The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) will consult its members on a new code of conduct for the HR profession, chief executive Jackie Orme has announced.
The consultation is likely to begin at the end of this year with the aim of publishing the new code - expected to contain a stronger emphasis on ethics - in time for the new membership year next summer.
Orme launched the CIPD's annual conference in Manchester this morning declaring that "the next two years in HR will be the key to the next 20 years".
In her opening address to a full conference hall, Orme said that 2010 has been a turning point. "We live in a time where austerity is mixed with opportunity," she told delegates.
Other key points in Orme's opening address included:
The conference began as the CIPD published its latest Outlook survey of more than 2,000 HR professionals. This identified their top three priorities for the next 12 months as: "managing change and cultural transformation" (50%); "employee engagement" (41%); and "improving performance management and reward" (38%).
When asked about the future of the profession, just less than two-thirds (65%) of senior respondents believe that the size of the HR function will remain the same over the next 12 months, 17% think it will increase and 16% think it will decrease.
Graduates struggling to find work may be encouraged to hear that senior HR professionals are preparing to recruit. More than a quarter (27%) believe that they will take on HR graduate trainees in the next 12 months, compared to 7% over the last year.
The conference and exhibition continues until Thursday, when employment minister Chris Grayling appears on a panel alongside CIPD chief economist John Philpott and BBC director of people Lucy Adams.