Civil Service Learning shake-up underway as contract winners unveiled

KPMG and Hay Group win first two lots as Cabinet Office makes changes to the way departments buy training courses

By matt.foster

15 Dec 2015

Training and development for civil servants will be overseen by KPMG and Hay Group from March next year, the Cabinet Office has announced, as part of a shake-up of the Civil Service Learning scheme.

Under the CSL deal, departments buy training for staff through a single system overseen by Capita, which sub-contracts courses from smaller suppliers. The changes were made in an attempt to reduce costs, standardise training, and end differences in the amount departments were paying for courses.

Capita's £250m deal with the Cabinet Office is due to come to an end in the spring, and the government has opted to split the contract into four separate, tailored components rather than replicate the single service provider model.

Licence to skill: Hilary Spencer on the future of Civil Service Learning
MPs call for action to boost Whitehall skills and make it easier to retain top staff
Civil Service Learning: NAO publishes investigation into Capita's handling of £250m Whitehall training contract
Catch up with KPMG and CSW's post-Spending Review webinar

The first two lots have been awarded this week, with a consortium led by Korn Ferry Hay Group leading on senior civil service training and a group led by KPMG working on the core curriculum for all civil servants. Hilary Spencer, director of Civil Service Learning, said the new deal would help "create a more skilled and capable civil service".

She added: "Our new approach will provide world-class learning and development that is flexible, tailored and relevant for all civil servants. We want to build a culture where learning becomes second nature, and we are looking forward to working in partnership with two expert groups of suppliers to achieve that goal."

That view was echoed by civil service chief executive John Manzoni, who said: "Learning and development are at the heart of building capability across government, making sure we have the skills we need to deliver the best public services for a modern Britain."

The Cabinet Office estimates the value of the contracts to be between £80m and £150m over their potential four-year span. Lot 1 runs for two years with the option to extend to four years, while Lot 2 runs for three years with the possibility of a further year's extension. 

According to Spencer, the remaining two lots of the contract, which have yet to be awarded, will cover "bespoke learning for different departments and professions" as well as public courses.

A report published earlier this year by the Public Administration Select Committee painted a mixed picture of the CSL scheme to date. While the MPs said CSL had allowed training budgets to be reduced "significantly" and improved access to generic training, they warned that the scheme could be placing too much emphasis on "lighter and narrower" online learning.

Disclosure: Civil Service World's parent company Dods provides training courses through CSL

Read the most recent articles written by matt.foster - Top civil servants Robert Devereux & Chris Wormald stick up for spads

Share this page