This delayed inaugural professorial lecture presents a summary and reflection on my work around human resource development, and particularly critical approaches to HRD. I consider two notions of the term critical and how this might apply to HRD: first, why is it a critical time for HRD; and second, how can we adopt a more critical perspective to our teaching, research and practice—particularly as I argue Higher Education is a site of HRD practice, and can shape HRD practice in other work contexts. I move from commonplace understandings of critical—in the sense of life and death, or offering a critique—to a focus on critical issues and theories underpinning approaches to learning and development. I offer a very brief review of critical theory, considering two influences on critical HRD —Critical Management Studies and Critical Pedagogy—and identify implications for teaching, researching and practising HRD. Although these are presented separately, I argue they are intertwined. I review my own position as a lone critical voice in a traditional British Business School, but hope to persuade colleagues that they too are HRD practitioners and invite them to consider alternative ways of seeing and doing HRD.