Civil Service Human Resources Function

The role of the Civil Service Human Resources function, the services and standards for which it is responsible, and the ways in which it builds professional skills in the Civil Service.

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The Civil Service HR Function, Civil Service Human Resources (CSHR) is made up of over 3,500 colleagues across government. HR teams provide a source of expertise on people, policies, processes and recruitment campaigns. We support the government workforce and help departments and professions to build a modern, effective Civil Service.

Centrally, the HR function manages expert services and offers guidance in areas including pay and reward, talent management, employment policies, strategic workforce planning, and learning and development. The head of function is the Chief People Officer, Rupert McNeil.

Our Role

Our ambition is to transform the Civil Service’s future workforce. This starts with delivering an effective HR service and getting basic people processes right.

We work to the priorities in the Workforce Plan, ensuring that our teams can respond to the government’s current and future challenges. We aim to attract and retain talented people from all backgrounds and walks of life, and to develop great leaders. We seek to build career paths that develop breadth of experience and depth of expertise. And we help to establish cost-effective and flexible reward structures for civil servants.

We want the Civil Service to become the most inclusive employer in the UK.

Civil Service Talent

Civil Service Talent is a central government expert service specialising in cross-government talent management, with a particular focus on building a high-calibre, diverse and inclusive Senior Civil Service (SCS). There are four sub-departments that fall within the remit of Civil Service Talent: Permanent Secretary HR and Director General Resourcing, Accelerated Development Programmes, Executive Recruitment, and Diversity and Inclusion strategy.

Executive Recruitment

Executive Recruitment is part of the Cabinet Office Civil Service Talent team, and is a central government expert service specialising in the attraction, search, selection and recruitment of Senior Civil Servants. The team is regularly commissioned by departments and other government organisations to deliver end-to-end recruitment for some of society’s most important leadership and specialist positions, including Deputy Director, Director and Director General posts.

Career opportunities and professional development

Civil servants can access the HR Profession website on Civil Service Learning. It offers a wide range of learning opportunities, plus information on Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) accreditation and professional networking.

For HR vacancies in the Civil Service, please visit Civil Service Jobs

  • the HR Fast Stream is a demanding 3-year programme. Fast Streamers undertake 18-month placements in 2 different departments and areas of HR to prepare for senior management roles. HR Fast Stream applicants do not require previous HR experience. Visit Fast Stream or the Facebook page or Twitter account

  • HR accelerated development schemes are centrally run to develop staff with the potential and aspiration to progress to higher grades. The schemes focus on leadership development and the role of HR in building organisational effectiveness. Participants complete cross-government projects to build networks and skills, and increase their understanding of challenges that other Civil Service departments are facing

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)

We encourage all HR professionals to achieve professional membership of CIPD. Many departments offer staff working in HR the option to complete CIPD qualifications or the Experience Assessment. The latter involves demonstrating existing skills to gain professional accreditation.


For further queries about the HR Profession please speak to

HR standards in the Civil Service

A number of HR-related standards apply to all civil servants:

Published 20 January 2016