Working for the Civil Service

The recruitment process, Civil Service professions, workplace benefits, holiday and leave, pay, pension and conditions.

Graduate entry

Our graduate recruitment scheme, Civil Service Fast Stream is now open until 1 November 2015.

It offers talented graduates an accelerated route to leadership in the Civil Service and this short video gives more information about the Civil Service and the type of applicants the Fast Stream is looking for:

Civil Service Fast Stream - Make a difference!

You can find out more about the sort of work you’ll be doing on the scheme on the Fast Stream blog, including interviews some of our current Fast Streamers who feature in the latest video:

Where will a career in the Civil Service take you?

The application window for the Analytical schemes closes on 30 September. Apply now to join the Civil Service Fast Stream

Join the Civil Service

Search for jobs in the Civil Service by department, category, job type, salary and location. You can start a job search now. You will have to create a login to apply.

There are different routes into the Civil Service, including:

Applications to the Civil Service jobs website will be acknowledged within 24 hours by email. Late applications will not be considered.

Guaranteed interview scheme

We offer a guaranteed interview scheme for disabled applicants who meet our minimum selection criteria.


Successful candidates will need to undergo pre-employment checks before they are formally offered a job. Some departments will require security clearance.


Feedback is available at sift and interview stages for both successful and unsuccessful candidates.

Recruitment principles

Recruitment must be consistent with the Civil Service Commission’s recruitment principles.

If you feel that a department or agency has breached the recruitment principles you should raise this with the department concerned.

If you are not satisfied with the department’s response, you can complain to the Civil Service Commission.

Our values

The Civil Service Code sets out our core values and the standards of behaviour expected of all civil servants:

  • integrity - putting the obligations of public service above personal interests
  • honesty - being truthful and open
  • objectivity - basing advice and decisions on rigorous analysis of the evidence
  • impartiality - acting solely according to the merits of the case and serving governments of different political parties equally well

Pay and reward

There are two distinctive features about the way people are paid in the Civil Service.

  • Civil Service organisations have responsibility for their own pay, grading and performance management arrangements for staff (except the Senior Civil Service (SCS)).
  • there is an almost universal system of individual performance pay.

This is different to the way the wider public sector generally works. For example, pay for National Health Service workers, local authorities, teachers, police and fire services are subject to national pay bargaining arrangements. In contrast, each Civil Service department and agency negotiates pay for its own staff.

Departments were granted full delegation for terms and conditions in the 1990s. Performance related pay was also introduced around the same time to establish a closer link between performance and reward.

SCS pay

The pay and grading structure for the SCS is managed by the Cabinet Office. The Cabinet Office is responsible for providing evidence to the Senior Salaries Review Body, which provides independent advice to the Government on the SCS system.

Information regarding pay and reward arrangements in the SCS can be found on the Senior Civil Service: performance management and reward document collection.

New information will appear here once it is released.


The Civil Service is made up of 25 professions. Each profession has developed its own competency framework, which supports the wider civil service framework.

The Civil Service is made up of a wide range of professional roles – from communicators and engineers, to procurement managers and lawyers. There are currently 25 recognised professions, each led by a head of profession:

In most cases membership of professions is open to anyone working in government departments, agencies or non departmental public bodies. Some professions also permit membership to professionals outside of government, such as the wider public sector. In general they:

  • provide a governance structure
  • raise standards
  • provide career development opportunities
  • promote collaboration

In support of Civil Service Reform, a professions best practice framework has been launched and sent to all cross-government heads of professions and their supports.