Civil Service Fast Stream: Houses of Parliament scheme

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Interested in working in Parliament? Want to be a future Leader?

A career in Parliament will give you the opportunity to develop a range of skills and allow you to be close to the parliamentary process while remaining independent of party politics. It offers a unique perspective on matters affecting all our lives. You will work directly with MPs or Peers and with senior staff, and have the chance to be involved in everything from researching and writing briefs for powerful select committees to supporting work in the Chamber of the House of Commons – for example, advising on amendments to legislation or Questions tabled on  Government policy.

The 4-year Graduate Development programme offers you the chance to be part of a dynamic and evolving institution at the heart of UK democracy. This year recruitment is to the House of Commons only (although the House of Lords does usually recruit to the fast stream through joint recruitment process with the House of Commons). For our 2017 intake of fast streamers and graduate trainees we are recruiting through the Civil Service Fast Stream (CSFS) and will also be recruiting directly.

Roles on our Fast Stream/Graduate Development Programme involve working to directly support the business of the House in its procedural offices and committee teams, but also include the opportunity to work in a variety of departments.

You’re likely to spend time working for:

• Select Committees

Managing committee inquiries, including: providing oral and written briefing material for committee members, liaising with and briefing committee witnesses, accompanying committees on visits and drafting committee reports

• Outreach and Engagement

Working to improve public engagement with an understanding of Parliament

• The Strategic Estates Team

Working as part of the Restoration and Renewal Programme Team to help plan for the refurbishment and renovation of Parliament’s buildings

• Corporate Services

Supporting the Finance, Audit and HR functions of the organisation

• The House of Commons Library

Provides research services and briefings to MPs and staff

Throughout the programme you will receive extensive training from external and internal providers, based on your own development needs. Each year you will build on your experience and skills, deepening your understanding of the House as an institution and the challenges it faces, and helping it to become more efficient, effective and better understood by the public.

Meet some of our Fast Streamers:

Katya

"At the moment, I’m really enjoying my work and learning a lot! I’ve really enjoyed my two years in the House so far and I’m looking forward to moving around to different areas of my department and the House service to have a wider knowledge of the different aspects of the House’s work.

Working in a procedural office is giving me a good grounding in knowledge of the procedures of the House (although I’m barely scratching the surface!) but I’m also really looking forward to working for a departmental select committee for my next placement. I’ve also been able to be involved in other projects, including setting up the new e-petitions site and helping explore ideas for a new website for Parliament."

Eligibility

In order to apply for the Parliamentary Fast Stream you will need at least a 2.2 degree in any subject and meet the Civil Service nationality rules and pass the security checks.

You’ll also need to demonstrate the key competencies expected of all Fast Streamers. Other key qualities which are tested during the final selection board interview process include:

• An interest in current affairs
• An ability to demonstrate political impartiality at all times
• Good communication skills (written and oral)
• Being able to handle pressure and work in a fast-paced environment
• Teamwork and ability to work with a diverse range of people
• Organisation and the ability to plan and distribute work

How to apply?

The House of Commons is recruiting for entrants in September 2017 through the Civil Service Fast Stream (CSFS) and directly, launching its new Graduate Development Programme. Full details of the application processes will be available soon. If you have a query in the meantime please contact [email protected]

For the CSFS applications are made online through the Civil Service Fast Stream recruitment process. If you get through to the Fast Stream Assessment Centre (FSAC), you will be invited to attend an open day at the Houses of Parliament and a panel interview.

CSFS applicants will need to apply for the ‘General Fast Stream’ and select House of Parliament (HoP) as your first choice. Candidates that put HoP as their first choice will be considered/interviewed as soon as possible after FSAC. Those that have HoP as a lower preference will only be considered once processes for their first choices have been completed, if the HoP scheme has not at that time filled all of its places.

Details of the direct recruitment process will be announced shortly.

Promotion and Prospects

You’ll get training on the job, and will attend courses and seminars aimed at equipping you with the skills necessary for progressing.
Most Fast Streamers apply to be promoted to A2 grade (equivalent to Civil Service grade 7) 3 to 5 years after you join the scheme. This position could be a clerk to a committee or within one of the Chamber Business Directorate teams.

Further Information
Houses of Parliament Brochure (PDF PDF 4.02 MB)
Civil Service Fast Stream website

The Workplace Equality Networks

The four WENs

ParliAble: in support of disabled people in Parliament. It is open to both those who consider themselves to have a disability and those who have an interest in supporting disabled people.

Parliagender: in support for gender equality. Our aim is to achieve gender equality across Parliament.

ParliREACH: in support of increasing awareness and appreciation of race, ethnicity and cultural heritage issues in Parliament.

ParliOUT:  in support of LGBTIQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersexual, and questioning) people in Parliament

Related information

Related internet links

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