In order to ensure that UK Civil Service employees are operating to the best possible standards, the Civil Service has introduced a comprehensive and detailed behavioural framework, which is designed to assess candidates for the Civil Service against a set of specific behavioural criteria and expectations. This is called The Success Profile Framework. The aim of the Civil Service Success Profiles Framework is also to attract a wider variety of people to the Civil Service, through a flexible approach to recruitment.
In this blog, we’ll be taking a look at the Civil Service Success Profiles, what this system involves, and how you can make the best use of this during your application.
What are the Civil Service Success Profiles?
The Civil Service Success Profiles Framework has been designed to ensure that the assessment process for Civil Service candidates focuses on a wider range of job-related qualities, rather than purely core competencies. Recruiters for the Civil Service have recognised that there is far more value in finding well-rounded applicants, who can meet a variety of different criteria, than simply narrowing the requirements down to a few select competencies. So, with this in mind, the Civil Service now focuses on the following:
- Behaviour. In the simplest terms, behaviour refers to actions taken which result in a person performing effectively at the role. During the selection process, the Civil Service will pay particular attention to your behaviour during the various tests – and how your scores in tests such as in-tray, e-tray, personality assessments and more, give them an insight into your behaviour and how you would act whilst working in the Civil Service.
- Strengths. This category refers specifically to the areas in which a candidate believes they are strongest, and what motivates them to perform them to the highest level. During your interview you can expect to be asked a question such as, ‘Tell us what your biggest strength is’. When answering this, try to select an answer which matches with the values of the Civil Service.
- Ability. This is an area which is assessed primarily through the selection tests, and this involves assessments such as verbal reasoning, numerical reason, and in-tray/e-tray exercises. The assessors don’t just want to assess your current ability, but also your potential ability to perform in the role.
- Experience. This category can vary in importance depending on which role you’re applying for. However, for senior roles, or more technical positions, your experience will play a huge role in whether you are successful in applying. Of course, this still applies to other positions too – the more experience you have the better, whether that’s voluntary or paid.
- Technical. This is all about demonstrating specific technical or professional skills, knowledge and qualifications. Many of the roles within the Civil Service are highly specialised roles, which means that technical knowledge or expertise is highly valued. If you are thinking of applying for a particular role within the Civil Service, then it’s a good idea to research and develop your technical expertise prior to applying.
Meeting The Behavioural Expectations
In order to meet the Civil Service Success Profiles, candidates will need to demonstrate a range of different qualities. Below we have listed the core elements, and what they mean:
Seeing The Bigger Picture. This basically means that you can look beyond ‘just working as a civil servant’ and acknowledging how your role and the work you do has an impact on a) the Civil Service as a whole, and b) the wider nation. Remember always that the Civil Service works for the good of national interest.
Improvement and Development. The Civil Service is constantly developing and improving the way it does things, and this applies to staff from every single department. With this in mind, the assessors are looking for someone who is innovative and motivated to improve their practice, who can act on feedback to develop and grow within the organisation.
Decision Making. Civil servants need to be good decision makers. Good decision making is about using logic and evidence to form rational and accurate judgements of situations, before implementing said decisions into actionable plans.
Leadership. It’s important that civil servants are capable and comfortable in taking a leadership role. You must be someone who can work with others, to implement the vision of the organisation, and this means that you will often need to take the lead in projects. The Civil Service want to employ candidates who are proactive and passionate about national interest – candidates who can lead by example.
Communication. Communication is incredibly important for employees of the Civil Service. You must be able to work amicably with others, respecting their views, needs and opinions. This links in with the next requirement…
Teamwork. As mentioned, teamwork is a fundamental element of working in the Civil Service. It’s imperative that you can form good working relationships with members of your department, and with members of other departments too, working amicably for the benefit of national interest.
Commitment to Excellence. The Civil Service sets extremely high standards for itself, and this of course extends to all employees working for the organisation. When you apply, you will be expected to demonstrate that you are someone who can work to an extremely high standard, and that you have a passion and dedication for producing only the best quality work.
Efficiency. The Civil Service places huge value on the ability to work efficiently and deliver results in a timely manner. With this in mind, you will need to demonstrate to the assessors that you can work with the utmost efficiency and meet deadlines and targets, whilst never sacrificing quality.
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