All our current vacancies are advertised on the Civil Service Jobs website. You can search for jobs there and filter them, including by location, role or salary.
We recruit on merit on the basis of fair and open competition, in line with the Civil Service Commission’s Recruitment Principles. Our selection processes are designed to ensure that all candidates receive fair and equal treatment.
Because we recruit to so many different roles, it’s not possible to describe the detailed selection processes for all of them here – but every advert we publish describes what we’re looking for and how we’ll assess applications for that role.
On this page, you’ll find an overview of the selection approaches we use and the general application process we follow.
Like other Civil Service departments, we use the Success Profiles framework to assess applications for our roles. Success Profiles contains 5 elements: Ability, Behaviours, Experience, Strengths and Technical. You can access a summary of Success Profiles and the different elements in this information note on Success Profiles for candidates.
Not all of the Success Profiles elements are relevant to every role. The ones we use will vary depending on the level and type of role you apply for. You might be assessed on only one element, or any combination of them.
In addition, for some roles we may use Professional Technical Frameworks to help assess candidates. When we do this, we’ll say so in the job advert and provide further information on those frameworks.
Before applying you should check whether you are eligible to do so.
- Firstly, you must have the Right to Work in the UK. Those with time limited Right to Work must ensure that they maintain their Right to Work during their employment.
- Secondly, you must meet the nationality requirements stipulated in the job advert. These can differ, depending on the role, so please read that information to be sure of your eligibility to apply.
In most cases, we only accept applications through the Civil Service Jobs website, and all applications must be made online unless you have a disability that prevents you from applying by that route (see Reasonable adjustment section below). Please note that once you submit your application, you cannot amend it.
As part of your application, you will be asked to enter your most current employment details, covering a period of at least 3 years. You must provide details of any gaps in your employment history.
We’re a Disability Confident Leader. So, if a person with disabilities is put at a substantial disadvantage compared to a non-disabled person, we’re committed to adapting our processes.
Please complete the ‘Assistance required’ section in the ‘Additional requirements’ page of your application form to explain what help you might need during the recruitment process. For example, we can ensure wheelchair access or a Language Service Professional at your interview, provide questions in an accessible format or potentially allow more time at interview.
If you require such a change in order to complete your application, you should approach the point of contact in the job advert. It’s important you discuss your needs as soon as possible and before the closing date.
For some vacancies, we ask candidates to complete Civil Service Online Tests. These tests are an assessment of your ability to meet the requirements of the role. The standard tests that we choose from include:
- The Civil Service Verbal Test
- The Civil Service Numerical Test
- The Civil Service Work Strengths Test
- The Customer Service Skills Test
- The Civil Service Management Judgement Test
- The Casework Skills Test
We also sometimes use other tests, where relevant to the role.
Typically, we ask you to sit one or more of these tests. Candidates must pass each test in order to proceed to the next stage of the application process. We use these online tests because they offer a robust and effective assessment of your ability, and they require no evaluation of applicants’ education, qualifications or work experience.
We’ll calculate your score based on the responses you provide, and then compare it with the results of a peer group who have taken the same test(s).
You will receive an automatically generated feedback report that will help you to understand how well you performed. It will also provide some general suggestions as to how you could have improved your score.
If you pass the online tests set, you’ll proceed to the full application stage. The information you’ll be asked to complete will vary depending on the role, but the advert and the application form will set out exactly what’s required of you.
You might be asked to submit a CV demonstrating your experience and employment history and/or a personal statement. These may be used to assess different Success Profiles elements, including your Experience and any Technical professional skills, knowledge or qualifications. Behaviours – examples of actions or activities you’ve delivered – can also be assessed from your CV, or we might ask you to provide specific examples of them on the application form.
Advice on writing your CV and Personal Statement
You can access guidance on writing a CV and a personal statement. On your statement, we recommend using examples structured following the STAR method to explain how your experience matches the requirements of the role. Be concise, use plain English and avoid using acronyms without explaining what they stand for!
Whatever documents you are asked to complete, please do not include any information that could identify you, for example your name, age, place of education or links to online information. This is a really important part of keeping the process fair for everyone.
Your application will be scored by us to determine whether you will be invited to the next stage or not. Once you’ve submitted your application, you’ll be able to track its progress via the Civil Service Jobs website.
As a Disability Confident Leader, we seek to offer interviews for disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria, as published in the relevant job advert. We also offer a similar scheme for Veterans, in line with the initiative, A Great Place to Work for Veterans, and also for civil servants at risk of redundancy.
If you wish to apply for consideration under these schemes, please complete the appropriate section on the online application form so that we can make any necessary arrangements.
If you are successful in reaching this stage of the application process, you will receive an email explaining how to arrange your interview slot.
Most interviews last about an hour and will test you on the advertised criteria for the post. These may relate to the Behaviours, Experience and Technical elements considered previously, or to Strengths (which are most commonly tested at interview only), alongside any other assessment elements being used.
When answering questions on your Experience or on Behaviours, you may find it helpful to use the the STAR method.
As the name suggests, Strengths questions test the things you’re good at. There are no right or wrong answers to Strengths questions: We’re assessing your initial and unrehearsed responses.
You may also be asked to prepare a presentation on a given subject area, or for technical roles to undertake a technical test. If this is the case, we’ll notify you in advance of the interview.
If you are unsuccessful in your application, you will receive an email from us containing links to your scores for the different elements tested. We aim to offer all candidates invited to interview further feedback, but this isn’t always possible due to the nature of some roles and the volume of responses we receive.
If you have been successful in your application, we’ll send you a provisional offer of employment, pending the pre-appointment checks specified in the job advert.
These checks include those relating to your eligibility. They can take several weeks to conduct and must be satisfactorily completed before we can make a formal offer of employment or agree a start date. Therefore, if you are in employment, please do not hand in your notice until a formal job offer is made.
To enable us to carry out our Pre-Employment Checks we ask to see copies of certain documents. You can also view an accessible version of this list.
All non-civil servants need to undergo a security check as part of pre-employment checks. This will include National Security Vetting to a level required for the role and stated within the advert. Existing Civil Servants from other Departments will also need to meet the relevant National Security Vetting level.
To enable us to complete a security check, you should normally have been resident in the United Kingdom for the last three years if the role requires CTC clearance, five years for SC clearance and 10 years for DV. Please check the advert for the level of Security Clearance required for the role.
A lack of UK residency is not necessarily a bar to a security clearance. Applicants should contact the recruiting manager listed in the advert for further advice on this issue, if required.
Visit GOV.UK for more information about the different types of security checks.