Solve the government's most complex challenges
There are a huge variety of policy roles across the Civil Service and no two policy teams are the same, so there is definitely a job out there to suit you.
You might find yourself in Her Majesty's Treasury advising ministers on the performance of the mortgage market; working in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy leading communications for the Energy Cyber Security Programme; or being part of the Department for Education, developing a new plan to tackle childhood obesity, led by Number 10.
Work at the heart of government is ever-changing so it's essential that policy professionals are proactive, energetic and feel comfortable in a fast-paced and dynamic environment. As you will be working with a wide range of stakeholders, it is important that you are capable of developing strong working relationships with others. You should also be, or want to become, a confident communicator and it is important that you are able to work both independently and as part of a team.
Our Career Offer
Regardless of your department and policy team, you can be assured that you will have a range of high-profile responsibilities to undertake from the start. These might include providing support in Ministerial private office, working with analytical professionals to develop evidence-based advice, writing briefings for your minister to answer Parliamentary Questions, or engaging with stakeholders across industry and within communities.
You might have an idea of what a 'policy wonk' looks like. You might be tempted to rule yourself in or out based on that. But think again - there is no stereotypical policy professional. They come from all walks of life, all types of backgrounds and range in age from 16 - 60+. It's important that policy makers are representative of the society for whom policy is created. We need diversity of thought within our teams, and encourage a variety of ideas to ensure our policymaking is the best it can be.
So, whatever you think a policy professional is . . . forget that - it's you!
When I first thought about the idea of working in government, the allure of making a difference to real issues was too much to ignore. It's been an eye opening and challenging experience, not to mention a privilege. For a career that delivers a strong sense of satisfaction then look no further!
Routes into the profession
A broader diversity of thought and experience makes for the creation of better policy, so even if you don't have a policy background we would encourage you to consider working with us.
If you're looking for a structured development programme then you might want to consider applying for either the Fast Track Policy Apprenticeship Scheme or the Fast Stream Generalist Scheme. The policy apprenticeship - designed for those who haven't been to university - offers full-time work alongside a 2-year learning and development programme. The Fast Stream is a 3-year accelerated career path to leadership with supported development.
In addition to these schemes, the Policy Profession offers a comprehensive learning offer that spans entry-level to Senior Civil Service, meaning you will have many learning and development opportunities available to you throughout your career.
You could work in:
- policy development
- policy implementation
- corporate strategy
- ministerial private office
- strategic engagement
- parliamentary bill team
Created in 2013 to ensure that the best evidence on 'what works' is available to the people who make decisions on public services. Five years on, this report looks at the impact of the Network, which has grown to include 10 independent What Works Centres.
Many generalists on the Fast Stream, the graduate programme for the Civil Service, are involved in developing and implementing policy. Learn more about some of the ways we help our graduates learn from our leaders and each other.
The Civil Service is making it easier for policy teams to work with academics. The Open Innovation team is helping to connect departments with academic talent in the UK.