Aspiring HR directors

Find out how we develop aspiring people professionals into senior leadership.

We are currently closed for applications.

Please read below for information on how you can apply in the future.

Supporting people from all backgrounds to take on leadership roles in the people profession

Through the Aspiring HR Directors’ Programme, we give up-and-coming people professionals from under-represented groups the opportunity to learn from senior leaders.

Each year, we match 30 aspiring leaders with a senior leader for 9-12 months of mentoring. To complement the mentoring, each mentee gets access to a programme of webinars delivered by renowned leadership and mentoring expert Professor David Clutterbuck.  You’ll learn about the transition into senior leadership and gain insights to help you overcome any barriers to progression.

Could you be eligible to apply?

To take part in this programme, you’ll need to:

  • Be employed as a head of HR, senior HR business partner, or another role at a similar level
  • Be no more than two to three years away from moving into a leadership role
  • Be based in the UK
  • Tell us about the barriers to progression you’re facing
  • Be a CIPD member

Applications for this year’s programme are now closed.
You can register your interest to be informed of future programmes by contacting

Please note that this is a very popular programme and we usually receive more applications than we have spaces available.  The programme is designed to support those facing barriers to their progression (e.g. these might be through a protected characteristic lens or more broadly might include things like caring responsibilities) and applicants will have space to outline their own individual barriers in the application process. 

Tap into the insights of our professional community

If your application isn't successful, there's lots of other support available from the CIPD.

three people in discussion in a business environment

Professional expertise

Join the CIPD Community to get advice from fellow people professionals.

Join our community

Member to member mentoring

If you’re based in the UK, contact your local branch to ask about mentoring opportunities.

Find your branch

Learning hub

Create your own personal learning journey with the CIPD Learning hub.

Visit the Learning hub

The people profession

Explore the CIPD Profession Map to help you identify the knowledge and behaviours you need to make your greatest impact at work.

CIPD Profession Map

What I wish I’d known – HR Directors

Being a director, adding value, office politics, work-life balance and more… Hear the candid reflections of our panel of HR directors and former Aspiring HRD programme mentees, chaired by Leah De Silva, Senior Programme Manager at the CIPD Trust.