The Civil Service Commission, which regulates Civil Service appointments to provide assurance that they are made on merit after fair and open competition, has today published its annual report and accounts for 2021 – 22.

In her foreword to the report, Baroness Gisela Stuart, who was appointed as First Civil Service Commissioner in March 2022, said:

“Delivering the government’s priorities at a time of major national and global challenges requires adaptability, resilience and commitment; qualities we see regularly in our dealings with departments. Bringing in people who have emerging and different skills and experiences strengthens the Civil Service. When it comes to the most senior roles, commissioners chair competitions to help recruitment panels to test candidates fairly against the specified criteria and identify the best overall candidate for a specific position. 

“This year the number of competitions chaired by commissioners was at an all-time high of 246. With the introduction of ‘external by default’ for all Civil Service posts, first announced in the Declaration on Government Reform, the Commission’s operational model will develop to provide assurance across a wider number of roles in future. The Commission is working on a framework to ensure that this is implemented to meet this challenge. We want to enable departments to will benefit from this new policy that is taking shape.”

The First Commissioner has also written to all Permanent Secretaries and departmental Lead Non-Executive Directors to encourage greater oversight of recruitment and signal forthcoming changes to the Commission’s regulatory model in response to the government’s “External by Default” policy.  

Baroness Gisela Stuart continued:

“We also awarded the first Commissioners’ Mark of Excellence this year, highlighting innovation and commitment in the recruitment of diverse candidates across all grades into the Civil Service, with the winning campaigns featured in our report. We were delighted that so many departments entered examples and case studies showcasing new ideas that can be shared across government. The Commission will continue to drive and enable the Civil Service – at all levels – to become more representative of the country it serves.”

“The past year has seen a lot of change at the Commission; I would like to pay tribute to my predecessor, Ian Watmore, and warmly thank Rosie Glazebrook, who acted as interim First Commissioner until my appointment in March. I must also thank the Commissioners who finished their 5-year terms this year - Natalie Campbell DBE, Rosie Glazebrook, June Milligan and Joe Montgomery and welcome four Commissioners - Paul Gray, Paul Kernaghan, Sarah Pittam and Martin Spencer - who joined our board in October 2021. I also want to thank the outgoing Chief Executive, Pete Lawrence, and wish him continued success supporting the Going Forward into Employment scheme as it moves into the Cabinet Office.”

The annual report contains a range of statistics about the Commission’s work in regulating recruitment and hearing appeals from civil servants under the Civil Service Code including:

  • 83,520 people were recruited through fair and open competition, up 38% from 60,487 in 2020 – 21
  • 246 competitions were chaired by Civil Service Commissioners (up 50.9% from 163 in 2020/21) with 11,415 applicants.
  • Where declared, 57% of people recruited were female and 43% were male ((SCS Pay Band 2 and below)
  • 8% of people recruited declared a disability, no change from 2020 - 21
  • 70 Civil Service Code appeals received, of which 33 were referred back to departments for investigation.

Download the 2021 – 2022 annual report (PDF, Opens in a new window) 

Watch our short videos

Find out more about the Commissioners’ Mark of Excellence


Notes to Editors

  1. Media enquiries about the work of the Commission to be sent to Maggie O’Boyle on 07880 740 627. 
  2. More information about the work of the Commission is available on the website
  3. You can follow the Commission on twitter @CivServComm and Linkedin 
  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. 
  5. The Commission comprises senior figures from the private, public and third sectors. Civil Service Commissioners are appointed by the Crown for five-year non-renewable terms of office.Read Commissioners biographies
  6. The Commission’s annual report and accounts are usually published in July but were delayed this year due to delays by the National Audit Office.  

HM Government logo