The drive to increase the diversity of the Civil Service is keenly shared by the Commission. As the regulator, we’re there to provide assurance that appointments are made fairly and on merit, so internal levers to increase diversity such as talent development programmes, temporary promotion, mentoring etc.. are not within our remit.
But with the Commission’s unique perspective across departments’ recruitment from chairing open competitions at senior levels and its role in auditing processes across government, we are using our experience and influence to help departments deliver on their ambition to be more representative of the country they serve.
Challenging the Civil Service to improve diversity in the SCS is one of the Commission’s strategic priorities, set out by Ian Watmore in 2016 Key strategic aims and actions that flow from this include:
How can the Commission support departments to get more diverse candidates?
How do we help departments maintain their focus on diversity?
How do we create challenge in the diversity agenda?
Our Commissioners are ideally placed to use their influence in competitions and in their roles as link Commissioners. The link Commissioner role pairs Commissioners with the 20 or so main departments and professions with the aim to meet regularly with Perm Secs and/or HRD’s/Heads of Profession to discuss recruitment activity. Link Commissioners act impartially and champion best practice and promote compliance with the Recruitment Principles and the Civil Service Code. The link Commissioners are ideally placed to provide advice and challenge on departmental plans to enhance diversity through recruitment.
Diversity working group
As well as overseeing competitions, our Commissioners, who bring broad experience across all sectors, engage in a wide range of Commission work, including working groups that have delivered a number of positive actions:
More information and statistics about the work of the Commission is available in our interactive annual report: https://civilservicecommission.independent.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/CSC-ARA-Report-201920-Interactive.pdf
If you would like to know more about the Commission’s role in recruitment, take a look at our short videos: https://civilservicecommission.independent.gov.uk/recruitment/recruitment-principles/
If you would like to speak to one of our team about our work in supporting the Civil Service on diversity and inclusion, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org