IoIC Profession Map

A framework for internal communication professionals. Driving standards, professionalism and skills in internal communication.


The IoIC profession map is designed to help internal communicators identify the key knowledge, skills and behaviours required to achieve our core purpose - to enable people at work to feel informed, connected and purposeful in order to drive organisational performance. 

The profession map encapsulates the vital role that internal communicators play in an organisation and describes the underpinning knowledge and skills required to fulfil that role. 

By striving to obtain those knowledge and skills – through CPD, education and lifelong learning – the IoIC believes that all internal communication professionals will play a pivotal role in supporting organisations achieve their objectives. 

Introduction to the Map Introduction to the Map

The Profession Map Framework sets the benchmark for internal communication professionals and teams. Originally release in 2016, the map allows individuals to articulate the role of internal communication within organisations; to map skills and knowledge, identify gaps and create personal development plans; and to establish their career trajectory within the internal communication profession. 

Internal communication teams can use the framework to identify skills and knowledge gaps within the function; assess current roles and responsibilities; and ensure the team is operating as per good practice guidance.

The framework is built upon six areas of activity and expertise, demonstrating the ways in which internal communication is a distinct discipline with specific requisite knowledge and skills, and identifies four levels at which professionals might be operating within their organisation.

Finally, a range of behaviours have been identified which internal communication professionals should look to exhibit in order to be as effective as possible.

In consultation with its Professional Development Advisory Board  - a group of internal communication professionals from a wide range of sectors and organisations, and with varied backgrounds – the IoIC undertakes regular reviews of the framework to ensure that the content remains reflective of the role that internal communicators play and recognising the rapid changes underway in organisational environments and the blurring of organisational boundaries. The map underwent a full review in 2020 and a light touch review in 2022. 

Using the profession map as an individual Using the profession map as an individual

Individuals may wish to use the framework to: 

Establish the level at which they are currently working: The role of the internal communicator may differ significantly depending on the organisation, organisational culture and size of the team, and individuals may find that they are involved in activities or require knowledge and skills from multiple levels. To establish the level which your role is most closely aligned to, start by reading the descriptions on the previous page and work out which one you most identify with. You may then wish to explore that level in more detail by examining the activities, skills and knowledge at that level in each area.

Assess their own knowledge, skills and capabilities and create a development plan: The framework maps typical activities at the different levels, together with the requisite knowledge and skills required to deliver these effectively. This will help you identify your current abilities and gaps, and will be a useful reference point for performance appraisals and personal development plans.

Map out their career trajectory: Reading about the knowledge, skills and activities expected of an internal communication professional at different levels provides an opportunity to map out a long-term career goal, identify the areas in which you need to learn and develop and consider areas of internal communication practice which you might like to specialise in the future.

Articulate to colleagues the role of internal communication: Internal communicators are often frustrated by a lack of understanding or appreciation for what the internal communication function in an organisation does or is responsible for. The profession map framework is designed to reflect the role of internal communication and allows individuals to easily articulate the remit of their role to colleagues.

Professional Development Planning Tool: We’ve created a template to support the creation of your professional development plan based on the profession map framework.

Download the Professional Development Planning Tool

Using the Profession Map as a team Using the Profession Map as a team

Internal communication teams may wish to use the profession map to:

Identify knowledge and skills gaps within the team: Using the framework to map out the skills, knowledge and experience which exist within the internal communication team also allows for an opportunity to identify any gaps which exist and, subsequently, development opportunities which will ensure the team is operating against good practice advice.

Support requests for additional resource: The profession map framework has been designed using the insights and advice of internal communication practitioners across a range of organisations and sectors and the distribution of knowledge, skills and remit is reflective of combined good practice. The framework can be used to help identify additional resources required to fill knowledge and skills gaps and enhance the value that internal communication can add to the organisation.


CPD and the Profession Map CPD and the Profession Map

The IoIC strongly encourages all internal communication professionals to engage in continuous professional development (CPD), either formally or informally, and supports its members to do so via the IoIC CPD Programme.

Our three-tiered qualification programme, academically accredited by Solent University, is closely aligned to the profession map, meaning students can expect to gain a qualification which will provide them with the knowledge and skills they need to not only thrive at their current level, but support them take their next professional step. 

Designed to provide practical, relevant and meaningful learning and development, the Institute offers a wide range of training courses, masterclasses, and bespoke in-house options to support CPD. 

Other CPD might take the form of reading academic texts, articles, blogs; attending networking events or conferences; listening to podcasts; mentoring or being mentored; speaking at an event; volunteering and a whole host of other activities which support professional development. 

The IoIC's Knowledge Hub provides a wealth of content, all designed to support personal and organisational professional development. 

Need help with your professional development planning?

Why not download our Professional Development Planning Tool and start creating your plan today! 



The Core

Enabling people at work to feel informed, connected and purposeful in order to drive organisational purpose. 

The Profession Map Levels

Explore the four distinct professional levels that have been identified as part of the profession map.

The Profession Areas

The six professional areas which make up the framework.


Explore the range of behaviours which internal communication professionals should look to exhibit in order to be as effective as possible

Download the IoIC Profession Map

You can download a copy of the full map to use as an individual or as a team.

Download the map

What do you think?

What do you think of IoIC’s Profession Map?

We'd love to hear how you're using the map, anything that could be improved, and any suggestions or thoughts you may have.

Send us your feedback