Civil Service in the UK


Quick Facts about the Civil Service

Her Majesty’s Civil Service is responsible for the implementation of executive decisions of the Government and as such, it plays the key role in all segments of life including security. Civil servants support the Government in power but they are employees of the Crown and not the Parliament although the latter may call them on account. In order to keep their independence from the politics and the parties in power, civil servants are in a way protected from the latter through their responsibilities.

The Civil Service in the UK does not include all public sector employees such as the police officers, armed forces, members of the NHS, local government officials and the staff of the British Royal Family.

Civil Service Governance

Minister for the Civil Service

Minister for the Civil Service is on the top of the hierarchy of Her Majesty’s Civil Service and is responsible for regulation of the Civil Service in terms of implementation of the Government’s executive decisions. Minister for the Civil Service, however, is not civil servant. Since 1968, the position of the Minister is held by the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom which means that the position of the Minister for Civil Service is political.

Head of the Civil Service

The Civil Service in the UK is led by the Head of the Civil Service who ensures that the Civil Service is implementing its responsibilities and that civil servants have optimal conditions for work. The Head of the Civil Service also presides the Permanent Secretary Management Group as well as the Civil Service Steering Board – the Civil Service’s main governing bodies.

Civil Service Commissioners

The Civil Service Commissioners are responsible for recruitment of civil servants. They make sure that all civil servants are selected on the basis of fair and open competition but they also have the responsibility to maintain recruitment code in terms of ensuring correct interpretation and use of the principle of fair and open recruitment. The Civil Servants Commissioners are also responsible for appeals under the Civil Service Code. They are appointed directly by the Crown and are responsible to the Queen. The Civil Service Commissioners are not, however, civil servants.

Civil Service in the Future

About 380,000 people work for the UK’s Civil Service. However, this number is expected to drop in the near future as a result of the Government’s effort to reduce public spending. But besides reduction of the expenses through smaller size, the Civil Service reform also foresees far reaching changes of its structure and organisation in order to make it more efficient yet remain one of the nation’s best employers.