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Senior People Professional Level 7

Duration: 36 Months
Maximum Funding: £19000

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.

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. 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


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.

K2: Organisational culture, theories and concepts, organisational behaviour, models and theories of human behaviour, ethics, values and beliefs.

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.

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.

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.

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

K7: The elements that make up strategic workforce planning, such as talent management, succession planning and resourcing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

K16: (OD) Essential concepts of systems thinking.

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

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.

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

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

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

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.

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.

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


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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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.

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


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

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

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.

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

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.

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

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

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

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