Policy work is about delivering change in the real world. This is important and challenging work: the problems tackled matter to, and have a real impact on, millions of people both in the UK and abroad, and are often complex and deep-seated.
The Civil Service Reform Plan introduced important initiatives to improve policy making. The One Year On report built on this momentum with a greater focus on evidence and transparency. The Capabilities Plan challenged the Civil Service to professionalise its policy making.
‘Twelve Actions to Professionalise Policy Making’ is the response to the recommendations provided by these three reports. The response describes the actions the Policy Profession intends to take; setting out practical approaches to increasing civil servants’ skills, introducing more rigour into policy making and ensuring open policy making is the default approach.
The response is the output of a wide-ranging review of the profession where Civil Servants of all grades had the opportunity to comment, international best practice was considered and the views of think tanks, Ministers and Permanent Secretaries were collated. The actions, proposed by a working group of the Policy Profession Board, have been endorsed across Whitehall.
The twelve actions have been carefully selected to strike the right balance between ambition and viability. Some are primarily for Departments to lead; others will be driven centrally. No one organisation is overburdened in terms of responsibility, enhancing the likelihood of successful delivery over the course of the next two to three years.