Jackie Orme, who is on long-term sick leave as she undergoes treatment for cancer, has asked to stand aside from her duties as chief executive, with the intention that she returns, when her health allows, to a different role at the organisation.
The search is being conducted by Sam Allen Associates, on behalf of the CIPD board's remuneration committee, chaired by CIPD president Gill Rider (pictured).
It is hoped a new chief executive will be in place at the CIPD in time for its Annual Conference and Exhibition in November.
Rider said: "This high profile role offers the opportunity to lead an HR profession that is more confident, more global, more business focused, and contributing ever more value to the organisations it serves.
"Jackie has delivered substantial change at the CIPD. Her successor will take on the leadership of an Institute that is more globally relevant, and commands the respect and support of HR practitioners at all levels. We are looking for candidates with the vision and credibility to play a significant leadership role in the global HR profession; a strategist and business leader with international and board level experience, someone who can be an opinion former and voice for HR in the world of business and employment policy. I look forward to appointing and working closely with a new leader of the Institute and the profession".