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Diplomatic and Development

A fascinating, fast-paced, and rewarding career at the centre of world events.


5 Years


Circa £31,000

plus a London location allowance where applicable.


London and East Kilbride
(followed by an overseas placement)


This is an exciting time to be joining the Diplomatic and Development Fast Stream. at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). We are a rich and diverse organisation with so much to offer individuals seeking an impactful career at the centre of world events. The Fast Stream will support you as you develop the skills and experience needed to flourish in this fast-paced, challenging and rewarding environment.

The FCDO promotes the interests of British citizens, safeguards the UK's security, defends our values, reduces poverty and tackles global challenges with our international partners.


  • British citizen (those with dual nationality may apply)
  • Resided in the UK for at least 5 of the previous 10 years, including a consecutive 12-month period.
  • You need to hold (or expect to achieve) a 2:2 degree, degree apprenticeship or higher in any subject
  • Existing civil servants can apply without a degree

What will you experience?

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office plaque

The world is constantly changing, so it is important that Diplomatic and Development Fast Streamers learn and grow throughout the programme and beyond. No two Fast Streamers will share the same career path: while each role undertaken will require different skills to succeed, all roles will provide exposure to a wide range of opportunities. You'll have the opportunity to formulate and implement policy, engage with key stakeholders and build a portfolio of skills in both international development and diplomacy. The Fast Stream will equip you for a challenging and rewarding career in our global organisation

All Diplomatic and Development Fast Streamers must be granted 'Developed Vetting' (DV) security clearance before starting. For DV clearance, you need to have lived in the UK for 5 of the last 10 years, including a consecutive 12-month period. Security clearance relies on assurance checks that can only be carried out in the UK - which is why a sufficient UK footprint is a mandatory requirement.

You can also apply for the Diplomatic and Development Economics scheme provided you meet the eligibility criteria.

Your progression through the programme

Supporting your learning

You will benefit from a tailored Fast Stream training programme focussed on leadership skills and developing your knowledge of diplomatic tradecraft and international development. The programme is designed to give you the core knowledge and skills to get your FCDO career off to the best start. You will also have access to mentoring and work shadowing opportunities, in addition to on-the-job training.

Our focus throughout the Fast Stream is to prepare you with the skills needed to make a valuable contribution to the FCDO's work, which is of global importance and impacts the lives of millions of people

What benefits will you enjoy?

Civil Service Fast Stream

You'll have a unique opportunity to work on issues that really matter at the centre of world events. The scheme provides the ideal foundation for promotion and long-term career progression.

Joining as a permanent employee of the FCDO, benefits include the Civil Service Pension Scheme, recognised language qualifications, season ticket loans, sports and social activities, childcare assistance, diversity support/networks/forums and more.

Learning and Development on the Diplomatic and Development Scheme

Alongside the scheme-specific learning offer, you will complete the universal training which provides core foundation skills and leadership & management skills.

Application process

Step 1 - Online Assessments

Online assessments

The online assessments consist of Work Style Questionnaires, a multimedia Situational Judgement Questionnaire, Numerical Test and Work Based Scenarios.

Step 2 - Assessment centre

Assessment centre

If you pass the online assessments, you'll be invited to undertake a half day assessment centre. This will be conducted virtually on line. The Fast Stream Assessment Centre (FSAC) reflects some of the key elements of a Fast Stream role and will consist a leadership scenario, a team scenario and a written scenario. Information will be presented via an app that you will be able to access remotely.

Step 3 - Final selection

Final selection

If you are successful at the assessment centre, you'll be invited to take part in a final selection process.

The specialist assessments will assess your broad capabilities and motivation to be part of the profession you've chosen. You'll be sent detailed guidance before the assessment to explain what is involved.

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