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.

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.

DCE Function Area Breakdown

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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 Civilian Stabilisation Group (CSG) code of practice (MS Word Document, 88.5KB) , and they need to be able to obtain UK security clearance.

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: cadre generalist profile (MS Word Document, 46KB) . 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

Please contact the SU Police Function Manager Jim Atherton for an application form and to return completed forms. Candidates progress by passing a competency based application and 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 forthcoming jobs, and arranges both security clearances and training to ensure that we put forward the best possible candidates.