‘A Brilliant Civil Service’ – The Beginning of a New Story

Post by Elayne Phillips, Head of Civil Service Communications and Internal Communications

Wednesday 27 July 2016

With six events, in five weeks, in five different cities across Scotland, England and Wales, Civil Service Live 2016 had the biggest attendance in its history, including over 13,700 civil servants taking part in the 684 learning sessions.

This year’s Civil Service Live saw the launch of the vision for ‘A Brilliant Civil Service’, one that is capable of serving modern Britain, and provides opportunity for talented people to reach their full potential, regardless of their background.

‘A Brilliant Civil Service’ has four key elements:

  1. Improved outcomes – a much stronger focus on the difference we can make for citizens, not just on processes and procedures
  2. Effective leadership – with confident leaders who inspire and empower colleagues to be the best they can be
  3. Skilled people – our commitment to building a broader set of skills in the Civil Service, to make us more effective and offer more varied careers that will help us retain and attract the best talent
  4. A great place to work – creating a truly inclusive environment, in open, modern workplaces, with the technology to get the job done

Following the launch of the vision at Civil Service Live, Permanent Secretaries and senior leaders across departments are now building the vision for ‘A Brilliant Civil Service’ into their departmental plans and looking at how to make the vision a reality. Department and ALB Heads of Internal Communications have been issued with Vision Toolkits (with associated branding guidelines) to help empower leaders at every level to embed the vision within their teams.

If you didn’t manage to attend the events, you’ll find more information on the vision here.  85% of civil servants who attended the events reported that they are not only aware of the vision of ‘A Brilliant Civil Service’, but also identify how it relates to their own departments and teams, and the role they have to play as an individual. Why not have a discussion about how you and your team can ensure you’re putting the four themes of the vision at the heart of what you do?

Following the events, we hope you have been inspired to develop your skills and knowledge. The GCS, Civil Service Learning and local training provide a range of opportunities to enhance your skills, whether it be taking advantage of the chance to work in other parts of UK government by using The Devolution and You section of GOV.UK, or developing your leadership style by signing-up to one of the many training sessions at Civil Service Learning.

Another way to develop your skills is by getting a mentor. Spot Mentoring sessions at Civil Service Live were incredibly popular, and there are further opportunities to talk to a mentor at Mentor Match where you can be matched with someone to discuss career progression and how to further develop your skills so that the Civil Service can keep building on its huge base of skilled people.

If you joined us at the events, you will have heard some great stories about some of the brilliant work going on across the Civil Service. Some of this work and more has been nominated for this year’s Civil Service Awards and will be celebrated when the winners are announced on 24 November. Keep an eye out for announcements on 17 October to see if any of your department’s work has made the shortlist.

And finally, thank you to all delegates, speakers, the team and colleagues who manned the GCS Comms Hub at Civil Service Live. The GCS team and colleagues from across government delivered some 48 presentations at the GCS Comms Hub and a further 18 workshops over the six Civil Service Live events. Presentations and guidance material from the Hub are now available on the GCS website.