About us

The Policy Profession designs, develops and proposes appropriate courses of action to help meet key government priorities and ministerial objectives.

It is our aim to improve policy making and ensure

  • better use of evidence;
  • better understanding of the political and democratic context; and
  • better planning and clarity, from the outset, as to how policies will be delivered.

The Civil Service Policy Profession works with departments across government to build a professional community. Over 18,000 Civil Servants recognise themselves as policy professionals, making us the second-largest government profession.

Our current priorities include:

  • ensuring the continued development of professional capability
  • improving the flow of knowledge within the Civil Service
  • strengthening our career development offer
  • building relationships, including with academic partners
  • learning from, and sharing best practice with, other administrations around the world

The 2013 report Twelve actions to professionalise policy making (PDF, 1.89MB, 22 pages) was published by the Civil Service’s Policy Profession Board. The report outlines intentions to improve policy making across government. These 12 actions were formally reviewed in 2018.

The 2019 report Looking back to look forward: from 'Twelve Actions' to 'Policy Profession 2025' (PDF, 357KB, 21 pages) presents the main findings of the review and defines the future direction of the profession (through the ‘Policy Profession 2025’ project).

If you would like more information about the Policy Profession, please get in touch with us at policy.profession@policyprofession.gov.uk

Career opportunities and professional development

A broader diversity of thought and experience makes for the creation of better policy and it’s important that we have a professional body with a demographic to reflect the society that we serve.

The Policy Profession Standards: a framework for professional development (PDF, 1.14MB, 22 pages) cover 18 areas of skill and knowledge under 3 themes: evidence, politics and delivery. The standards articulate these skill areas at 3 levels of capability:

  • Level 1 - Identify and attain the working-level knowledge required to operate effectively in a policy environment
  • Level 2 - Progress from awareness to an active demonstration of policy-making skills
  • Level 3 - Demonstrate you are fully competent at a high level in the relevant skills and also a leader of exemplary behaviours across the Civil Service

The Policy Profession Prospectus (PDF, 4.87MB, 33 pages) details the learning and opportunities available for policy professionals in the Civil Service, across the 3 levels of capability set out in the Policy Profession Standards.

Structured early career routes into policy work include a 2-year apprenticeship scheme and a 3-year graduate programme. We also offer a range of different learning opportunities for experienced professionals to progress or move into policy roles. Our professional development offer is as wide-ranging as the skills you will develop and the interesting challenges you will face.

To learn more about policy careers in the Civil Service, visit the Civil Service Careers Website.

To start a job search now, visit the Civil Service Jobs website.