Making Civil Service a Great Place to Work for Veterans

In 2018 the Government published the first ever Strategy for our Veterans and followed this up in 2020 with the Veterans Strategy Action Plan which set out the first steps the Government is taking to achieve its ambition of making the United Kingdom the best place to be a veteran anywhere in the world. Making the Civil Service a Great Place to Work for Veterans is just one part of achieving this ambition.

There are around 2.2 million Armed Forces Veterans in the United Kingdom and every year around 15,000 people leave the Armed Forces. Around 60% of them are under 35 with most seeking to take up a new career or job opportunities in civilian employment. As well as making the Civil Service the most inclusive employer in the UK the Government is committed to maximising the support and recognition for veterans in society. This includes those aspects and opportunities, such as employment in high quality jobs, which help them to flourish and successfully make the transition from life in the Armed Forces to civilian employment. Veterans also bring with them unique skills and experience and many of the values which the Civil Service also thrives on; a commitment to public service, team work, inclusion, creativity and drive.

A Great Place to Work

In February 2020, the Government announced the introduction of a new initiative to make the Civil Service ‘A Great Place to Work for Veterans’. Many veterans already work in the Civil Service and contribute a huge amount to the organisation, and this initiative aims to encourage more veterans to take this step. These new measures are focused on roles at all grades, functions and professions across the Civil Service.

We are now taking the first step in delivering this and meeting the Government’s 2019 manifesto commitment to make it easier for veterans to secure interviews for Civil Service roles.

As a result veterans who meet the minimum criteria for a role will progress to the next stage of selection. In most cases this will be an interview, but depending on the vacancy it may be another method of selection such as an online test or an assessment centre.

Early Adopter phase

Initially, the scheme will go through an early adopter phase in four early adopter departments: the Cabinet Office, the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Justice and the Home Office (including Border Force). This Early Adopter phase will allow the Civil Service to conduct user testing (including research) of recruitment solutions, ensure the experience for veterans, recruiters and managers is a positive one and help evolve the scheme so that it can be successfully rolled out across the Civil Service.

Please note that during the pilot phase, not all job vacancies will be selected for the Great Place to Work for Veterans initiative. Roles that are selected will be clearly marked. If you are an applicant and are unsure, you should contact the vacancy manager or recruitment point of contact. The early adopter phase will launch on 5 October 2020.

Roles selected for this initiative will be externally advertised, and can be either temporary or permanent, and at any grade.


To be eligible for this scheme in the Civil Service, you must:

  • have served for at least one year in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces (as a Regular or Reserve); this includes time spent training
  • be in transition from, or ceased to be a member of, HM Armed Forces
  • not already be a civil servant, or be employed by a Civil Service Commission accredited public body

There is no maximum time limit from when you left HM Armed Forces to be eligible for this initiative.

Using the initiative

When you apply for a role through Civil Service Jobs, you will be prompted to enter whether you are eligible for the Great Place to Work Initiative and whether you would like to apply for the role through this route.

Please note that during pre-employment checks for a role in the Civil Service, your employment history will be checked. An attempt to use this initiative fraudulently may result in your application being terminated.

Recruitment in the Civil Service

The Civil Service recruits using the Success Profiles Framework. This allows us to assess candidates against a range of elements using a variety of selection methods. This gives us the best possible chance of finding the right person for the job. Not all elements are relevant to every role, so the Success Profile will be different for different types of job.

We have a range of tools and approaches that can be used to assess candidates to determine their suitability for the role and we may use more than one assessment method during the selection process. There may also be more than one stage of selection.

The assessment approach, along with the criteria required for the role, will be outlined in the job vacancy or candidate information pack.

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