Civil Service Commission support for life chances programmes - a priority for 2019

Working with the Civil Service to support initiatives to boost the employability of individuals with limited ‘life chances’ is one of the Commission’s strategic priorities for 2019.

The Commission’s support for a joint Cabinet Office and Ministry of Justice project in the North West of England, helping ex-offenders back into work, already led to an Innovation Award at the 2018 Civil Service Awards in October.

To drive this area of work, the Commission has established a Life Chances Working Group, comprised of Commissioners Rosie Glazebrook (Chair), June Milligan and Jane Burgess, and Secretariat staff Peter Lawrence (Chief Executive), Bill Brooke and Aarti Soba.

The Group’s planned programme of activities will include promoting and explaining the Exception to the Commission’s Recruitment Principles (PDF, 16 pages, 269 KB) which is specifically designed to accredit programmes to help individuals whose circumstances make it difficult to compete for Civil Service appointments on merit on the basis of fair and open competition without further work experience and/or training.

Currently, there are seven programmes are accredited under the Exception and the Commission is keen to support other Departments who are developing ‘life chances’ schemes.

If you would like to find out more about what the Commission is doing, or you are working on a ‘life chances’ scheme and would like to know more about Exception 2, please get in touch on

HM Government logo