Log in to GradQuiz

The Civil Service is responsible for administrating and creating policy, as well as delivering services directly to the public.

  • About
  • How To Apply
  • Live Jobs

About the Civil Service

The Fast Stream is the Civil Service's prestigious and highly-regarded graduate development programme which can pave the way to the highest levels of the Civil Service.

The Civil Service is politically impartial and employs around 420,000 people working in more than 160 governmental departments and agencies. Given its size, there are an enormous number of different areas for you to work in, and you will never be short of options and challenges throughout the course of your career.

Your Career

What to expect

Everything about this programme is designed to help you develop the experience and skills judged to be the most important for future leaders.

Exactly which department, or departments, you work in will depend on a range of factors, including the particular Fast Stream you are in. The Civil Service can't take account of personal preferences, but wherever you are based you can expect outstanding development opportunities. This is reflected in the official title of Fast Streamers in the Civil Service: Higher Executive Officer (Development). And don't expect to specialise in one area or one kind of work - the Fast Stream provides a very varied set of experiences.

More and more, Fast Streamers take on roles involving direct contact with the public. Insight into the policy-making process is valuable and enhanced by experiencing for yourself how a policy is received by the public, and the impact it makes on their lives.

  • Your time on Fast Stream will begin with an induction event, which will introduce you to both the programme and to the Civil Service as a whole
  • You will be assigned to a specific government department, where you will be based during your time in the Fast Stream
  • There will be opportunities to visit your department before you start work, so you know what to expect


Civil Service Learning in partnership with Civil Service Resourcing has created a dedicated Fast Stream learning and development pathway that will cover your time as a Fast Streamer.

Its training and development package includes:

  • A combination of formal training courses and on-the-job learning
  • Regular feedback and performance reviews to inform your personal development
  • A mentor or another Fast Streamer to support you through your development
  • Time spent at learning events, e-learning, volunteering, job-shadowing and more
  • The chance for supported study towards a range of professional qualifications (postgraduate certificates, CIPD, CIMA and others)
  • At the end of your programme you'll have developed skills and knowledge in a wide range of important areas, such as people management, commercial awareness, financial management, project and programme management, change management and digital delivery.

What does the future hold?

Once you're offered a place in the Fast Stream, you're appointed permanently to the Civil Service. So, subject to satisfactory performance and conduct, you'll be guaranteed a permanent job.

Once in the Civil Service, you will be offered the kind of leadership experience that simply can't be gained anywhere else.