Spotlight on customer service

With 280,000 people working in it, the Operational Delivery Profession makes up 70 per cent of the Civil Service. It ensures that citizens get the services and protection they need. The profession includes people who process visas or driving licences, check passports, work in courts and prisons, consular offices abroad, help people find jobs, make sure our food is safe to eat, and bring in tax.

Around 150 volunteers from different departments and in different parts of the country have been involved in developing the new qualifications. These qualifications will build the knowledge, skills and behaviours to address the priority capability gaps – commercial, project delivery, digital, and change leadership. The overarching aim is to achieve excellent customer service. The qualifications have been developed with, and are accredited by, City and Guilds and the Chartered Management Institute. They focus on the skills gaps identified in April 2013 by the Civil Service Capabilities Plan as part of the Government’s Civil Service Reform programme.

Professionalisation is a key plank of Civil Service Reform. The Operational Delivery Profession recently became the first profession to develop its own Capabilities Plan, which complements the Civil Service Plan.

Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude said: “To win the global race we need a Civil Service that delivers the best for Britain. The qualifications being launched today will not only develop the capabilities of civil servants in the Operational Delivery Profession but will help improve the public services on which we all rely.”

Head of the Civil Service Sir Bob Kerslake said: “Developing the skills of civil servants is fundamental to Civil Service Reform, which is why I am pleased to see the introduction of these qualifications. They build on our Capabilities Plan and will help to create the modern, efficient, responsive Civil Service that the country expects and deserves – digital by default and putting the needs of the user first.” 

Head of the Operational Delivery Profession Ruth Owen said: “The new qualifications contribute to the aims in the profession’s Capabilities Plan to build capability, develop the profession and support successful delivery of Civil Service Reform. They also demonstrates a genuine commitment to give something back to our diverse and talented workforce, while enabling them to deliver even better services to UK citizens and businesses.” 

Courses include an interactive professional learning curriculum, with workshops and e-learning to support the continuing professional development of operational staff.