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Recent Papers 04-13-2022

Explain what is meant by ‘ethical principles’ and ‘professional values’, and how these might inform the way people approach their work

3CO03 Core Behaviours for People Professionals

This unit introduces the core behaviours for people professionals, focusing on ethical practice to create value. It considers how certain ways of thinking and acting should be universally consistent, even in new and challenging situations, to promote a sense of wellbeing and inclusivity in the organisation.

CIPD’s insight

Ethical practice in the time of coronavirus

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many organisations to make rapid changes to their business model. This may include reducing operations, redeploying staff, or hiring new workers to meet increased demand. It is also bringing unique people management challenges as employees adapt to workplace changes or personal challenges such as juggling caring responsibilities or self-isolating.

In this unparalleled situation, having a principled based approach to decision making is essential to make sure organisations behave ethically. There are many factors to be considered, from employee wellbeing and safety, business finances and long-term sustainability. Using a principle-based approach can help guide decisions as the situation evolves. We’ve created a COVID-19 workforce planner to help organisations navigate complex decisions about workforce changes during the pandemic.

People professionals need to champion ethical practice and work with the wider business throughout the crisis to ensure the best possible outcomes for all. Find out more about the role that people professionals should play in Coronavirus and the workforce: doing the right thing in a crisis.

There’s more on what employers should be doing in our Responding to the coronavirus hub.

Ethics at work; an employer’s guide

Red flags, practical resources and action points for employers looking to foster ethical behaviour in their organisation.

Ethical values provide the moral compass by which we live our lives and make decisions: ‘doing the right thing’ because it’s the right thing to do. However, there are several reasons why unethical behaviour continues to happen in the workplace, from individual actions and choice to industry-wide indiscretions and compromising decisions.


Case study 3CO03 Core Behaviours for People Professionals

You are currently a Junior Associate in People Practice and are working on your CIPD qualification. A local television production company has contacted the Head of your Study Centre to ask for some assistance. They are making a current affairs programme on business issues and ethical practice. They are particularly keen to highlight the role in a People Practice team to help support and promote ethical practice in organisations following a number of well publicised examples of unethical practices and exploitation at work. Explain what is meant by ‘ethical principles’ and ‘professional values’, and how these might inform the way people approach their work

They are concerned about the link between ethical practice and the impact on the day-to-day experience of work for members of staff.You suspect that they might be biased and are looking for examples to justify their viewpoint that modern day organisations exploit workers and do not care about their wellbeing at all. Consider how ethical principles and professional values inform approaches to work. The Head ofyour Study Centre has asked you to prepare an initial briefing paper to help shape the response to the production company. 

Preparation for the Tasks:

  • Spend time planning your answer. You should attend the Assessment Q&A session if you have any questions about the assessment tasks.
  • 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.
  • Make sure that the evidence generated for this assessment remains your own work.

You will also benefit from:

  • Reflecting on your own experiences of learning opportunities and continuing professional development.
  • Reading the CIPD Insight, Fact Sheets and related online material on these topics.

Don’t forget to:

  • Complete the front cover sheet and place at the front of your assessment.
  • Use the bullet points below each task as headings and sub-headings so your marker can see where your answer begins.

Task One – Ethical Practice Briefing Paper

3CO03 Core Behaviours for People Professionals

The purpose of the briefing paper is to demonstrate the role of HR in practising and promoting professional values, ethics and principles within organisations. The paper should include and address the following points:

1) Explain what is meant by ‘ethical principles’ and ‘professional values’, and how these might inform the way people approach their work. (1.1)

2) Identify a piece of legislation and a Code of Practice that supports ethical and professional practice, with examples of how an HR professional can conform to these. (1.2)

3) Explain the importance of ethical behaviour for an HR professional and the potential consequences (personal and professional) for them of unethical behaviour (2.1)

4) Describe how an HR professional would demonstrate a positive and ethical approach to each of the following: (1.3, 2.2)

- clarifying problems or issues

- contributing views and opinions

- working in a team

- showing sensitivity to others*

- showing respect for colleagues*

* For the two asterisked bullet points, you should include a work-based or personal example of when you have demonstrated the positive and ethical behaviour you describe.

You may use bullet points to add emphasis to your briefing paper and it is expected that you will use headings as well to help guide the reader through. Consider how ethical principles and professional values inform approaches to work

Task Two – Self-Reflective Journal

Self-reflection is a valuable means of analysing, identifying and recording how improvements can be made to your professional practice. In this task, you are required to write a reflective journal that considers how you perform at work and in your studies, and how you develop your skills and abilities.

Your task is to write a self-reflective journal, which addresses the following:

1) At the beginning of your journal, summarise different ways a people practice professional can upgrade their knowledge and skills and stay up-to-date with developments in the people profession and wider world of work. This might be informal methods such as discussion and reading through to formal research and development methods. (2.4)

2) Continue your journal with ongoing reflections on your performance and development. Your journal should record (2.5)

- Examples of your performance (successes or challenges) or issues you have faced.

These may be from current or previous work, your studies or personal examples. Give a little detail about each. (This is the WHAT of your reflection.)

- Your reflections on your performance/response. What was the impact - positive or negative – on you and those around you, such as colleagues, customers, stakeholders, your organisation? (This is the SO WHAT of your reflection and can be the most difficult part as you are asked to think in ways that may be unfamiliar – but it is from this reflective thinking and learning, that you are able to progress to the next step.)

- Examples of how you have recognised and accepted your own mistakes, and how you have recognised others’ mistakes whilst showing them empathy. (2.3)

- The action you will take as a result of your reflections. (This is the NOW WHAT). Based on what you know and feel about the situation, what should happen next? Do you need to learn something new? Do you want to change a process or a procedure? Do others need more training? (Note: the action you take here could form the next example for you to reflect on.)

3) Finally, complete your journal with a short review of how effective you have found this Reflective Journal approach to your professional development. (2.5)  

Assessment Criteria Evidence Checklist - 3CO03 Core Behaviours for People Professionals

Use the following as checklists to make sure that you have included the required evidence to meet each task. Please enter the evidence title and to where it can be referred. An example has been provided for you.

Task 1 – Ethical practice briefing paper Assessment criteria

Evidenced Y/N

Evidence reference


Consider how ethical principles and professional values inform approaches to work.


Ethical practise briefing paper


Specify ways in which you conform consistently with relevant regulation and law within the context of ethics and professional practice.




Summarise ways of demonstrating positive working relationships with colleagues with reference to ways in which you could:

▪ clarify problems or issues.

▪ contribute your views and opinions clearly.

▪ work effectively as part of a team.




Describe the meaning of ethics within the context of work including reference to the consequences of your actions to personal and professional integrity.




Model ways in which you can acknowledge sensitivity and respect to others within a working context.



Task 2 – Self-reflective journal Assessment criteria

Evidenced Y/N

Evidence reference


Reflect on the ways in which you can recognise and accept your own mistakes, and those of others, whilst also showing empathy.


Self-Reflective Journal


Recommend ways in which you can show inquisitiveness about issues and developments in the people profession and the wider world of work.




Reflect on proactive approaches to developing, recording and reflecting on your professional knowledge, skills and experiences.



3CO03 Core behaviours for people professionals

Assessment Grading

The grid below shows the range of results you could achieve based on total number of marks awarded across all assessment criteria.

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

The overall result achieved will dictate the outcome you receive for the unit, provided

NONE of the assessment criteria have been failed or referred.

Overall mark

Unit result

0 to 15


16 to 20

Low Pass

21 to 26


27 to 32

High Pass

Marking Grid







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.


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.



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.


High Pass

Demonstrates a wide range and confident level of knowledge, understanding or skill (as appropriate). Explain what is meant by ‘ethical principles’ and ‘professional values’, and how these might inform the way people approach their work

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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