Dynamic trends in the external business environment, in the challenges that companies face, and in the nature of HR itself demand that HR departments develop new capabilities and that HR professionals develop new competencies. This article examines BAE Systems (U.K.) as a detailed case study of a company that understands the demand for greater HR contribution to business value. BAE Systems acted on that understanding by providing a comprehensive HR professional development program to enhance the competencies of its HR professionals in order to encourage better business performance. Pre- and postprogram measures and extensive qualitative interviews about HR's impact on business performance evidences the effectiveness of this comprehensive approach to the development of HR professional competencies. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.