Two thirds of top civil servants unqualified

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Just two per cent of top civil servants hold professional HR qualifications and only one in three hold professional qualifications of any description.

The findings come from Cabinet Office data revealed in a new report, to be published by the Institute for Public Policy Research (ippr).

It shows that the number of top civil servants holding professional qualifications has risen from 28 per cent in 2002 to 36 per cent in 2004 – the most recent data available.

Of a total of 3,893 senior civil servants:

  • Three per cent (104 officials) hold accountancy qualifications.
  • Two per cent (63 officials) hold human resources qualifications.
  • Ten per cent (374 officials) hold legal qualifications.
  • Three per cent (128 officials) hold engineering qualifications.
  • Two per cent (87 officials) hold medical qualifications.
  • Two per cent (60 officials) hold teaching qualifications.

Nick Pearce, ippr Director said: “We need a new professionalism in Whitehall: one that recognises and rewards professional qualifications as well as generalist skills.

“Although Whitehall is improving, and there are many thousands of excellent civil servants, the pace of change is painfully slow. Fundamental reform to the way the service is governed is necessary if we are to make systemic and sustained change.

“The civil service will never achieve consistently high performance without external public accountability and effective performance management.”

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13th Aug 2006 13:03

This article implies that problems are due to the lack of 'professional qualifications' yet the articles ends with

“The civil service will never achieve consistently high performance without external public accountability and effective performance management.”

This to me in more likely to be due to a lack of management competence rather than the input qualification of the types stated.

Rather than focus the need on developing an overly qualified workforce in generic areas - it appears that Management & leadership are more important - this means COMPETENCE not qualification.

Mike Morrison

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