Civil Service Leadership Competencies

Civil Service Leadership Competencies


The UK Civil Service has introduced a new competency framework to support the Civil Service Reform Plan and the new performance management system. The competency framework sets out how we want people in the Civil Service to work. It puts the Civil Service values of honesty, integrity, impartiality and objectivity at the heart of everything we do and it aligns to the three high level leadership behaviours that every civil servant needs to model: Set Direction; Engage People and Deliver Results.

Civil servants work in a huge range of jobs across the country and overseas but one thing we have in common is that we are here to support the elected Government, providing advice to help shape its policies and ensuring seamless and practical implementation in line with those policies.

Competencies are the skills, knowledge and behaviours that lead to successful performance. The framework outlines 10 competencies, which are grouped into 3 clusters as set out above. For each competency there is a description of what it means in practice and some examples of effective and ineffective behaviours at all levels.

The leadership competencies are intended to be discrete and cumulative, with each level building on the levels below i.e. a person demonstrating a competency at level 3 should be demonstrating levels 1 and 2 as a matter of course. These indicators of behaviour are not designed to be comprehensive, but provide a clear sense of and greater understanding and consistency about what is expected from individuals in the Civil Service.

What does it mean for me?

The framework will be used for recruitment, performance management and development discussions and for decisions about progression. Some Departments introduced it in April 2012 with the rest of Government doing so from April 2013. In these new arrangements your business objectives will set out “what” you need to achieve over the year and this competency framework will set out “how” you need to work to achieve those objectives.

Most of you will need to focus on a number of competencies, usually around six, identified with your manager as being essential to your role. You are encouraged to discuss the framework with your line manager to identify the competencies that apply most to your job role.

This framework, which is made up of ten competencies in 3 clusters, has been developed in partnership with Civil Service professions. If you work as part of a profession with a separate framework this will complement your professional framework and should be used alongside it.

Strategic Cluster – Setting Direction

  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Changing and Improving
  • Making Effective Decisions

People Cluster – Engaging People

  • Leading and Communicating
  • Collaborating and Partnering
  • Building Capability for All

Performance Cluster – Delivering Results

  • Achieving Commercial Outcomes
  • Delivering Value for Money
  • Managing a Quality Service
  • Delivering at Pace

© Crown Copyright July 2012

You can download the Civil Service Competency Framework (PDF) Here

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