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How to apply

What to expect when applying for the Civil Service

Success Profiles

At some point during your application process, you will probably see the term Success Profiles. You will often see these in reference to behaviours, such as Managing a Quality Service or Communicating and Influencing. 

Success Profiles were introduced as a more inclusive method of recruitment enabling us to assess the range of experiences, abilities, strengths, behaviours and technical/professional skills required for different roles. There are plenty of resources online to help you. 

Personal statements & online tests

The majority of our roles require applicants to complete a personal statement. The purpose of a personal statement is to showcase your relevant skills and experience against the job requirements. Requirements are often referred to as the person specification or essential criteria.

Writing a personal statement gives you a great opportunity to showcase how you meet the person specification, or essential criteria for the role you are applying for. Here are some top tips on writing a good personal statement. 

Some of our vacancies will also require you to complete an online test. There are plenty of resources to help you prepare for Civil Service online tests.

“Moving from the private sector to the DWP has been the best move in my career. My work is varied and challenging. I couldn’t be happier with my work-life balance since moving to DWP.”

Kay Mah

Reimagine Programme

Reasonable Adjustments

We want to support you if you need an adjustment at application, online test or interview stages in the recruitment process, even if you do not feel you qualify for the Disability Confident Scheme. 

We consider visible and non-visible disabilities, neurodiversity or learning differences, chronic medical conditions or mental ill health. Examples include dyslexia, epilepsy, autism, chronic fatigue, diabetes, or schizophrenia.  

Some of the adjustments we can offer include:  

  • application or interview help
  • a time of day that works for you 
  • extra time
  • sign language interpretation
  • advice about assistive technology 

If you want to apply for a vacancy and need an adjustment at any stage in the application and selection process, contact details will be shown in the advert.

Disability Confident Scheme

DWP is a Disability Confident Leader, and we want to encourage disabled people to apply for jobs and give them an opportunity to show their skills, talent and abilities throughout the recruitment process.   The Department is committed to interviewing all applicants with a disability who meet the minimum standard for the essential criteria as advertised. 

DWP will support you through this process by making the necessary adjustments, wherever possible. Our aim is to: 

  • provide a fully inclusive and accessible recruitment process 
  • be flexible in assessments, so disabled job applicants have the best opportunity to show suitability for the job 
  • make reasonable adjustments through the recruitment and selection process

Civil Service Schemes

Going Forward into Employment

DWP supports the Civil Service Going Forward into Employment (GFiE) life chance recruitment schemes to recruit
people from a wide range of backgrounds into the Civil Service.
Find out more about about the GFiE life chance recruitment schemes

Civil Service Care Leavers Internship

The Civil Service Care Leavers Internship Scheme is a flagship scheme which gives care leavers the chance to benefit from a 12-month paid internship in a central Government department/agency, with the possibility of the post being made permanent at the end of the 12 months.
Find out more about the Civil Service Care Leavers Internship Scheme.

Great Place to Work for Veterans Scheme

When a veteran opts into the scheme and meets the minimum criteria, they’ll progress to the next stage for most vacancies – whether that’s an interview or an online test.
Great Place to Work for Veterans Scheme

Civil Service applicants

Applicants who are successful at interview will be, as part of pre-employment screening, subject to a check on the Internal Fraud Database (IFD). This check will provide information about employees who have been dismissed from the Civil Service for fraud or dishonesty offences. This check also applies to employees who resign or otherwise leave before being dismissed for fraud or dishonesty had their employment continued. Any applicant’s with details held on the IFD will be refused employment.

A candidate is not eligible to apply for a role within the Civil Service if the application is made within a 5-year period following a dismissal for carrying out internal fraud against government.

Before applying for any vacancies, current employees of DWP should check whether a successful application would result in changes to their terms and conditions of employment, for example, mobility, pay, allowances.  

Civil Servants that would transfer into DWP from other government organisations, following successful application, will assume DWP’s terms and conditions of employment current on the day they are posted, unless DWP has stated otherwise in writing.

More about applying for the Civil Service

How to get a job in the Civil Service

Chris Webber from the Open Innovation Team provides some advice and tips on how you can maximise your chances of success when applying for vacancies in the Civil Service.

Civil Service Departments

There are hundreds of departments and agencies that make up the Civil Service. Whatever your passion, there’s a department that will be the perfect match for your knowledge and talents.

Civil Service Professions

Joining the Civil Service means you become part of a profession, working with like-minded colleagues with similar skills and interests. You’ll also have a range of opportunities to enhance and develop your skill set.