What is the purpose of the GSR In-Service Fast Stream?
The GSR Fast Stream is about providing a platform for social researchers with the talent and motivation to reach the highest levels of responsibility within the Civil Service. The programme is one way in which we can help to develop individuals for Senior Civil Service (SCS) roles as Chief Research Officers/Heads of Profession; for generic SCS Heads of Analysis roles; and for SCS roles elsewhere in the Civil Service.
Does the GSR Fast Stream limit opportunities for others in GSR?
The GSR Fast Stream is just one new development opportunity for GSR members. Those not on the Fast Stream – the vast majority of GSR members – are no less valuable to GSR and no less eligible for development or promotion.
Can I still reach senior levels in GSR and the Civil Service if I haven’t been on the Fast Stream?
Yes. Appointment to any role in GSR and the Civil Service will continue to be based on an individual’s competencies, skills and experience. The Fast Stream is a programme of development which aims to ensure that its participants gain the relevant competencies within a shorter time frame. The programme is very challenging and requires substantial commitment from the individual. It does not offer any rights to promotion over mainstream colleagues.
Who is eligible for the GSR In-Service Fast Stream?
This is an opportunity for all Research Officers (ROs) and Senior Research Officers (SROs) who have the support of their Line Manager and Head of Profession. However, the scheme will be most suitable for ROs and newly recruited/promoted SROs, because established SROs with the potential are likely to reach Principal Research Officer (PRO, Grade 7 equivalent) under their own steam within a similar time frame.
Have you completed the Fast Stream development programme once you’re promoted to PRO?
Not necessarily. The GSR Fast Stream Development programme aims to accelerate a participant’s development so that they reach PRO within 4-5 years. On reaching PRO, they would technically cease to be a Fast Streamer, although the training and development programme should still continue for a total of 4 years even if they reach PRO within that time. This is to ensure that a fast streamer completes all the foundation training and development experiences that will support them later in their career.
How will you specify which jobs are Fast Stream?
It is more about a department(s) providing a programme of work and ‘postings’ for Fast Streamers than identifying specific posts. Deciding on an individual development programme will require considerable input and proactive management from the Fast Sstreamer.
How will departments with few GSR members be able to offer a broad range of posts?
See answer above. It is likely that smaller departments will work with other departments to ensure a suitable range of experience can be offered.
Are fast streamers paid more?
No. They also retain their specialist grade. Although they should be in receipt of PRO pay more quickly.
If I did get accepted onto the programme would I stay in the same job or be allocated elsewhere in the current organisation?
It would depend on the department and whether there was enough suitable work to give you the breadth of experience you’d need. In the current environment it is likely youn will stay in your current role, working with your line manager, to provide stretch in your objectives.
Will Fast Streamers be forced to move jobs if their current job is deemed unsuitable?
HoPs will be responsible for confirming a place with each candidate and discussing with the Line Manager and Fast Streamer the start date, and the nature of the post/work programme on offer. It is unlikely that a Fast Streamer would need to move posts immediately in order to begin their programme of development.
What extra things would I get/go to as a Fast Streamer?
A place on the GSR Fast Stream scheme will enable you to move posts more frequently and learn more quickly, and you should be ready for promotion to PRO sooner. Ideally, you’d be ready to take on a post in the Senior Civil Service a few years after that. Your work experience will be underpinned by a personal training and development programme, focussed on competencies you need both in the GSR Fast Stream and afterwards at more senior levels. Some departments will offer you a mentor – a senior manager from another team, who can give you extra advice and guidance. Your on the job training will be supplemented by formal training courses and periods of self-study. You can expect to receive around fifteen days formal training a year and will have access to the Fast Stream ‘Core Learning Programme’. You will also be allocated to a Fast Stream Action Learning Set.
How is it decided that the time is right for a Fast Streamer to move jobs?
This should flow naturally from a two-way ongoing conversation/review about the Fast Streamers progress, between the Fast Streamer and their Line Manager/Head of Profession.
Will I be disadvantaged if I choose not to apply for the GSR In-Service Fast Stream?
No. The Fast Stream is only one development option; it won’t suit everyone. A decision not to apply doesn’t imply a lack of motivation.
As a Fast Streamer, would I have to perform better than a non-Fast Streamer to get the same performance marking?
The performance management system is separate from the Fast Stream. Fast Streamers can expect to be set challenging objectives and to cope with change effectively. The performance management system assesses people against their objectives and in relation to their grade – not in relation to their Fast Stream status.