The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has today been awarded the Commissioners’ Mark of Excellence for innovation and commitment in recruiting external candidates who may not have previously considered a career in the Civil Service. 

The judging panel were impressed by the Ministry of Justice’s commitment and consistency in externally advertising roles – most notably at Senior Civil Service level - as well as the range of initiatives in place to support candidates who are new to the Civil Service and schemes to encourage greater interchange for existing staff.

First Civil Service Commissioner, Baroness Gisela Stuart said:

“The purpose of the Mark of Excellence is to showcase some of the great work we see going on across government, highlighting innovative and thoughtful initiatives that attract strong and diverse fields of candidates for Civil Service Jobs.

“MoJ’s entry was truly excellent. For a broad range of roles right across the country they have focused hard on how to attract, encourage, and retain applicants who may never have thought of becoming a civil servant. The team have tried different and new ways of doing things within the Commission’s principles ensuring appointment on merit after fair and open competition.

“People will have seen the MoJ’s prison service TV campaign, depicting human stories of prisoners and staff to address common misconceptions of working in these extraordinary roles. MoJ has put together a range of materials to help turn people ‘thinking about it’ into applicants and to help retain successful applicants within the civil service. Their entry also highlighted a strong programme for interchange, supporting the government’s ‘porosity’ and skills agenda. 

“MoJ were highly commended last year so becoming this year’s overall winner is a credit to their consistent work leading the way in government on external recruitment.” 

Antonia Romeo, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice said:

‘It’s fantastic news that the MoJ has been recognised for our continued commitment to best practice in recruiting highly talented people and developing their capability. Winning the Mark of Excellence highlights the efforts MoJ colleagues have made in designing innovative recruitment initiatives aligned to our ambitious agenda, and ensuring a career in the MoJ is one of the most rewarding in government.”

Five further entries were ‘highly commended by the judging panel this year:

  • Government Legal Department – for their ‘Leeds prototype’ campaign, recruiting and supporting 18 specialist external legal experts.
  • Intellectual Property Office – for consistent removal of barriers for external candidates and targeted outreach work to attract Science, Technology and Maths candidates to Civil Service roles.
  • The Scottish Government – for their strategic approach, facilitating faster and more open recruitment and their strong support for secondments and skills transfer.
  • Office for National Statistics – for their use of new platforms for open advertising of civil service roles, dispelling myths and providing high quality, tailored information to new pools of candidates.
  • Home Office – for their ‘Senior Leaders’ initiative providing information on equivalence with private sector management positions and partnership recruitment work for the Stoke government hub.

The 2023 judging panel included Baroness Gisela Stuart, First Civil Service Commissioner, Atul Devani, Entrepreneur and Civil Service Commissioner, and Fiona Ryland, the Civil Service Chief People Officer.

19 departments and agencies submitted entries for the Commissioners’  ‘Mark of Excellence’ .

Winning organisations are able to display the Mark of Excellence logo on all their recruitment advertisements for one year and will be taking part in an online event to share their approaches with recruitment teams across the Civil Service in the Spring.

Notes to Editors

  1. More information about the work of the Commission is available on its website
  2. Media enquiries about the work of the Commission should go to Maggie O’Boyle on 07880 740 627. 
  3. For more information about the MoJ’s recruitment work please contact MoJ Press Office 0203 334 3536
  4. The Civil Service Commission was established as a statutory body in November 2010 under the provisions of the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010. The Commission is independent of Ministers and the Civil Service. It is responsible for upholding the requirement that recruitment to the Civil Service is on merit on the basis of fair and open competition. The Commission comprises senior figures from the private, public and third sectors who oversee recruitment into the Civil Service. Commissioners are appointed by the Crown for five-year non-renewable terms of office. 
  5. You can also follow the Commission on Linkedin and  X @CivServComm
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