human resources


Human Resources

Make a difference to the way the Civil Service does business

APPLICATIONS CLOSED: Register your interest by emailing


3 years






The Human Resources Fast Stream scheme is an accelerated development programme designed to give the brightest graduates the skills they need to be the future leaders of the Civil Service.

The programme offers many advantages for participants, which include:

  • immediate responsibility and autonomy
  • close contact with senior civil servants
  • management of people and resources
  • fast-paced work
  • a valuable network of contacts
  • excellent training and development opportunities

You'll get CIPD accreditation and, on completion of the programme, an HR professional qualification.


  • you need to be eligible to work in the UK
  • you need, or expect to have, a 2:2 or higher in any degree subject
  • existing civil servants can apply without a degree

What to expect

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Due to the size and complexity of the organisation, it’s a huge intellectual challenge. The fast-paced nature of this high profile work, often influenced by national and world events, means that the Civil Service is always an exciting and unpredictable place to work. 

You'll have exposure to a limitless number of opportunities across different departments. You'll work on some fantastic projects with senior leaders at the heart of policy and operational delivery. You'll have the opportunity to influence policy, engage with key stakeholders and build a portfolio of skills in areas such as talent management, employee relations, engagement and building capability.

What do they say

From the blog

The Fast Stream - "A fantastic opportunity"

Read our blog here

From the blog

The Fast Stream Opportunity

Read our blog here

From the blog

Where can I end up after I finish the Fast Stream?

Read our blog here

What's in it for you?

Learning and development

The CIPD is the recognised professional association for HR. As part of the Civil Service HR professional development initiative, you'll study towards a Post Graduate Diploma in HR Management.

You'll have a line manager from your department who is responsible for your day to day work and ensuring you are suitably challenged, developed and supported during your post to help achieve your work objectives and development goals.

You will have 5 days of paid study leave per placement and also paid time off for exams and module lectures.

A range of other learning includes pre-booked courses, e-learning, post-specific learning, and action learning sets. An Activity Manager will ensure you’re challenged and supported, while your Cohort Leader will monitor your progress and explore your development with you.

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. 

Application process


Online tests

The online tests consist of 2 questionnaires, an e-tray exercise and a video interview. We recommend you do some practice questions: Situational judgement questions.

You'll only move on to the next test, if you've successfully passed the previous one.


Assessment centre

If you pass the online tests, you'll 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.

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Next Event

We host events at universities throughout the country so you can find out the information you need to apply for a place on the Fast Stream. We want to reach the most talented and diverse group of students nationwide.