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All Senior Civil Service jobs to be advertised externally from today

All Senior Civil Service (SCS) jobs must be advertised externally following recruitment changes that come into force today.

  • New rule to require every senior level vacancy across the Civil Service to be advertised externally from today
  • Changes will boost diversity, broaden expertise in senior posts and open opportunities to people outside of London

All Senior Civil Service (SCS) jobs must be advertised externally following recruitment changes that come into force today.

The move will open roles up to external candidates as well as people already in the Civil Service, helping to improve the ability of the Civil Service to hire a diverse range of high-quality candidates and allow departments to bring in skills in specialist areas, upskill the workforce and help move jobs out of London, which is an important strand of the Government’s Levelling Up agenda.

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Steve Barclay has written to cabinet ministers to outline the changes. Ministers will have to personally approve any request to recruit into a SCS post without advertising externally.

Mr Barclay said:

Civil servants do a great job delivering public services for people up and down the country and, just like in any high-performing business in the private sector, employees thrive when there is diversity of leadership.

The pathway to achieving this aim is to ensure the Civil Service is able to select from amongst the widest possible pool of talent so we can hire the highest calibre staff. This will also contribute to our commitment to levelling up opportunity across the UK by moving roles out of London.

We want to reduce the size of the Civil Service so it comes back down to the levels we had in 2016 but it remains important that, when we do recruit, particularly for leadership roles, we are able to bring in the best possible candidates for every position.

An additional change will mean there will be a requirement for all SCS roles to be advertised both on a lateral move and promotion bases, expanding opportunities for progression and diversity of candidate pools.

All 7,000 senior civil service positions are now covered by the new policy, including any new roles being recruited as part of the Government commitment to move half of SCS roles out of London by 2030. Under our Places for Growth Programme, nearly 6,000 civil service roles have already been moved out of London.

Offering senior roles on a promotion basis has also been shown to boost the diversity of applicants, particularly to bring more women into the most senior grades. 47.3% of SCS roles are held by women, an improvement on 35.9% in 2011, but still below the over half of roles held by women across the Civil Service.

Ethnic minority representation lags further behind, at 8.2% of the SCS compared to 14.3% of the Civil Service as a whole. The new change to the Civil Service Recruitment Framework, the rules governing civil service recruitment, will boost diversity and broaden the experience and backgrounds of civil service leadership.

Ministers will not have a role in the recruitment of candidates, maintaining the independence and impartiality of the civil service, but will be able to veto any requests to only recruit senior positions from existing ranks of civil servants.

The move delivers on one of the commitments in the Declaration on Government Reform, which committed to opening all senior appointments to public competition by default.

Civil service roles are publicly advertised at as well as external recruitment websites where relevant.


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