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 through the Civilian Stabilisation Group (CSG). For more information, please see the relevant sections below.

SU also manages the recruitment and deployment of individuals to multilateral missions on behalf of the FCO. Individuals that are seconded to multilateral missions do not need to hold membership to the CSG, but can apply to become CSG members through the process outlined below. For more information, please contact

Civilian Stabilisation Group (CSG)

SU is currently undertaking a CSG recruitment drive and is looking to recruit individuals with experience of working on and in fragile and conflict-affected states to the CSG Categories listed in the table below. Please take particular notice of our newly launched Monitoring and Evaluation (PDF, 209KB, 1 page) category. In addition, SU is also seeking CSG applications to any CSG Category from individuals with the below cross-cutting skills.

CSG Category Cross-cutting Skills
Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E); Gender, Conflict and Stability; Extremism, Violent Extremism and Terrorism (EVET); Organised Crime Arabic; French; Monitoring and Evaluation; Migration

The Civilian Stabilisation Group 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), the Civil Service Stabilisation Cadre (CSSC), 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 European Union (EU), 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, the unit commits to equipping members suitable for deployment abroad with Hostile Environment Awareness Training (HEAT).

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

CSG Structure

There are three groups in the CSG:

Senior DCE Advisers CSG Core CSG Reserve
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 and must ensure their essential deployment requirements are up-to-date. CSG Core consists of a number of DCEs from across a range of expertise who are willing and able to support stabilisation activities in fragile and conflict-affected states. Members of the Core are offered the majority of SU tasks where there is not a requirement for a short term Senior DCE Adviser deployment. This will include the Civil Service Stabilisation Cadre (CSSC) members and serving UK police officers. CSG Reserve forms part of the SU’s wider network. The Reserve exists to support the SU when there is demand for an operational skill set for support in fragile and conflict-affected states.

Senior DCE Advisers

  • Senior DCE Advisers are assessed against the Civil Service competencies at Deputy Director grade.
  • 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. CSG Reserve members and individuals applying to join the CSG thus 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.

CSG Core

  • Core DCEs – Core DCE applicants are assessed against the Civil Service competencies at Grade 6 / 7.
  • Core CSSC – Core CSSC applicants are assessed against the Civil Service competencies at their substantive grade.
  • Serving Police – Serving Police applicants are assessed against the Civil Service competencies 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; or
    • if applying as Commander or Assistant Chief Constable, at Deputy Director grade.

CSG Reserve

  • Reserve DCEs – Reserve DCE applicants are assessed against the Civil Service competencies at Higher Executive Officer / Senior Executive Officer (HEO/SEO) grade.

CSG Categories

Please refer to the CSG Category Profiles (PDF, 515KB, 45 pages) to see each profile.

CSG Groups include the following Categories:

Senior DCE Advisers

  • Senior DCE Advisers (please note that Senior DCE Advisers are assessed against this profile in addition to that of their CSG Core Category).

CSG Core

Core DCEs:

  • Community Safety, Security & Access to Justice
  • Conflict
  • Defence
  • Extremism, Violent Extremism and Terrorism (EVET)
  • Gender, Conflict & Stability
  • Governance*
  • Integrated Border Management
  • Justice*
  • Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E)
  • Operations
  • Organised Crime
  • Policing Adviser*
  • PSVI Criminal Lawyers*
  • PSVI Gender Based Violence Experts*
  • PSVI International Investigating Officers*
  • PSVI Psychosocial Experts and Social Workers*
  • PSVI Sexual Offences Examiners*
  • PSVI Training Experts*
  • Security Institutions
  • Stabilisation*
  • Strategic Communications

Core CSSC:

  • CSSC Generalist*

Serving Police:

  • Serving Police*

CSG Reserve

  • Reserve*

*Recruitment paused

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


To apply to the CSG, individuals must meet the criteria set out in:

Individuals can join the CSG as:

  • Civilian experts available for deployments or departing UK civil servants - Deployable Civilian Experts (DCEs).
  • Serving UK civil servants or local government employees - Civil Service Stabilisation Cadre (CSSC).
  • Serving UK police officers – Pool of serving UK police officers.


  • 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.


  • Only serving UK civil servants and local government employees are eligible to apply for the Cadre.
  • The approval of line managers is a prerequisite for any application.
  • Serving military officers are not eligible to apply.

Serving Police

  • Only serving UK police officers at Inspector rank and above are eligible to apply as Serving Police.
  • 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 Serving Police Supervisor Letter (MS Word Document, 40.7KB) .

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.

Deployable Civilian Experts (DCEs)

DCEs are non-civil servants who are available, often at short notice, for assignments in fragile and conflict-affected states. These are highly skilled, resilient and professional men and women from a wide range of backgrounds.

DCEs can be members of the Senior DCE Advisers, the CSG Core, or the CSG Reserve, and belong to one of the categories. For details on CSG Groups and Categories, please refer to the text above.

Civil Service Stabilisation Cadre (CSSC)

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

While in the cadre, members remain with their home department and continue with their normal career progression. Cadre members receive opportunities to apply for posts related to fragile and conflict affected countries, both overseas and in London.

CSSC members can be members of the CSG Core or the CSG Reserve, and belong to the CSSC Category. For details on CSG Groups and Categories, please refer to the text above.

Pool of serving UK police officers

The pool of serving UK police officers are available for international policing roles. As vacancies within missions become available, officers are invited to apply and if successful are deployed by the 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 relationship management. Further guidance on international policing roles can be found in the attached Joining the Serving Police CSG Category (MS Word Document, 79.7KB) information note.

Serving UK police officers can be members of the CSG Core, and belong to the Serving Police Category. For details on CSG Groups and Categories, please refer to the text above.

Apply to join the CSG

To apply to join the CSG as a DCE, CSSC member, or in the pool of serving UK police officers, please send the following three completed documents to

Applicants should apply to either the CSG Core or the CSG Reserve, and to one CSG Category only. Competencies should be answered at the appropriate grade. Application Guidance can be found below.

  1. A completed CSG application form (for the relevant CSG Group):
  2. A completed CSG Diversity Monitoring Form (MS Word Document, 81.5KB)

  3. An up-to-date CV, of a maximum of 2 pages

Applicants will be assessed against the general and technical requirements of their Category, as well as the Civil Service competencies at the relevant grade (using the Civil Service Competency Framework and the International Competencies).

What next?

If you are successful during the initial assessment, you will then be invited to an interview at the Stabilisation Unit. We do not conduct interviews via Skype, telephone or Virtual Tele-Conference (VTC) and 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 3 months. In exceptional circumstances, the SU will consider applicants for interview outside the 3-month window.

We aim to contact you with a decision within 8 weeks.

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.

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.

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.


For any queries, please send an email to