Opening the CIPD annual conference and exhibition in Manchester this morning, the CIPD's chief executive, Jackie Orme, told delegates: "I mean [it must be] a profession of people who see themselves as business people, made up of HR people who understand the way the interplay between people and organisational factors impacts on business success and can influence their organisations accordingly."
She added: "It is the application of HR - its effective execution - how you do it, not just what you do that really counts at the end of the day."
Orme spoke about the organisation's HR Professional Map, which it launched earlier this year and about plans to introduce a new qualifications framework in January 2010, which will take a more business-focused approach than previous CIPD accreditations.
Orme also set out the industry body's plans to help employers recruit "the brightest and the best" into the HR profession.
She said: "I say this with passion as someone who didn't begin their career with HR as their destination. Like so many others I fell into the profession. But my experience tells me, for those who have a passion to see business and people grow together, there is no better place to be. I want us to continue to serve those who stumble into HR, but to do more to make HR a career destination of choice."