Shortlist announced for recruitment excellence award

Civil Service Commission launches Mark of Excellence to champion diversity work
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By Suzannah Brecknell

16 Jun 2022

The Intellectual Property Office, Government Economics Service and Ministry of Justice are among 18 organisations shortlisted for the Civil Service Commission’s first-ever Mark of Excellence award.

The Commission, an independent body charged with ensuring recruitment into the civil service is fair, open and on merit, launched the award to recognise recruitment campaigns that show outstanding innovation and commitment to improving diversity across all civil service grades.

Departments and agencies were invited to submit entries along with their annual returns to the commission this year. Organisations such as diversity networks and government professions could also apply separately.

Winners will be able to publicise their achievement with an award logo on all their recruitment advertisements for one year.

Forty-one entries were submitted. Of these, eighteen have been shortlisted and will now be assessed by a judging panel led by former civil service commissioner Natalie Campbell.

Campbell told CSW that the Mark of Excellence was created as a way to “unearth and celebrate” innovation and good practice in driving diversity across government. “In my tenure I’ve seen lots of brilliant work happening but it wasn’t being shared,” she said.

Campbell explained that the award was open to a variety of initiatives around improving diversity though recruitment, such as a specific campaign or a targeted initiative, but that judges are particularly looking for entries which demonstrate innovation rather than focusing on business-as-usual or “baseline” initiatives such as ensuring recruitment panels are diverse.

The judging panel includes recently appointed first civil service commissioner Gisela Stuart, and Cabinet Office and civil service diversity network chairs Gerri Clement, Paul Willgoss and Roxanne Ohene.

The winner, and highly commended entries, will be announced with the publication of the Commissions Annual Report in July.

The report will include case studies from these campaigns, and Campbell says the commission also plans to communicate these in a more creative ways. Campbell also hopes they will be promoted through a podcast discussing the “end-to-end process of how each initiative was co-created, what the implementation process was, how the outcomes were determined and what the hope for future is."

Two new commissioners have recently joined the commission – social impact entrepreneur Joanna Abeyie and former Bank of England director Lea Paterson – and the Cabinet Office is currently recruiting for at least four more.

Speaking shortly before the end of her five-year term as commisoner,  Campbell described the role as " an absolute privilege" and urged "anyone that is interested in the talent and leadership who are, ultimately designing the future of this country” to consider applying for the role.

As a social entrepreneur, Campbell said, she “didn’t have much direct experience” of the civil service before joining the commission and was struck by the variety and importance of roles she helped to recruit – including the director of the UK Space Agency.

The job, she said, is as “rewarding for a commissioner as it is for the people who are appointed to the roles which are crucial to how we all live”.

The deadline for applications to the Civil Service Commission is 19 June. More details can be found here.

The following organisations have been shortlisted for the 2022 Mark of Excellence:

  • Department for International Trade
  •  Food Standards Agency
  • Competition and Markets Authority
  • Department for Culture, Media and Sport
  • Crown Prosecution Service
  • Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy(BEIS)
  • UK Hydrographic Office
  • Scottish Government
  • Office for National Statistics
  • · Ministry of Justice
  • Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities
  • Intellectual Property Office
  • Defence Equipment & Support
  • HM Treasury
  • HM Revenue and Customs
  • Government Social Research Service
  • Government Economic Service
  • Department for Transport


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