Civil Service Human Resources

The Civil Service HR (CSHR) function encompasses all the civil servants working in Human Resources and Learning and Development across all government departments, agencies and non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs). Made up of over 3,500 colleagues across government, we support departments, professions and other functions to build a modern, effective Civil Service.

This group has closed

It is superseded by Civil Service HR

We are the leaders on people-related matters, driving improvement in a number of areas, such as attraction and retention, diversity and inclusion, development of career pathways, reward and leadership as well as the transactional HR work that underpins this improvement. > > We aim to become the UK’s most inclusive employer and through implementation of the Civil Service People Strategy, we’re transforming the way we recruit and develop people - our most precious resource.

Rupert McNeil, Government Chief People Officer and Head of the Civil Service HR Function

The HR profession and professional development

The Human Resources Profession is one of the Civil Service professions. It is a connected and high-performing community of HR professionals across the Civil Service, and is led by the Civil Service HR function and its Chief People Officer Rupert McNeil.

We encourage all HR professionals to achieve professional membership of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

Many departments offer staff working in HR the option to complete CIPD qualifications. They may also offer the Experience Assessment, which involves demonstrating existing skills to gain professional accreditation. Civil servants can find out more on the Civil Service Learning website.

HR standards in the Civil Service

Some HR-related standards apply to all civil servants:

Civil Service HR services and support

We offer expert services and guidance in a range of areas including:

  • pay and reward
  • diversity and inclusion
  • talent management
  • employment policies
  • strategic workforce planning
  • learning and development
  • organisation design

HR Design

We provide guidance on Global HR Design, which sets the standard for user centric HR services for the public sector, with a focus on UK Government. All UK Government departments are formally required to converge on this Global Design for HR. The design may equally be used across the wider public sector.

Civil Service Learning

Civil Service Learning (CSL) works with learning and development experts to create and provide a range of high-quality learning that supports and equips civil servants to deliver excellent public services.

To access the many learning opportunities we have available, visit the CSL website. Civil servants will need to register to access the learning.

Civil Service Leadership Academy

The Civil Service Leadership Academy supports the development of leadership skills across the Civil Service. Our approach to learning focuses on bringing leaders together from across the civil service to share experiences and expertise.

This principle of ‘leaders teaching leaders’ works because it:

  • reflects the unique environment in which civil servants work
  • recognises the importance of leadership at every level
  • develops people for the leadership they need now as well as for the future.

Our programme is presently focused on senior civil servants and people on talent programmes. It will however extend to the whole Civil Service over time.

Government Recruitment Service

We aim to modernise and open up Civil Service recruitment to attract a broader, more diverse pool of talent. It’s also our priority to unlock the talent within the Civil Service, giving everyone the opportunity to fulfil their potential while making an important contribution to government. Find out more on the service’s page on GOV.UK.

Civil Service Fast Stream

The Civil Service Fast Stream team runs the government’s flagship Fast Stream graduate programme. We pride ourselves on attracting a diverse pool of high quality candidates, supporting them throughout the Fast Stream process.

We work closely with government departments and agencies to recruit the Fast Streamers they need and ensure those Fast Streamers have every opportunity to fulfil their potential.


We are investing in people to equip them with the skills and experience we need and have committed to offering 30,000 apprenticeships in the Civil Service by 2020. There is further information about apprenticeships in general on the apprenticeship guide pages of GOV.UK.

Civil Service Job Sharing

We’re here to help civil servants who are interested in finding a job share partner.
We provide a range of resources including the Civil Service job share finder, which is open to all civil servants. Once you’ve registered on this tool, it automatically begins searching for compatible job-share matches with other civil servants.

Diversity and inclusion

We want the Civil Service to be the UK’s most inclusive employer by 2020 and be representative of diversity in wider society at all levels. To help us achieve this, we publish a range of data about representation and inclusion in a new Civil Service Diversity and Inclusion Dashboard.

Civil Service Talent Management

Civil Service Talent works to ensure that the Civil Service attracts, develops and retains talented people from a diverse range of backgrounds, to create a brilliant Civil Service now and for the future.

Our aim is to develop a strong and diverse pipeline of inspiring, confident and empowering leaders to shape the future of the Civil Service

Organisation Development and Organisation Design

Organisation Development and Design (OD+D) are two complementary fields of practice which support senior leaders in addressing complex, system-wide challenges. Its primary purpose is the alignment of organisation strategy, leadership, people and ways of working (culture) in service of improved organisation performance. Our OD+D team work with departments to strengthen their effectiveness by paying attention to the organisation and the human needs by focusing on

  • the total departmental system and interdependencies relating to the organisation’s purpose and
  • the human needs, by engaging people in the development and implementation of organisation strategy, system, process and ways of working.