Success Profiles for government communicators

Post by Jo Pennington

Wednesday 17 April 2019

Illustration of Civil Service Success Profiles

You’ve probably already seen something about Success Profiles – the new Civil Service approach to recruitment.

What is it? Is it different from the competency framework? Will you need to learn a whole new technique for applying for jobs?

The answer is yes, and no. You’ll still be setting out what you’ve done and how you did it; just in a slightly different format that gives a more rounded picture of you, with more emphasis placed on what motivates you and engages you in work.


The different elements

Success Profiles look at five different elements:

  • Behaviours are actions and activities that people do that result in effective performance in a job. These are based on competencies, but they have been refreshed and rewritten for Success Profiles.
  • Technical is the demonstration of specific professional skills, knowledge or qualifications – this is where the GCS Competency Framework fits in.
  • Strengths are things we do regularly, do well and that motivate us.
  • Experience is the knowledge or mastery of an activity or subject gained through involvement in or exposure to it.
  • Ability is the aptitude or potential to perform to the required standard.


How might this work in practice?

For a communications role, you might be asked to demonstrate:

  • two or three Behaviours from the Civil Service framework
  • one or more Technical Skills from the GCS competency framework
  • a statement on your experience – your chance to show how you meet the criteria from the job description.
  • Strengths – at interview, one or two quick fire questions aimed at finding out how you react in certain situations. The point of these questions is that you can’t rehearse them; they’re designed to get a sense of you as a person and a professional.

It’s not a fixed process – the aim is to give recruiters the flexibility to find the best candidate for the role.

There’s further information here: