Civil Service Fast Stream: The Go To Guide


The UK Civil Service plays a significant role as part of the Government. The Civil Service helps to develop and implement new policies and procedures and enforce them in society. They primarily provide a service directed to all people across the country in order to support and assist issues such as:

  • Paying benefits;civil service fast stream
  • Healthcare;
  • Providing pension schemes;
  • Operating effective prison systems;
  • Issuing driving licenses and a range of other important development policies.


In order to become a Civil Servant, there are two main routes that you can take. These are the Fast Stream option, and the Non-Fast Stream option. In this blog, we’ll look at The Fast Stream option, and provide you with some top tips on how to go about passing the selection process.


People who work for the Civil Service are ‘officials’ who work under Government surveillance. They are co-ordinated and monitored by the Prime Minister to guarantee that policies are met and procedures are enforced. The Civil Service does not include all public sector employees. Employees of the police service, armed forces and local Government and Counsels, are not part of the Civil Service.

Working for the Civil Service comes with great responsibility. Her Majesty’s Civil Service was imposed to instigate and execute important decisions made by the Government, and thus it plays a vital role in all segments of society including safety, security and stability.


The Civil Service play an essential role in both public and Government sectors. When applying for a position, you will be assessed against 3 main categories:

  • Integrity. A Civil Servant who can work with integrity is someone who is able to put the needs of the service above any vested personal interests or viewpoints.
  • Honesty. In order to work with honesty, you must be able to show that you are someone who is truthful and open.
  • Objectivity. It is extremely important that Civil Servants are able to work objectively and base their decisions on analysis and fact, rather than personal opinion.

The Civil Service’s main priority is to instigate quality and diversity through public domains in order to serve a purpose for everyone in society. They need to ensure that policies and services that they provide reflect experiences of social, cultural and economic changes within society.


civil service The Civil Service Fast Stream Tests are designed as a talent and skill management programme for graduates with the potential of becoming leaders in the Civil Service. Applicants need to have at least a 2:2 degree in any subject to apply for a scheme in the Civil Service. The Civil Service Fast Stream route offers graduates the opportunity to potentially make an impact on people’s lives in both the United Kingdom and the rest of the world.

The difference between the Civil Service Fast Stream and other routes into the Civil Service is the ‘speed’. As an applicant of the Civil Service Fast Stream route, you will be able to progress more quickly through the grades of the Civil Service. Therefore, you will be expected to provide higher levels of experience, knowledge and skills that are required for any of the Civil Service Fast Stream schemes.


In order, the application stages for Civil Service Fast Stream Tests are as follows:

Online-Self Assessment Tests

These tests are only to be taken if you are applying for the Generalist or Northern Ireland Fast Stream route. The tests consist of two parts:

  • Verbal Reasoning. 40 questions, 20 minutes.
  • Numerical Reasoning. 18 questions, 22 minutes.


Online Practice Tests

  • This is not a necessary requirement but it is considered highly beneficial for anyone who wants to be successful at passing the Civil Service Fast Stream Tests. They are a good way to judge how well you might do when it comes to the real test. These tests consist of verbal and numerical reasoning.


Online Selection Tests

This is an extremely crucial stage of the selection process. Your results from this test will determine whether or not you will proceed to the next stage of the application process. This is why if you are serious about successfully passing these tests, you should heavily practice the online tests, as previously mentioned. The test will comprise of:

  • Verbal reasoning. 40 questions, 20 minutes.
  • Numerical reasoning. 20 questions, 25 minutes.
  • Civil Service Fast stream competency. Multiple choice (not timed but allow 35 minutes for completion).


Analytical Specialist Assessment

  • Depending on what area of the Civil Service you are applying for, you may be asked to attend a half-day assessment in London where your technical and analytical skills will be put to the test.


Online E-Tray Tests

This exercise will test your ability to handle lots of data and information. The test is typical of the requests that you may be faced with in the life of a Fast Streamer. The test takes approximately two hours. The E-Tray exercise is broken down into three sections:

  • Reading and comprehending background information.
  • Identifying the most and least effective responses to a number of emails
  • Writing responses to requests, using the information you have already been provided.


One Day Fast Stream Assessment Centre

  • After completing your e-tray test, candidates are shortlisted and invited to a one-day assessment at the Civil Service Fast Stream Assessment Centre in London (FSAC). The day will comprise of a written assessment, leadership and group exercises, and an interview.


Final Selection Board

The scheme you have applied for will determine whether or not you need to attend the Final Selection Board. This is similar to the Assessment Centre in that your skills, knowledge and competencies will be put to the test. Please note, only certain schemes/ options require you to partake in this stage, this may not apply to you.
The Final Selection Board is only relevant if you are applying for one of these options:

  • Diplomatic services
  • European
  • Houses of Parliament
  • Digital and technology
  • Science and engineering
  • Government communication services


For a comprehensive overview of the entire Fast-Stream process, purchase our fantastic guide. Full of insider tips, assessment questions, interview answers and more, Civil Service Fast Stream Tests is the ultimate guide for anyone looking to build a long and successful career as a Civil Servant.


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