What is the Civil Service Fast Stream?

In an interview with Concrete, civil servant Rachel Prior has revealed what it’s like to work in the Civil Service and take part in the Civil Service Fast Stream, the ‘award-winning leadership development programme’ according to Prior. 

Each of the 15 Fast Stream schemes differs in length, but most last between two to four years, and most include stints in different governmental departments.

Prior says it is designed to be ‘a unique development journey towards leadership.’  

She adds: “The kind of roles you may end up doing vary and could be leading a team on a particular policy area or working in a Minister’s Private Office. Or, if you’re a specialist, then you’d become a senior leader specialising in your chosen profession.”

Something that potential applicants should be aware of is the need for Civil Servants to remain impartial. This means removing your own personal opinions from the equation. “You may not always personally agree with whatever policy is being proposed,” Prior says. “However, you can’t bring your personal feelings into it; in policy making you have to make evidence-led decisions, it’s not about your own personal preferences.” 

Prior says: “Working for the Civil Service is a really good way of having a job where you’re not just out to maximise the profit for a private company” Prior tells me. 

“If you want the work you do to lead to something a bit bigger than yourself then the Civil Service is a good way to do that.”


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Chris Matthews

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May 2022
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The University of East Anglia’s official student newspaper. Concrete is in print and online.

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