Civil Servants: Training

Cabinet Office written question – answered on 4 December 2017.

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Photo of Lord Laird Lord Laird Non-affiliated

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that civil servants are well-trained and that performance management steps are taken when necessary.

Photo of Lord Young of Cookham Lord Young of Cookham Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip), Lords Spokesperson (Cabinet Office)

The Civil Service is committed to building the capability of all its employees and supporting their development. Our core learning offer provided via Civil Service Learning (CSL) incorporates 130 topics including leadership and management, customer service, finance and policy development. Learning is provided via free online modules, workshops and practical exercises. Job specific/technical learning is developed in partnership with professions and functions. To support easier access, a new Learning Platform for Government will begin rollout in 2018.

Civil servants discuss their development with their manager and can access an online self-assessment tool to help identify their learning needs. A key manager role is building capability in others and a ‘Management Fundamentals’ package linked to the Chartered Management Institute’s Level 3 (Team Leader) has been available since December 2017.

Our 4000 Senior Civil Servants now have access to the Civil Service Leadership Academy (CSLA), launched in October 2017. The CSLA offers a wide range of learning approaches tailored to SCS needs, including case study events, master-classes, newsletters, coaching, peer mentoring and 360 degree feedback.

All departments take Performance management (PM) seriously; it is a key element of development and building. The Civil Service PM policy, introduced in 2012, has helped identify different levels of performance and ensure people are able to continuously develop. Where performance and/or capability is below the required standard, departments have policies and measures in place to ensure individuals are given the support and learning they need to improve. Further action is taken where performance does not improve within acceptable timescales.

The new Performance Management Framework introduced in 2017 continues to identify different levels of performance and also places a greater focus on coaching and supporting civil servants to help them perform effectively.

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