Civil Service executive officer

Civil Service executive officers work in government departments that develop policies.

What does a civil service executive officer do?

Civil Service executive officers work in government departments that develop policies and provide services to the public.

What you'll do will depend on your job role, but your daily tasks might include:

  • managing a team
  • training staff
  • applying government plans to public services
  • preparing and presenting reports
  • analysing data
  • communicating with the public
  • giving advice to government representatives
  • managing a budget
  • handling a caseload
  • updating files

What do I need to do to become a civil service executive officer?

You can become a Civil Service executive officer through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly
  • a graduate training scheme


You could apply to join the Civil Service after doing a foundation degree, higher national diploma, or degree, although a university qualification is not essential.

Most subjects are accepted, but public administration may offer a good general introduction to this area of work.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • one or two A levels for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • two to three A levels for a degree


You can apply for the Civil Service Fast Track Apprenticeship. This is a two-year higher apprenticeship There are six different career routes:

  • policy
  • business
  • commercial
  • digital, data and technology
  • finance
  • project delivery

You'll usually need GCSEs, but some routes require A levels or equivalent qualifications.


You could start as an administrative officer. After gaining experience, you could apply for a post as an executive officer. 

Direct application

You can apply directly for jobs. You'll be expected to have relevant work or life experience to do this.

You'll be assessed on your skills, knowledge and behaviours that fit in with the values of the Civil Service, as part of the application process.

Other routes

If you're a graduate or in your final year of university, you can apply for a place on the Fast Stream scheme. Competition for places is very strong, so a degree with a higher grade and work experience will help you.

Your degree can be in any subject, although some Civil Service departments may prefer a degree in a subject relevant to their work, for example science and engineering.

Related skills

  • Administration
  • Attention to detail
  • Business management
  • Communication
  • Customer service
  • IT
  • Leadership
  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Organisation
  • Patience
  • People management
  • Problem solving
  • Teamwork
  • Time management

Where to find out more

  • The Summer Diversity Internship Programme helps graduates and undergraduates from ethnic minorities and under-represented backgrounds transfer to the Fast Stream scheme.
  • Movement to Work offers work experience opportunities in the Civil Service for unemployed young people.
  • You can get more details about how to become an executive officer from Civil Service Careers.

Where could I be working?

You could work in an office.

Career opportunities

With experience, there’s often the opportunity to apply for jobs in different departments.

There is a clear promotion structure in the Civil Service. If you’re on the Fast Stream you can expect to reach senior level in around five years.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0

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