News story

New learning opportunities for operational delivery professionals

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The government has launched new professional qualifications for operational delivery staff to help ensure high quality public services.

The new qualifications have been developed with, and are accredited by, City & Guilds and the Chartered Management Institute. Around 150 volunteers from different departments and in different parts of the country have also been involved. They focus on the skills gaps identified in April 2013 by the Civil Service Capabilities Plan as part of the government’s civil service reform programme.

Professionalisation is a key theme of civil service reform. Read the Operational delivery profession: capabilities plan.

Around 280,000 people work in operational delivery – 70% of the civil service. These staff make sure that citizens get the services and protection they need, including:

  • processing visas or driving licences
  • checking passports
  • working in courts and prisons or consular offices abroad
  • helping people find jobs
  • making sure our food is safe to eat
  • bringing in tax

The qualifications will help develop a more skilled, unified civil service and meet growing public expectations for high-quality public services by aiming to achieve excellent customer service.

About the qualifications

There are 6 levels of qualifications, from Level 2 to Level 7. Levels 2-4 will be awarded by City & Guilds. Levels 5-7 will be awarded by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI). There is also a Level 5 Award in Project Specification for Operational Delivery from City and Guilds. Within each level, there are 3 qualifications: Awards, Certificates and Diplomas. Where you start will depend on what skills you can show you already have. You can stop at any point, or build on the qualifications you’ve taken. An Award will count towards a Certificate, and a Certificate will count toward a Diploma. Courses range in cost from £86 to £309.

Visit Civil Service Learning for more information.

Staff will be able to study and complete assessments online, rather than be assessed in the workplace. However, a suite of older qualifications covering Levels 2 to 4 will remain in place for people who want to be assessed in the workplace. By enrolling in a qualification, people will be able to join an online community of learners. People who study for City & Guilds Level 4 and 5 qualifications will also receive student membership of the Institute of Leadership and Management, and those studying for Levels 5, 6 & 7 will receive student membership of the Chartered Management Institute. As student members, they’ll be able to register for further qualifications.

Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude said:

To win the global race we need a civil service that delivers the best for Britain. The qualifications being launched today will not only develop the capabilities of civil servants in the Operational Delivery Profession but will help improve the public services on which we all rely.

Head of the Civil Service Sir Bob Kerslake said:

Developing the skills of civil servants is fundamental to civil service reform, which is why I am pleased to see the introduction of these qualifications. They build on our Capabilities Plan and will help to create the modern, efficient, responsive civil service that the country expects and deserves – digital by default and putting the needs of the user first.

Head of the Operational Delivery Profession Ruth Owen said:

The new qualifications contribute to the aims in the profession’s Capabilities Plan to build capability, develop the profession and support successful delivery of civil service reform. They also demonstrate a genuine commitment to give something back to our diverse and talented workforce, while enabling them to deliver even better services to UK citizens and businesses.