Outlining how professionalism is supported by learning and developing the skills required for vertical, horizontal or diagonal progression provides a vision to aspire to of the future. Members are interested in the potential career pathways open to them, what it would be like to work in other roles and to understand what they need to do to get to the next point in their career.
Clear line of sight from entry grades through to Grade 6 senior leader roles provides an incentive for members to develop their professionalism and progress further within the profession. Clear examples of SCS leaders that have worked their way through the entire career pathways provide excellent role models and clearly demonstrate the possibilities. It is envisaged that operational colleagues will value the investment in developing role profiles and career pathways as it demonstrates an investment in people as valued members of the profession.
Many operational people don’t have a view of the wider Civil Service beyond their own job family or directorate; do not know what other roles exist or understand that their skills are transferable to other departments. This not only limits individual career opportunities but also limits the possibilities for departments to cross-pollinate and bring in fresh talent and ideas. Increasing the visibility of alternative career pathways is likely to provide optimism and potential for change to those colleagues who may feel ‘trapped’ or lack career options.
It helps managers to work with individuals; to identify where they want to be in the future and what skills and competences they need to develop to get there. This can be an excellent motivator to bring the very best out of their team members. It is useful in agreeing career development objectives, providing a focus for preparing career development plans, understanding the learning and development requirements of your team and building your confidence in delegating work to those who are seeking opportunities.
The people that you manage will look to you for guidance and support with how they can develop their career in operations. The profession would like you to use the career pathways information as a support tool to help you develop your people and make them feel more engaged and valued as operational delivery professionals. This will help reduce negativity, support the development of a strongly motivated and able operational workforce, and develop the managers and leaders of the future.
To the business
It supports the profession’s aim of attracting and maintaining a quality workforce. Understanding what it is like to work there, what the initial entry and future progression requirements are, the type of roles that exist and opportunities for developing a career are all important factors which influence new recruits to consider a career in that profession and supports the retention of existing staff.
Many operational colleagues only identify with their current job family, agency, or department but the development of career pathways supports the future potential for members to migrate between these by developing professional transferable skills. This is an important cultural shift as the size of departments change, partnership working increases and services are delivered in a more modern and fluid way.
Through staff surveys, departments often ask how committed or proud they are to work there and if they intend to continue working there in the future. A key consideration for staff is the opportunity to develop new skills and the possibility of moving into other interesting roles. The development of career pathways will help to make this more visible and support individuals in feeling part of a professional group within and across departments.
All of the benefits outlined above will provide an additional motivator for many people to come to work, serve the public, and develop in their current role as they seek to achieve progression through their chosen career pathways. This is likely to have a beneficial impact on customers and supports:
- improved perception of front line professionalism
- improved accuracy
- increased productivity
- best use of public sector resource
- improved customer service standards.
Finally, you will be able to find out more about vacancies across the Civil Service through Civil Service Jobs
The same underpinning skills and competences are required to provide professional public services to external customers but the actual jobs can be very different. For example, a Court Usher, supporting members of a jury, a Local Service Officer visiting elderly or disabled people to provide pensions and benefit advice, a UK Border Agency Officer checking passports or interviewing immigrants or contact centre agents providing advice about tax arrears. There is a huge variety of work highlighting that you don’t need to work in your own agency or department for your entire career.