Unlocking the Senior Civil Service

Despite the prevailing public sector environment, opportunities continue to exist to enter the Senior Civil Service. However, the process is rigorous, the competition is fierce and openings are restricted.

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Unlocking the Senior Civil Service

About the event

This unique event, now in its tenth year, provides practical help and guidance to those wishing to see their career develop into the Senior Civil Service. It is specifically designed to give you the answer to two vital questions:

  • How can I improve my chances of entering the SCS?
  • What will life be like once I am there?

Why attend?

The benefits of attending this conference include the opportunity to:

  • Resolve the questions in your mind about whether or not the SCS is right for you
  • Learn from experts about what you can do to improve your chances of making the grade
  • Gain deeper understanding of the skills, qualities and competencies required to be successful in the SCS
  • Examine the barriers and enablers affecting your progression
  • Hear from recent entrants about how they made the move and what life is like now they are there
  • Network with peers and counterparts from across Government who are also contemplating an SCS career

Event organiser

Dods Events

Connect and communicate with senior government and public sector stakeholders and attendees at our events. Our unmatched network and knowledge means we deliver meaningful engagements that make a difference.

From large scale exhibitions to intimate roundtables in Brussels, Holyrood or Westminster, our expert team curates events across the UK and Europe so you can:

  • Engage directly with specific government stakeholders
  • Understand and navigate the political environment
  • Build the knowledge and network you need to stay ahead
  • Learn from experts and maintain continual professional development


The FDA, along with other civil service unions, works proactively within departments on equality and diversity issues, playing a pivotal role in creating a fair workplace. A further commitment of the FDA to equality and diversity is to engage with diverse and often under-represented groups across its 19,000-strong membership, through its four diversity networks:

  • Black and Minority Ethnic Network
  • Disabled Members' Network
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Network
  • Women's Network

Members of these networks meet regularly to discuss work issues, provide mutual social and professional support, and to help shape the policy of the FDA.


Please find below confirmed venues for upcoming Unlocking the Senior Civil Service events.

London - 5 October 2023
Venue and date to be confirmed soon.

Online - 25 January 2024


  • "A lesson in confidence, an honest, refreshing view of where I am and where I need to be. Exactly what I was expecting and really interesting - great insight"
    G6, HMRC

  • "Possibly one of the most informative days training I have done in recent years. I took a lot away from the day in terms of the level of effort I need to put in to applications and prep. Food for thought on what it actually means to be an SCS"
    G7, MOD

  • "Refreshing. I am a specialist and was concerned that I didn't fit general SCS roles. The event has convinced me otherwise"
    G6, Home Office

  • "Most valuable. Made me question my preparation (or lack of!) and how I present myself in applications. Some really good tips"
    G7, DCMS

  • "Very engaging and useful - offered time to reflect and reassess. The speakers were excellent and the content very good"
    G6, Legal Aid Agency


When will I receive my badge?

If you are attending in person, you will receive your name badge at the registration desk on your arrival.

When do I receive joining instructions?

Joining instructions will be issued to all delegates, both online and in-person, a couple of weeks prior to the conference along with lots of extra materials to enable you to have the best experience on the day.

Is catering provided?

If you are attending in person, there will be a number of refreshment breaks throughout the day. Lunch and post-event drinks will also be provided.

Who can I contact for more information about upcoming events?

Please direct any event-related queries to: conference.admin@dods-events.com and a member of our team will assist you.

How can I find out about speaking opportunities?

To make any speaker suggestions, please contact Kiren.kaur@dods-events.com