Working for SU

Opportunities to work with the Stabilisation Unit

Joining SU

Our core staff vacancies are advertised on Civil Service Jobs under Stabilisation Unit. Positions open to non-civil servants will also be advertised here.

Civilian Stabilisation Group (CSG)

The Civilian Stabilisation Group is a pool of skilled individuals who are willing and able to deploy to fragile and conflict-affected countries to assist the UK government in addressing instability.

You can join the CSG as:

All crown servants, including civil servants and police officers, need their line manager’s approval. Membership of the CSG is for a maximum of three years, after this time you will be asked to reapply. Please note that DCE applications from crown servants, including serving military, require a confirmed leaving date within six months.

The Stabilisation Unit particularly welcomes applications from individuals who have experience or skills in: Strategic Communications, Monitoring and Evaluation, Integrated Border Management, Countering Violent Extremism, Counter Terrorism, Organised Crime, and Middle Eastern and Eastern European languages.

Deployable Civilian Experts (DCEs)

DCEs are non-civil servants who are available, often at short notice, for assignments in countries affected by or at risk of violent conflict. Civil servants who wish to apply to be a DCE must have a confirmed leaving date within the next 6 months in order to apply.

The Stabilisation Unit currently has over 1200 of these highly skilled, resilient and professional men and women from a wide range of backgrounds on its database.

CSG Diversity Monitoring Form

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At any one time, about 5 to 6% of DCEs are deployed in around 20 countries. Assignments can last from a few days to a year or more. Most assignments are on UK bilateral missions and multilateral missions with the EU, UN or the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

The required skills include:

  • significant field experience working in conflict-affected and fragile countries
  • strong technical skills in the SU’s function areas
  • knowledge of the UK policy-making and cross-government decision-making mechanisms

DCEs need dynamism and a flexible approach to problem-solving. They should be able to:

  • work independently and be self-reliant
  • represent the government
  • perform well when operating in hostile environments and conflict situations

DCEs must also abide by the Grade 7 Level 4 DCE Application Form (ODT, 154KB) , and they need to be able to obtain UK security clearance.

Please note that if you have left the Civil Service within the last two years, then your pay as a DCE will be capped at 125% of your salary up until the two year point. This is due to HMG Business Appointment Rules.

Apply to be a DCE

To apply to join our applicants’ pool, send us:

Send these to

DCEs are assessed using the Civil Service Competency Framework at levels 3 and 4. Before completing your application you should also familiarise yourself with Civil Service International Competencies (PDF, 79.3KB, 11 pages) .

Required competencies for functions

Check the general and technical requirements, desirable skills and relevant competencies for the following functions:

The following function will be assessed against the Civil Service competencies at level 3:

If successful in applying for the operations function you will only be able to apply for roles advertised at level 3.

We recommend using the STAR approach to help you provide meaningful and complete answers to competency-based questions and interviews:


Step 1: situation

Describe the situation you were in when you confronted a problem. With the STAR approach you need to set the context. Make it concise and informative, concentrating solely on what is useful to the story.

Step 2: task

Describe the task that was assigned to you, to distinguish what your role was within in the specific situation described.

Step 3: action

This is the most important section of the STAR approach as it is where you will need to demonstrate and highlight the skills and personal attributes that the criteria, competency, question is testing: explain what you did, how you did it, and why you did it.

Step 4: result

Explain what happened eventually - how it all ended. Also, use the opportunity to describe what you accomplished and what you learnt in that situation. This helps you make the answer personal and enables you to highlight further skills.

What happens next

We check your application against the function you have applied for. We aim to contact you with a decision within 8 weeks.

Before submitting your application please ensure that you are able to make yourself available for an interview in London, UK within the next 5 months. If successful at interview your appointment as a DCE will be on condition of gaining Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS) security clearance: this process will require your active engagement.

Some work undertaken by DCEs may require a higher level of security clearance. If you are not a British Citizen, or if you are a British Citizen but have not resided in the UK for lengthy periods, these higher levels of security clearance may be very difficult to obtain.

We regularly review our recruitment process to ensure that it meets the standard required by the Civil Service Commission and we reserve the right to update the application process at any time to ensure that it meets the required standard.

Civil Service Stabilisation Cadre (CSSC)

Only serving UK civil servants and local government employees are eligible to apply for the Cadre.

The CSSC is a group of more than 200 civil servants from over 20 government departments and agencies who have been selected by the Stabilisation Unit, for their skills and experience in areas such as defence, development and diplomacy or their understanding of security and justice, communications, political reconciliation or border management in a stabilisation context.

While in the cadre, members remain with their home department and continue with their normal career progression.

The Stabilisation Unit provides cadre members with opportunities to apply for stabilisation related training, funded by the unit, which includes conflict and stabilisation courses and military exercises. In addition, the unit commits to equipping staff suitable for deployment abroad with Hostile Environment Awareness Training (HEAT).

Cadre members receive opportunities to apply for posts related to fragile and conflict affected countries, both overseas and in London, often requiring individuals at short notice. These posts can last from anywhere between 2 weeks and 2 years. Please note, the approval of line managers is a prerequisite for any application. The CSSC: line manager support booklet (PDF, 193KB, 11 pages) is a useful guidance document for line managers.

Apply to join CSSC

To apply send us:

Send these to

Applicants to CSSC are assessed using the Civil Service Competency Framework at levels 3 and 4. Before completing your application you should also familiarise yourself with Civil Service International Competencies (PDF, 79.3KB, 11 pages) .

We need the CSSC to be diverse and made up of people who have the skills and experiences to suit the broad spectrum of countries in which we work.

Please note that only serving UK civil servants and local government employees are eligible to apply for the Cadre.

Applications to the CSSC are made under the CSSC Generalist (ODT, 10.5KB) . This lists the required competencies and skills.

What happens next

We acknowledge receipt of your application and we check it against the generalist profile. We aim to contact you with a decision within 8 weeks.



Pool of serving UK police officers

The Stabilisation Unit manages a pool of serving police officers who are available for international policing roles. As vacancies within missions become available officers are invited to apply, and if successful are deployed by SU. Vacancies are advertised by a variety of organisations and the terms and conditions vary for each.

International Policing demands highly developed skills in communicating and influencing, resilience and managing relationships. Officers deployed abroad carry the reputation of the UK, and this competitive process is designed to select the best the UK has to offer.

How to apply for the International Policing pool

Applicants are strongly recommended to contact the Police Function Manager to informally discuss working with the Stabilisation Unit prior to submitting an application.

Application forms can be obtained from the Police Function Manager John Wallace; completed forms should be returned to the Police Function Manager. Applications are assessed against the civil service competency framework and selection is in line with the civil service recruitment principles. This will include a competency-based interview.

Acceptance onto the pool does not guarantee an international deployment. In fact experience of officers on our database can be one of a frustrating waiting period of many months for suitable jobs to be advertised, and then complex application processes depending on the recruiting body. During that time the SU Police Function Manager keeps all officers updated on upcoming jobs, and arranges both security clearances and training to ensure that we put forward the best possible candidates.

Application criteria

At the current time the SU are inviting expressions of interest from the following substantive ranks: * Chief Superintendents * Superintendents * Chief Inspectors Recruitment for Inspectors is currently suspended. Exceptions will be made for those who can speak fluent French.

The SU actively supports the recruitment of female Police Officers to better meet the gender balance targets of the EU and UN. As a result of an agreed Positive Actions initiative, applications from female Police Sergeants and Inspectors are considered for acceptance onto the pool. For further information you shold contact the Police Function Manager.

CVs will be assessed against likely vacancies to ensure that there is a realistic chance of achieving a role within a mission. In demand skills include Community Policing, Training, Strategic Planning, CID, Public Order, foreign languages (French in particular) and those with previous international experience.