practices are inclusive, recognising the impact on individuals and groups and supporting diversity. Back to Duty

S10: Develop the management, coaching and mentoring capabilities utilising appropriate tools and methodologies. Back to Duty

S11: Select and apply a range of consulting processes, styles and diagnostic tools appropriate to the role. Back to Duty

S12: Align and evaluate worker voice tools and approaches and drive forward the outputs. Back to Duty

S13: Select appropriate project management methodologies and resources in order to plan, lead and deliver complex projects (often as part of wider programmes) including the management of risk. Back to Duty

S14: Influence senior leaders in order to position the people strategy at the heart of the business and ensure it is considered when decisions are taken across the organisation. Manage complex relationships across multiple and diverse stakeholders, building trust and rapport with the ability to positively challenge. Lead beyond area of control/authority and influence, negotiate and use advocacy skills to build reputation and effective collaborations. Back to Duty

S15: Present complex information (which may include difficult messages) selecting channels that are tailored to the audience and can be clearly understood, including across the organisational boundaries, cultures and other disciplines. Back to Duty

S16: (OD) Select and apply organisation development models and measures and lead the implementation of different approaches to enable cultural development. Back to Duty

S17: (OD) Select, evaluate and apply appropriate design theories, principles, models, structures, for good work design and job design. Back to Duty

S18: (OD) Select, evaluate and apply appropriate organisation development theories, principles, models, tools (including scenario planning), to design and implement interventions. Back to Duty

S19: (OD) Apply appropriate systems thinking approaches to organisational development and design. Back to Duty

S20: (LD) Select, evaluate and apply appropriate theories and concepts to embed the value of learning, and to create a coaching and mentoring culture. Back to Duty

S21: (LD) Integrate appropriate current and future trends in adult learning and motivation into an organisation’s learning approach, evaluating the effectiveness of the approach. Back to Duty

S22: (LD) Select and apply appropriate complex facilitation techniques to achieve the desired outcome. Back to Duty

S23: (LD) Select, evaluate and apply appropriate design principles and methods aligned to learning strategy. Back to Duty

S24: (HR) Select, evaluate and apply appropriate strategies to integrate employee well-being and engagement into wider organisation approaches. Back to Duty

S25: (HR) Select, evaluate and apply appropriate remuneration and benefit approaches which are aligned to current and future organisation needs and market conditions. Back to Duty

S26: (HR) Recognise, interpret and apply employment law, (including associated case law), and the implications on people policies and practices, ensuring the relationship between an organisation and its people is managed through transparent practices and relevant law whilst taking account of different theories and perspectives on employee relations. Back to Duty

S27: (HR) Select, evaluate and apply appropriate performance management approaches and use relevant data to drive improvement. Back to Duty


B1: Role models ethical behaviour and practices and challenge decisions and actions that are not ethical. Back to Duty

B2: Demonstrates professional courage and influence by challenging constructively and confidently in the face of opposition and tailoring influencing techniques to gain buy-in. Back to Duty

B3: Makes a visible commitment to valuing people; demonstrate compassion and fairness and enable people to have a meaningful voice in decisions that impact them. Back to Duty

B4: Role models collaborative and inclusive working across organisational and cultural boundaries, driving diversity to achieve positive outcomes. Back to Duty

B5: Actively searches and creates opportunities to learn, sharing insights and future trends with others (internally and externally). Brings a reflective mind-set to experiences and learning to innovate and continuously improve performance. Back to Duty

B6: Assimilates evidence and ideas from multiple sources to identify themes and connections and gain insights on whole issues and their wider implications. Back to Duty

B7: Takes an adaptable, evidence based approach to decision making in the context of specific situations or environments. Back to Duty

B8: Applies a strategic and commercial mind-set to drive and enable change and create value for the organisation and its people. Back to Duty


English and Maths

Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL.

Professional recognition

This standard aligns with the following professional recognition:

  • CIPD for Chartered Member

Additional details

Occupational Level:


Duration (months):



This apprenticeship standard will be reviewed after three years

Status: Approved for delivery
Level: 7
Degree: non-degree qualification
Reference: ST0813
Version: 1.0
Date updated: 07/01/2021
Approved for delivery: 7 January 2021
Route: Business and administration
Typical duration to gateway: 36 months (this does not include EPA period)
Maximum funding: £19000
Options: Senior Human Resources (HR) Professional, Senior Learning & Development (L&D) Professional, Senior Organisation Development (OD) Professional
LARS Code: 615
EQA Provider: Ofqual

Find an apprenticeship

Contact us about this apprenticeship

Employers involved in creating the standard: Walter Smith Fine Foods, Royal Bank of Scotland, Canon Europe, NHS, Saint Gobain, Arvato, IFATE, Sainsbury’s, Marston’s, Volkervessels

Version log

Version Change detail Earliest start date Latest start date Latest end date
1.0 Approved for delivery 07/01/2021 Not set Not set

Crown copyright © 2024. You may re-use this information (not including logos) free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence. Visit www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence

Is this page useful?

Tell us about your visit

Help us improve our website