Working for SU

Opportunities to work with the Stabilisation Unit (SU).

Joining SU

Our core staff vacancies are advertised on Civil Service Jobs under Organisation: Stabilisation Unit. Core staff vacancies open to non-civil servants will also be advertised there.

In addition, SU recruits and contracts skilled individuals in two ways: secondments to multilateral organisations and through the Civilian Stabilisation Group (CSG). Opportunities for secondments to multilateral organisations are open to individuals both inside and outside the CSG, whilst all CSG members are given additional access to apply for further stabilisation-related opportunities. For more information, please see the relevant sections below.

1. Civilian Stabilisation Group (CSG)

The CSG is a pool of skilled individuals who are willing and able to deploy to fragile and conflict-affected states to assist the UK government in addressing instability. The CSG is made up of Deployable Civilian Experts (DCEs), and a pool of serving UK police officers. More details on each can be found below.

Membership to the CSG gives individuals the chance to apply for stabilisation related opportunities. Assignments can last from a few days to a year or more. Most assignments are on UK bilateral engagements and multilateral missions with the, United Nations (UN), or the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

SU provides opportunities for thematic training and military exercises. In addition, SU commits to equipping members suitable for deployment abroad with Hostile Environment Training (HET).

Please note that acceptance into the CSG does not guarantee employment, international deployment, or training. CSG members are not Her Majesty’s Government employees.

2. CSG Structure

There are 2 groups in the CSG:

CSG Core Senior DCE Advisers
CSG Core consists of a number of DCEs with a range of backgrounds and skill sets who are willing and able to support stabilisation activities in fragile and conflict-affected states. The Core includes a pool of serving UK police officers, able to assist in specialist roles. Senior DCE Advisers are a highly skilled and experienced group. They are flexible in responding to HMG requests to working in SU priority countries. They are required to be on a call down contract, enabling quicker deployment. They must also ensure their essential deployment requirements are up-to-date to facilitate agile working. Senior DCE Advisers may only apply once established in the CSG Core.

CSG Core

  • DCEs – DCE applicants are assessed against the Civil Service competencies at Grade 6 / 7
  • Serving Police – Serving Police applicants are assessed against the Civil Service competencies Civil Service Competency Framework Civil Service Competency Framework (PDF, 738KB, 46 pages) at the following grades:
  • if applying as Inspector or Chief Inspector, at Higher Executive Officer / Senior Executive Officer (HEO/SEO) grade;
  • if applying as Superintendent or Chief Superintendent, at Grade 6 / 7
  • if applying as Commander or Assistant Chief Constable, at Deputy Director grade

Senior DCE Advisers

  • Senior DCE Advisers are assessed against the Civil Service Competencies Civil Service Competency Framework (PDF, 738KB, 46 pages) at Deputy Director grade as well as their Category profile
  • to become a Senior DCE Adviser, DCEs need to first be an active member of the CSG Core, have completed a minimum of one SU task, and meet the criteria outlined in the Senior DCE Adviser Category Profile. Individuals applying to join the CSG cannot apply directly to become a Senior DCE Adviser
  • Senior DCE Adviser recruitment windows will be advertised to all CSG Core members at specific times during the year

3. CSG Categories

The CSG is made up of the following Categories. Please refer to the CSG Category Profiles CSG Category Profiles (ODT, 98.5KB) to see each profile in detail. Categories that are currently open for recruitment will be listed in the Applicant Portal link under ‘Apply to join the CSG’.

  • Community Safety, Security & Access to Justice
  • Conflict Academic
  • Conflict Practitioner
  • Counter-Terrorism (CT)
  • Counter-Terrorism: Overseas Protect & Prepare (CT OPP)
  • Counter-Violent Extremism (CVE)
  • Defence
  • Gender, Conflict & Stability
  • Governance
  • Integrated Border Management
  • Justice
  • Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E)
  • Government Partnerships International (GPI)
  • Operations
  • Policing Adviser
  • Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PSVI)
  • Security Institutions
  • Serious & Organised Crime (SOC)
  • Stabilisation
  • Strategic Communications
  • Serving Police
  • Mediation and Reconciliation Hub

When applying to become a member of the CSG, individuals will apply to one Category in the CSG Core. SU opportunities to CSG members are advertised according to CSG Type, rather than Category.

4. Secondments to Multilateral Organisations

With their substantial reach and resources, multilateral organisations play an important role in global conflict prevention and stabilisation. The UK Government, via SU, provides highly skilled individuals to support the work of these institutions in their headquarters and missions around the world.

Secondments to OSCE Special Monitoring Mission Ukraine

Finding a lasting solution to the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine remains a priority for the UK and our international partners. Since 2014 the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has been present in Ukraine, observing and reporting with impartiality on the crisis to facilitate dialogue in pursuit of a peaceful resolution to hostilities. The UK is the second largest contributor of personnel to the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (OSCE SMM), supporting a range of posts from headquarters-based analytical and communications roles to in-the-field monitors. SU, on behalf of the FCO, is looking to support more applications from qualified individuals to help the OSCE SMM continue its essential work. Interested parties should sign up to the SU multilateral vacancy mailing list by emailing OSCE SMM vacancies supported by the FCO will be circulated via this list. A list of all vacancies, including those not supported by the FCO, can be found on the OSCE website as well as the required qualifications and experience. Applications for FCO supported posts circulated by SU should be submitted directly to OSCE who will then ask the UK Government to nominate suitable candidates from those who have applied. If you are nominated and successful at an OSCE interview, SU will provide hostile environment training and the required personal protection kit as well as a structured briefing process. You will then be deployed into the OSCE SMM as a UK secondee under a fixed term FCO contract managed by SU. If you feel that you are a suitable candidate and are willing to support the work of OSCE, the UK Government and the international community in Ukraine, we encourage you to apply and look forward to supporting your application and deployment.

5. Apply to Join the CSG

All recruitment to the CSG is now paused until 06 January 2020.

On 06 January 2020 recruitment to the following categories will reopen: Counter-Terrorism, Counter-Terrorism; Overseas Protect and Prepare, Serious and Organised Crime, Countering Violent Extremism, Government Partnerships International and Mediation and Reconciliation.

Join the CSG Now

Please note that applicants should apply to one CSG Category only.

Applicants will be assessed against the general and technical requirements of their Category, as well as the Civil Service competencies at the relevant grade, this would ordinarily equate to roughly 10 years professional experience (using the Civil Service Competency Framework and the International Competencies Civil Service Competency Framework (PDF, 738KB, 46 pages). If you have included a language skill in your application, please use the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages and Self-Assessment Tool Common European Framework of Reference for Languages and Self-Assessment Tool (PDF, 127KB, 4 pages) as a guide to indicate the level of proficiency you have attained in relation to each language. If you have listed your proficiency for a language as above ‘basic’, you may be asked to complete a language skill assessment at interview. This assessment is not used to determine whether or not to offer you CSG membership.

  • Please take note that SU is seeking expertise in CSG Categories listed below as well as cross cutting skills shown.
CSG Category Cross-cutting Skills
Counter-Terrorism (CT), Counter-Violent Extremism (CVE), Counter-Terrorism Overseas Protect and Prepare (CT OPP), Government Partnerships International, Serious and Organised Crime (SOC), Arabic; French; Monitoring and Evaluation; Migration

6. Eligibility


  • Crown servants, including serving military, who wish to apply to become a DCE must have a confirmed leaving date within the next 6 months in order to apply
  • Please note that if individuals have left the Civil Service within the last two years, then their pay as DCEs will be capped at 125% of their salary up until the two-year point. This is due to HMG consultancy regulations.

Civil Servants

  • Full-time serving Civil Servants are not eligible to be members of the CSG. However, former and part-time Civil Servants, as well as Civil Servants on sabbaticals of more than six months, are still eligible to be members of the CSG as DCEs. Full-time serving Civil Servants are still eligible for those Stabilisation Unit opportunities advertised on Civil Service Jobs, but they are required to deploy through their home department under their terms and conditions of service
  • the approval of line managers is a prerequisite for any application
  • serving military officers are not eligible to apply for the CSG

Serving Police

  • Only serving UK police officers at Inspector rank and above are eligible to apply as Serving Police
  • Serving UK police officers can be members of the CSG Core and belong to the Serving Police Category
  • The approval of line managers is a prerequisite for any application. Upon applying, please make sure that your supervisor has read a copy of the Joining the Serving Police CSG Category Joining the Serving Police CSG Category (MS Word Document, 87.5KB).

Equal Opportunities

Stabilisation Unit is committed to diversity and equality. The Civil Service Equal Opportunity policy provides that all eligible people shall have equality of opportunity for employment and advancement on the basis of their suitability for the work whatever their sex, marital status, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, age or sexual orientation. It provides that there shall be no unfair discrimination on the basis of disability.

7. Application Guidance

Please refer to the Civil Service Competency Framework and the International Competencies in your application. For Civil Service competency-based questions, we recommend using the Situation, Task, Action, and Result (STAR) approach to help provide meaningful and complete answers.

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 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 competency is testing: explain what you did, how you did it, and why you did it

Step 4: Result

explain what happened eventually - how it ended, what the outcome was. 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 Next?

If you are successful during the initial assessment, you will then be invited to an interview at the Stabilisation Unit. All travel and accommodation arrangements for interviews are made at the applicant’s own expense. For this reason, please ensure that you are able to make yourself available for an interview in London, UK within the next three months. In exceptional circumstances, the SU will consider applicants for interview outside the three-month window. We aim to contact you with a decision within 8 weeks. Please note that the above process differs for serving police officers; the full process for serving police officers can be found in the Serving Police Supervisor Letter Serving Police Supervisor Letter (PDF, 129KB, 3 pages) information note.

Security Clearance

If successful at interview, your appointment as a DCE will be on the condition of being granted Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS) clearance. The BPSS and Security application process will require your active engagement. Some work undertaken by DCEs may require security clearance. If you are not a British Citizen, or if you are a British Citizen, but have not resided in the UK for significant periods (5 to 10 years, the length of time is dependent on the level of clearance), then security clearance may be more difficult to obtain.

Recruitment Policy

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. Please note that CSG members are required to comply with the Civil Service Code and as such are required to disclose, and take reasonable steps to avoid, any conflict of interest (real or apparent) in connection with their interaction with SU. In joining the CSG you acknowledge that you have read, understood, and agree to abide by the Civil Service Code. Membership to the Civilian Stabilisation Group is at the discretion of SU and SU will conduct regular reviews of the CSG and individual membership, under the CSG Terms of Engagement. The SU reserves the right to remove, or not deploy, any member of the Civilian Stabilisation Group at its discretion without warning or notification.

8. Contact

For any queries, please send an email to