5CO03 Professional behaviours and valuing people

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Professional behaviours
and valuing people

New Learner Assessment Brief
Assessment ID / CIPD_5CO03_21_02
Level 5 Associate Diploma in

People Management

Organisational Learning and Development

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 currently work in the People Practice Team and are studying for your CIPD qualification. Your Line Manager is running a break-out session about ethical practice in business, at one of the CIPD conferences, and you have been asked to help.  The focus of the session is the importance of personal and ethical values for people practice professionals and how these can be applied at work, including contributing to (if not driving) discussions, to influence others towards ethical behaviour. The session will also explore the human and business benefits of inclusive behaviour such as positive working relationships and improved performance, and make the business case for people being included, valued and fairly treated at work.

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

In readiness for the session, prepare a presentation (slides and presenter notes) about ethical practice in business.  The presentation should explore the importance of ethical values to people practice professionals, how they can be applied, and how ethical practices can impact positively on organisations.

Your presentation should cover all the points below and provide a convincing argument for ethical behaviour in business.  Your audience will be a mixture of academics and practitioners, who will expect your presentation to include a range of relevant academic theory as well as practical examples to support your comments.


  • Define the term professional and explain what it means to be a ‘people practice professional’. (1.1)
  • Discuss the concept of ‘ethical values’, and how at least three ethical values that you hold personally impact (or could impact) on your work as a people practice professional. (1.2)
  • Drawing on work or personal examples, analyse how you would/have:
  • made an engaging and well-informed contribution to discussions to support the application of good people practice (1.3)
  • taken responsibility for your work/actions, including recognising and rectifying mistakes (1.4).
  • known when and how to raise concerns when issues such as organisational policies or leadership approaches conflict with ethical values or legislation. (1.5)
  • Provide a robust argument for ethical people practice that is supported by academic theory and details both the business and human benefits of people at work feeling included, valued and fairly treated. (2.1)
  • Using your own example of providing a people practice solution to meet a particular need, or a hypothetical example such as introducing a new policy or reward initiative, comment on how you would/have:
  • ensured the ‘design’ of the solution was informed by engagement with others, particularly those most affected by the solution. (2.2)
  • evaluated the impact of the solution in terms of how well it met the needs of and engaged all those it was aimed at. (2.3)

Your evidence must consist of:

Presentation material:

  • Slide deck
  • Presenter notes

(ideally these should be presented as a single word document with slides embedded in the document, make sure the learners cite where they’ve answered the question)


Approximately 2250 words in total

Task Two – CPD portfolio

This task combines a number of activities to produce a continued professional development (CPD) portfolio. The activities require you to demonstrate your understanding of, commitment and approach to CPD.


Activity 1 – The Context of Professional Development

As an introduction to your portfolio, explain the following:

The concepts of CPD and Reflective Practice

How the role of a people professional is changing and the implications this has for CPD. (3.1)

Activity 2 – Self Assessment

The first stage of CPD is to understand where we are and where we want to be.


Undertake a self-assessment against the following three CIPD Profession Map core behaviours, at associate level: Ethical Practice, Valuing People, and Working Inclusively.

Your self-assessment should include conclusions derived from other people’s feedback as well as your own reflections, on your behaviour and performance. (2.4, 3.2)


(An example self-assessment template, for Ethical Practice, is provided at Appendix 1 of this assignment brief and can be extended to accommodate the other core behaviours.)


  • From your self-assessment, identify your weaker areas and your development objectives for addressing these. Determine the most appropriate professional development activities to meet your objectives, and add these to your Professional Development Plan (PDP). (3.2, 3.3)

Activity 3 – Reflective Practice

A key element of CPD is reflecting on the impact of our learning and development, so that we can make further decisions about how to progress.

To compete this assignment, provide a reflective record of how key aspects of your (formal or informal) learning and development, over the last 12 months, have impacted your performance at work and/or general behaviour. (3.4).

Your evidence must consist of:

  • A CPD portfolio including:

– Activity 1: written response (300 words)

– Activity 2: self-assessment forms and related PDP (not included in the word count)

– Activity 3: Reflective Record or Learning Log (700 words)


Approximately 1,000 words in total, refer to CIPD word count policy.

Appendix 1

Task 1 –Self-Assessment against Ethical Practice (associate level)

  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.    
1.4 Reflect how you have taken responsibility for your work/actions, including recognising and rectifying mistakes.    
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.    
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.    


Assessment Criteria marking descriptors.

Assessors will mark in line with the following assessment criteria (AC) marking descriptors, and will indicate where the learner sits within the marking band range for each AC.

Assessors must provide a mark from 1 to 4 for each assessment criteria within the unit. Assessors should use the mark descriptor grid as guidance so they can provide comprehensive feedback that is developmental for learners. Please be aware that not all the mark descriptors will be present in every assessment criterion, so assessors must use their discretion in making grading decisions.

The grid below shows the range for each unit assessment result based on total number of marks awarded across all assessment criteria.

To pass the unit assessment learners must achieve a 2 (Low Pass) or above for each of the assessment criteria.

The overall result achieved will dictate the outcome the learner receives for the unit, provided NONE of the assessment criteria have been failed or referred.

Please note that learners will receive a Pass or Fail result from the CIPD at unit level. Referral grades can be used internally by the centre.


Overall mark Unit result
0 to 25 Fail
26 to 33 Low Pass
34 to 42 Pass
43 to 52 High Pass



Marking Descriptors

Mark Range Descriptor
1  Fail Insufficient demonstration of knowledge, understanding or skills (as appropriate) required to meet the AC.

Insufficient examples included, where required, to support answers.

Presentation and structure of assignment is not appropriate and does not meet the assessment brief.

2 Low Pass Demonstrates an acceptable level of knowledge, understanding or skills (as appropriate) required to meet the AC.

Sufficient and acceptable examples included, where required, to support answers.

Required format adopted but some improvement required to the structure and presentation of the assignment.

Answers are acceptable but could be clearer in responding to the task and presented in a more coherent way.

3 Pass


Demonstrates good knowledge, understanding or skills (as appropriate) required to meet the AC.

Includes confident use of examples, where required, to support each answer.

Presentation and structure of assignment is appropriate for the assessment brief.

Answers are clear and well expressed.

4 High Pass Demonstrates a wide range and confident level of knowledge, understanding or skill (as appropriate).

Includes strong examples that illustrate the point being made, that link and support the answer well.

Answers are applied to the case organisation or an alternative organisation.

Answers are clear, concise and well argued, directly respond to what has been asked.

The presentation of the assignment is well structured, coherent and focusses on the need of the questions.

Includes clear evidence of the use of references to wider reading to help inform answer.




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