Each organisation in the Civil Service has its own recruitment process, but all abide by certain key principles of recruitment.
In this section you can find out more about the rules governing recruitment, and the two independent bodies, the Commissioners, responsible for monitoring the recruitment process, and Public Appointments.
You will also find some general information about pay and nationality requirements, however each vacancy could have specific requirements, and it is important to note these before applying for a role.
- Civil Service Commission
- Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments
- Rewards and Benefits
- Nationality Requirements
What is the Commission?
The Commission consists of the Civil service Commissioners and their staff.
Civil Service Commissioners
The Commissioners are appointed by Her Majesty the Queen on the recommendation of the Minister for the Civil Service.
The Commissioners are recruited on merit following public advertisement and a fair and open selection competition. From different careers and interests, they bring experience of the public, private and voluntary sectors and a clear and independent perspective. This helps to support a Civil Service that is effective, politically impartial, and that builds upon its core values to meet the challenges of today and of tomorrow.
Our Code of Practice sets out the standards of conduct we observe.
What do the Commissioners do?
The Civil Service Commission contributes to the development of an effective and
impartial Civil Service and supports its core values.
It does this by giving an assurance that appointments to the Civil Service are made on merit on the basis of fair and open competition and by upholding the core Civil Service values in the Civil Service Code.
Some of the ways we achieve this are by:
- publishing Recruitment Principles aimed at providing an effective and flexible approach to recruitment at all levels
- chairing competitions for the selection of the most senior civil servants
- monitoring recruitment policies and practices by auditing compliance with the Recruitment Principles
- hearing complaints in relation to the application of the Recruitment Principles
- hearing complaints about conduct that conflicts with the values in the Civil Service Code
The functions of the Civil Service Commission are outlined in Part 1 of the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010.
For further information go to: www.civilservicecommission.org.uk
The Commissioner’s remit covers a wide range of non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs): from BBC governers to members of local NHS trusts. The code of practice sets out seven principles:
1) Ministerial responsibility: i.e. that ministers are ultimately responsible for appointments;
2) Appointment on merit;
3) Independent scrutiny;
4) Equal opportunities;
5) Probity of members of public bodies;
6) Openness and transparency; and
7) Proportionality: i.e. that appointments procedures should be appropriate to the post.
For more information, go to: www.publicappointmentscommissioner.org
Apart from Senior Civil Service pay which is the same throughout the Civil Service, the level of pay is set by the individual departments and agencies, and so will vary depending on where you work.
Under the EC Treaty, where an EEA national of another member state has a right of residence in the UK and is employed or self-employed, or in receipt of services, in the UK, then certain non-EEA family members have the right of residence here and hence the right to take employment, including in the Civil Service. Similarly, where the EEA national has a right of residence in the UK in a non-economically active category (i.e. as a vocational student, retired person, or a self-sufficient person), then certain non-EEA family members have the right to take employment. These rights do not extend to non-EEA family members of a UK national except in very limited circumstances where the UK national has returned to the UK, in the exercise of a Treaty right, after having exercised Treaty rights in an economically active capacity in another member state, and is accompanied or being joined by a non-EEA family member. The categories of family member are:
- the EEA national’s spouse;
- a descendant of the EEA national or the spouse who is under 21 years of age or is their dependant; and
- a dependent relative in the ascending line of the EEA national or the spouse.
Applicants with dual nationality will be eligible for non-reserved posts provided that one part meets the nationality requirements.
When applying, you will be asked about your nationality at birth, whether you are subject to immigration control, and whether there are any restrictions on your continued residence or employment in the UK.
Please refer to the Civil Service Nationality Requirements for more detailed information on the nationality rules.
UK national is as defined in the UK declaration on nationality for EC purposes made with effect from 1 January 1983. This comprises: British citizens, British subjects under Part IV of the British Nationality Act 1981 having the right of abode in the UK, and British Overseas Territories citizens. The Declaration also notes the reference, in connection with the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, that “any citizen of the UK and Colonies” is to be understood as referring to “any British citizen”.
Nationals of the European Economic Area
The European Economic Area comprises the member states of the European Community (EC) and the European Free Trade Area (EFTA).
The EC Member States (besides the UK) are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, the Republic of Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden.
The EFTA Member States are Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
Although Switzerland is not part of the EEA, and Swiss nationals are not EEA nationals, the EU-Swiss Agreement (1 June 2002) confers upon Swiss nationals many of the same rights as are enjoyed by EEA nationals and their family members, including employment in the Civil Service in non-reserved posts.
Commonwealth citizens means any person who has the status of a Commonwealth citizen under the British Nationality Act 1981. This includes:
- British citizens;
- British subjects with the right of abode in the UK (this generally applies to people who were born before 1 January 1949 and who had a connection with either British India or the Republic of Ireland);
- British Overseas Territories citizens (i.e. people who obtained their citizenship from a connection with a territory which remains a British dependency, e.g. Gibraltar, Bermuda);
- British Overseas Citizens (i.e. people who have a connection with a former British colony, for example, Kenya, who did not become either citizens of that country when it became independent or British citizens);
- a national of a country listed in Schedule 3 of the British Nationality Act 1981. (i.e Australia, New Zealand, Canada. Note: The list of countries in Schedule 3 at any time may not accurately reflect the countries actually within the Commonwealth at that time);
- a further category was added in 1986 under the Hong Kong (British Nationality) Order: British National (Overseas). This applies to former British Dependent Territories citizens connected with Hong Kong.