Use scientific and mathematical techniques to help the government find solutions to complex management problems
3 to 5 years
In a nutshell, Operational Research (OR) is the discipline of applying advanced analytical methods to help make better decisions. We do this using techniques ranging from quick back-of-the-envelope calculations to complicated systems dynamics models.
Other OR techniques you might know are forecasting, simulation and analytics. We require intellect and creativity as problems can be complex, often with no single “right answer”.
Our work supports all areas of government, including policy-making, strategy and operations. For example your department may wish to make an operation more efficient, achieve better customer service, or reduce costs. Different OR techniques can be used to objectively assess the current situation and how different changes might affect it. This means our work brings government policy to life and so affects everyone in the UK.
Operational researchers commonly work with economists, statisticians, social researchers, scientists and those who work in policy. Often these people will be within your own department, but there are frequent opportunities for cross-departmental collaboration.
Gain a breadth of experience in operational research techniques.
At GORS you can expect to work on projects that challenge your creativity as well as your intellect. You could be producing analysis that helps forecast demand for health services.
Develop your leadership/management skills and show initiative
Over the course of the programme, you’ll gain the experience and skills that will put you on a path to senior leadership roles across the Civil Service. The OR profession is flexible and allows the candidate to choose their own career path.
Find solutions to complex management problems in more than 25 government departments and agencies.
It's a good idea to gain experience of working in different departments, although larger departments may offer enough variety in available posts. You could be modelling accident hotspots on UK roads.
Collaborate with your clients: senior people within the department and sometimes even government ministers.
While most OR Fast Streamers only work in analytical posts, it is also possible to do generalist posts like working in a private office (working directly with a minister and liaising with departments on their behalf).
I wanted a career that was highly challenging, provided opportunities to progress quickly and enabled me to put my analytical skills to best practise.
The experience of working in 2 diverse roles has given me varied development experience and exciting opportunities.
The Civil Service is unique in that the work you are involved with often has a direct impact on the public. I enjoy seeing results I helped calculate in the news.
The opportunity to learn whilst contributing to the organisation appealed to me. I also like the focus on giving you the skills to move into the Senior Civil Service quickly.
You will be invited to a 2-day residential induction course, and will be offered a range of high quality training courses to develop your OR professional skills and wider leadership and management skills.
You will have access to a programme of cross-government events and conferences which will deepen your knowledge of particularly techniques and expand your knowledge of OR in other departments. If you are interested, you will be supported in achieving professional accreditation by the OR Society.
Up to £55k
If you successfully complete the scheme and are promoted, you could earn around £45k to £55k.
You’ll have a unique chance to work on issues that really matter, and to gain experience internally and externally. It’s the best foundation for promotion and long-term progression.
Promotion and successful completion of the scheme will see you earn around £45k to 55k, while other benefits include the Civil Service pension scheme, professional qualifications, flexible working, season ticket loans, sports and social activities, childcare assistance and more.
If you pass the online tests, you'll be invited to complete an Application Form and this will be sifted by the scheme owner. If successful at the sift, then you will be invited to attend a half-day assessment at one of our assessment centres in either London or Newcastle.
We'll ask you to take part in a series of exercises. This includes a leadership exercise, a group exercise and an analysis exercise.
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.